Revolution II Draws with North Texas SC, 1-1
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - New England Revolution II (5-6-3, 18 pts.) played to a 1-1 draw against North Texas SC on Friday night in their final home match of the 2020 season at Gillette Stadium. Homegrown Player Damian Rivera scored his second goal of the season for New England in the ninth minute. North Texas found the equalizer just four minutes after halftime with a goal by Nicky Hernandez.
Connor Presley had a chance to double the lead for New England eight minutes after Rivera put Revolution II in front, but his shot struck the post. North Texas had a shot hit the post in the 87th minute after Meyer got a piece of an Edwin Munjoma shot.
Revolution II put in a team effort defensively, with midfielder Tiago Mendonca and Rivera leading the way in possessions gained with 14 and nine, respectively. Captain Collin Verfurth put in a team-high six clearances, vaulting him into the league lead in that category with 66 on the season.
New England enters the final week of the regular season with a pair of road matches left on the schedule, beginning Wednesday night with the team's first-ever visit to face South Georgia Tormenta SC in Statesboro, Ga. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in the United States.
New England Revolution II 1, North Texas SC 1
October 16, 2020 - Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
Rivera Nets Second Goal of the Season
- 17-year-old Homegrown Player Damian Rivera scored his second goal of the season, curling home a finish in the ninth minute for the team's earliest goal scored in a game this year.
- Rivera, a native of Cranston, R.I., played 76 minutes, taking two shots on offense and recording nine recoveries defensively.
Meyer Sets Career High in Saves
- Goalkeeper Keegan Meyer set a new career high in saves in Friday's draw, making five stops against North Texas to help earn a point for New England.
- Meyer made a pair of saves in the final five minutes, both on shots by Edwin Munjoma, to keep the game tied.
Presley Helps Spark New England's Attack
- Forward Connor Presley set a season high with three shots in Friday's draw, with one on target and another blocked by the defense.
- Presley, who hit the post with a shot in the 17th minute, also had one key pass and five total crosses on the night. He now ranks third in USL League One in crosses this season with 63.
Revolution II Makes One Change to Starting XI
- New England made a single change to the starting lineup from its most recent match, with Jon Bell slotting back into the lineup in place of the injured Orlando Sinclair. Bell reclaimed his center back role, with Tiago Mendonca moving back into his traditional midfield position and Damian Rivera replacing Sinclair at forward.
- Bell, who had played every minute of the season prior to going as an unused substitute last week, played 90 minutes and finished with two interceptions, two clearances, and three recoveries.
Referee: Adam Kilpatrick
Assistant Referees: Amilcar Sicaju (AR1), Sean Lyons (AR2)
Fourth Official: Jeremy Scheer
Weather: 57 degrees and light rain
NE - Damian Rivera (Unassisted) 9'
NTX - Nicky Hernandez (Unassisted) 49'
NTX - Nicky Hernandez (Yellow Card - Bad Foul) 31'
New England Revolution II: Keegan Meyer; Ryan Spaulding, Jon Bell, Collin Verfurth ©, Colby Quinones; Maciel, Tiago Mendonca, Nicolas Firmino; Connor Presley (Isaac Angking 75'), Damian Rivera (Mayele Malango 75'), Justin Rennicks (Isaie Louis 87').
Substitutes Not Used: Matthew Tibbetts, Ryo Shimazaki, Hikaru Fujiwara, Meny Silva.
North Texas SC: Carlos Avilez ©; Derek Waldeck, Nkosi Burgess, Justin Che, Edwin Munjoma; Thomas Roberts (Jose Kevin Bonilla 85'), Dominick Hernandez; Edwin Cerillo (Alisson 85'), Arturo Rodriguez, Gibran Rayo (Ronaldo Damus 65'); Alex Bruce (Beni Redzic 71').
Substitutes Not Used: Luis Zamudio, Philip Ponder.
New England Revolution II Team Statistics North Texas SC
9 (2) Shots (on Target) 14 (6)
1 Blocked Shots 3
5 Saves 1
6 Corner Kicks 7
0 Offsides 2
13 Fouls 14
414 (79.5%) Passes Attempted (% Completed) 435 (79.1%)
49.0% Possession 51.0%
POSTGAME QUOTES: New England Revolution II 1 vs. North Texas SC 1
Revolution II Head Coach Clint Peay
On getting off to a fast start:
Peay: "I thought the guys started well and right. There was a moment where there was a little bit of a fast attack on the counter and [Damian Rivera] is very good at that, sort of, attracting a guy and then pick out the back post and he did a great job with that."
On breaking down North Texas SC's high press:
Peay: "They are committed, they come hard and fast and come with numbers. They make it difficult but I thought are guys did a really good job of breaking their press."
On conceding a goal early in the second half:
Peay: "It's about being focused, especially when you're up a goal you know the other team is going to be pushing. You have to expect in the first five to ten minutes of the second half they're going to push hard to get that goal back. For our group, it's about being focused and concentrated for those initial minutes of the half and making sure that we are a little bit more clean with how we do things, how we defend, and how we take care of the ball."
On the importance defending as a unit:
Peay: "Very important. I thought the group overall did a pