Bunbury's Brace Lifts Revolution to 2-1 Win at Chicago Fire FC
CHICAGO - The New England Revolution (3-2-5, 14 pts.) defeated Chicago Fire FC, 2-1, on Sunday night in the clubs' first meeting at Soldier Field since 2005. Teal Bunbury scored both of the Revolution's goals in the win, first finding the back of the net with the team's quickest strike of the season at the 2:38 mark of the first half. Chicago's Fabian Herbers equalized for the hosts in the 22nd minute, but Bunbury again scored in the 54th minute with a right-footed goal from distance.
Bunbury now owns a team-high four goals on the season and 38 for his Revolution career. The brace - his first since July 22, 2017 - moves him past Shalrie Joseph and Pat Noonan and into sixth place on New England's all-time goal scoring chart. Both Adam Buksa and Tommy McNamara registered their first career assists with the Revolution on Bunbury's first goal, while Alexander Büttner recorded his second assist of the year on Bunbury's second tally.
Goalkeeper Matt Turner, who eclipsed 5,000 career minutes played tonight, submitted a season-high six saves to reach 200 saves for his career. Turner's 30 saves this season are tied for third most in MLS, trailing only New York City's Sean Johnson and Philadelphia's Andre Blake.
New England returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 12, when the club visits the Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park. The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Boston, 98.5 The Sports Hub, and in Portuguese on WBIX 1260 AM Nossa Radio USA.
New England Revolution 2, Chicago Fire FC 1
September 6, 2020 - Soldier Field (Chicago, Ill.)
Revolution Defeat Chicago Fire FC, 2-1, at Soldier Field
The Revolution (3-2-5, 14 pts.) logged their third win of the season on Sunday night with a 2-1 victory over Chicago Fire FC at Soldier Field. The match was New England's first at Soldier Field since 2005.
The victory was New England's second consecutive road win, following the club's 2-1 victory at D.C. United on Aug. 25 at Audi Field.
Forward Teal Bunbury scored both goals for New England. Bunbury gave the Revolution a 1-0 lead in the 3rd minute on assists from midfielder Tommy McNamara and forward Adam Buksa and netted the game-winner in the 54th minute on defender Alexander Büttner's assist.
Head Coach Bruce Arena's career head coaching record improves to 212-126-101. Arena's teams remain unbeaten, 12-0-3, when scoring the first goal against Chicago.
Teal Bunbury Logs Club's First Brace of 2020
Forward Teal Bunbury scored both New England's goals of the match, logging the club's first brace of the 2020 season. The brace was the fifth of Bunbury's career and his first since scoring two goals on July 22, 2017 in a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Bunbury's goals were the 37th and 38th of his Revolution career, which moves him past Shalrie Joseph and Pat Noonan for sixth place on the club's all-time scoring list. Bunbury is three goals away from matching Joe-Max Moore (41) for fifth place on the club's list.
With four goals on the season, Bunbury leaps Gustavo Bou (3 goals) as the team's leading scorer.
The 3rd-minute tally, coming at the 2:38 mark of the match, was New England's fastest goal of the season.
Defender Alexander Büttner recorded his second assist of the season on Bunbury's game-winner in the 54th minute. Büttner is tied for the team lead in assists with forward Cristian Penilla.
Tommy McNamara Makes Second Consecutive Start, Registers First Revs Assist
Midfielder Tommy McNamara registered his third consecutive appearance since joining the Revolution on Aug. 17 via trade with the Houston Dynamo.
McNamara's assist on Bunbury's third-minute strike was his first of the 2020 campaign and his first in a Revolution uniform.
The seventh-year veteran has accrued 18 assists for his MLS career to go along with 16 goals across 132 appearances and more than 7,700 minutes played.
Matt Turner Reaches Career Milestones in Saves, Minutes Played
Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner eclipsed the 5,000 career minutes played milestone tonight. Turner currently stands at 5,006 career minutes played.
Turner registered a season-high six saves in the victory, giving him 200 saves for his career.
Revolution Make Five Changes to Starting Lineup
The Revolution made five changes to the starting lineup as Andrew Farrell, Antonio Delamea, Alexander Büttner, Diego Fagundez and Adam Buksa started in place of Henry Kessler, Michael Mancienne, DeJuan Jones, Kelyn Rowe and Cristian Penilla.
Bye, who has started every match this season and leads the team in minutes played (852), logged a team-high four clearances. Bye is 21 minutes away from reaching 5,000 career minutes played and leads the MLS in aerials won (47).
Fagundez made his 182nd career start, putting him three shy of matching Lee Nguyen for seventh most starts in Revolution history. The Leominster, Mass. product is three appearances shy of matching Matt Reis (254) for second most in club history.
Buksa, who returned to the Starting XI tonight and played 77 minutes, recorded his first MLS assist.
First-year defender Henry Kessler, who entered the match as a halftime substitution, has appeared in every game of his rookie season.
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Peter Balciunas, Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein
Fourth Official: Ismir Pekmic
Video Assistant Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Weather: 79 degrees and cloudy
NE- Teal Bunbury 3 (Tommy McNamara 1) 3'
CHI- Fabian Herbers (Miguel Navarro) 22'
NE- Bunbury 4 (Alexander Büttner 2) 54'
NE- Diego Fagundez (Unsporting Behavior) 35'
New England Revolution: Matt Turner; Andrew Farrell, Brandon Bye, Antonio Delamea (Henry Kessler HT), Alexander Büttner; Gustavo Bou ©, Matt Polster (Kelyn Rowe 80'), Diego Fagundez (Scott Caldwell 70'), Tommy McNamara (Cristian Penilla 57'), Adam Buksa (Tajon Buchanan, 77'), Teal Bunbury
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, DeJuan Jones, Seth Sinovic, Kekuta Manneh, Michael Mancienne
Chicago Fire FC: Bobby Shuttleworth; Boris SekuliÄ, Francisco Calvo ©, Miguel Navarro; Alvaro MedrÃ¡n (Brian Gutierrez 89'), Przemyslaw Frankowski (Jonathan Bornstein 89'), Mauricio Pineda, Gaston Gimenez, Ignacio Aliseda, Fabian Herbers (Robert BeriÄ 59'), Elliot Collier (Djordje Mihailovic 69')
Substitutes Not Used: Connor Sparrow, Brandt Bronico, Michael Azira, Wyatt Omsberg, Andre Reynolds III
New England Revolution Team Statistics Chicago Fire FC
9 (3) Shots (on Target) 17 (6)
6 Saves 1
3 Corner Kicks 5
4 Offsides 2
10 Fouls 8
344 (71%) Passes Attempted (% Completed) 569 (83%)
37.8% Possession 62.2%
POSTGAME QUOTES: New England Revolution 2 vs. Chicago Fire FC 1
Revolution Sporting Director & Head Coach Bruce Arena
On his impressions of the performance and the relief of seeing the attack produce multiple goals:
Arena: "The relief is getting some points. We didn't win any beauty contests tonight, but it was a great collective effort by the team. We played 16 players. They all contributed on a day that wasn't easy with the travel in, and the field conditions were challenging with a field that wasn't cut. It was a slow field and it made for a lot of battles on the field, and we were up to the task. We beat a pretty good team tonight, and certainly there was a bit of luck. I mean, if any team deserves a little bit of luck, it's us, because we haven't a whole lot. So we got that tonight, we had a lot of the determination, a great effort by the 16 players that played. It's a real positive performance for our team."
On the team being more physically prepared for tonight's game:
Arena: "It's not physical preparation. I think it's mental preparation. I think physically we were fine on Wednesday, but we weren't mentally there. We didn't compete the way I think we should compete. Tonight, I think we were prepared for that, so give the guys a lot of credit for that."
On Teal Bunbury's performance:
Arena: "The first goal was, if I can recall correctly, it was a combination play with [Adam] Buksa, [Gustavo] Bou, [Tommy] McNamara, and then Teal [Bunbury] was the end-product there. Those guys did a great job. Tommy played a tremendous ball that allowed Teal to really basically knock it in an open goal. Although I haven't seen a replay, I'm assuming that's how it looked on television. It was a great effort by our guys on that play. Give Teal credit. Teal is a guy that is experienced, he's very fit, he won a lot of duels tonight that made a difference in the game. Give him a lot of credit. The second goal, he might admit there as a little bit of luck there, but we're not going to dwell on it too much."
On his first impressions of Tommy McNamara:
Arena: "Tommy is a good player. He's a good soccer player. Good passer, technically pretty good - something that we need a little bit more of in our lineup. He gave us that tonight. He's now played in three games and he's contributed in each game, so I think he's been a good addition to our team."
On if the team is still trying to establish its identity:
Arena: "Still getting a sense of that. I think by the time we finish with this cycle of six games, we need to be headed in a more consistent direction to understand our team. Having said that, as I look around the league, it's been tough for all the teams. It's been, as we know - I don't need to tell you - certainly a very difficult year in our country. Challenging for all the people in our public. For athletes, it's been very unusual. I don't think we've ever had a rhythm. It seems like we've had three preseasons and all other kind of stuff. It's hard creating an identity. There's some teams in the league that have been able to do that. We're not one of them at this point, but certainly over the next couple of weeks I think we're going to get a little bit closer to being a team that understands what they're about. Right now, we're still growing into being a team. That obviously takes a little bit of time, but hopefully we're making a little bit of progress."
On all three of the team's wins coming away from home:
Arena: "I think we've had a tough time in Gillette because the opposition understands the difficulty playing there and they've made it real tough for us. We haven't been good enough to play through the pressure and make the kind of adjustments we need to make. We can't use Gillette as an excuse. We need to be better as a team. Hopefully, the next time we're back at Gillette, we're going to give it a better performance and hopefully earn three points."
Revolution Forward Teal Bunbury
On the differences between the club's performance tonight and in Wednesday's loss to NYCFC:
Bunbury: "I think it was a combination. I think as players we were disappointed in how we played against New York City FC. To be honest, the past few games haven't been our best performances even though we've gotten some results before the New York City FC game. We definitely wanted to come out and battle tonight and grind. It was a grind of a game. Chicago's a good team and they put us under a lot of pressure. But I'm really proud of the way we worked as a team tonight. We're able to come out of here with three points."
On the importance of grabbing a 1-0 lead on his first goal and McNamara's role in they play:
Bunbury: "I mean, we were stressing the past few days about being able to be confident on the ball and play a little more direct. I think we did that. Tommy got the ball in a great position and what a ball he played me. I mean, I don't remember the last time I got a ball in a position like that. Great vision on his part. I think we caught Chicago off-guard. He played an unbelievable ball to me and it was my job to tuck it away. We were able to get two goals tonight. I think a little bit of luck here or there is what we needed at this point. Now we have to continue look forward, get some rest and recovery and get ready for Philadelphia."
On building the team's identity and where the team currently stands in that process:
Bunbury: "I think we want to be a cohesive unit. We want to work together and I think we're starting to improve on that. There's a lot of things we can still get better at. This is a tight-knit group in the locker room and I think we need to show it a little bit more on the field. I think tonight we showed that. We still weren't playing as well as we hoped to play but these are the games you need to win, especially in this league, to be able to maximize points. You need to gut some results out. You need to grind some away games and get some points on the road. Every point right now matters. We got Philadelphia next and then who knows how many more games we have? So every game matters and every game's against an Eastern Conference team. I think our identity going forward's going to be to continue to improve every game, be a tight-knit group, work for each other, try to be better on the counter, a lot of things."
On registering a brace against former teammate and Chicago Fire FC goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth:
Bunbury: "Bobby's a close friend of mine. I don't really look into it that much. We were chatting before the game. It's bittersweet kind of moment for me. He's my boy and I want to score. Obviously he doesn't want me to score. It's a weird feeling but for me it's about getting a win. Bobby's a great guy, great player. He just came off back-to-back shutouts, so I'm really proud with how he's been playing. But, more importantly, I'm really happy about the way we played tonight. We were able to get three points. That's huge."
Revolution Midfielder Tommy McNamara
On the difference between tonight and Wednesday night:
McNamara: "I think the biggest difference was we were ready to compete, all 11 guys, from the first minute and sacrifice ourselves for the team. Neither team did we play all that great but both games we were able to create a couple chances and tonight we were able to take them. But the biggest difference I think was that all 11 guys plus the subs who came in were ready to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the team and that's why we got the result tonight because we fought for it and we ended up outfighting the other team."
On his role and ability as a passer in New England:
McNamara: "It has been a great transition and I'm really happy to be here. The guys are great, the staff is great, everybody that's working in and around the club too. I've only been here for a short time so I'm still trying to get myself in the team and get comfortable with what we're trying to do and what other guys on the field are trying to do. I enjoyed the role I played today, I certainly thought I could do better and I think everybody on the field thinks they could do better with the ball and have a little more quality. But I think it suits me well and I think the team suits me well so I'm very happy to be here."
On the assist on Bunbury's first goal:
McNamara: "It was a great flick from Adam. Nobody really speaks about that but that was what set up the goal. He beat his man in the air and laid the ball off to me. The ball came down, I took a touch, and it was in between my feet and I knew I could take another touch and shoot but I saw Teal [Bunbury] coming on the back side and I thought that it would've been a little bit more of a better opportunity to play the ball off to him. I thought that nobody would be expecting it and I might've had to take one more touch to set myself up to shoot so it was a great run from Teal, a great finish, and a great way to start the match really."
On his fitness:
McNamara: "I feel good, I feel fit. I've worked a lot on fitness in the quarantine period before the MLS is Back Tournament, I stayed fit throughout it and after it and then coming up here and doing 10 days of a lot of fitness to be prepared. I feel good, physically and it's up to the coach what he decides to do but I felt good tonight before coming off."
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Major League Soccer Stories from September 6, 2020
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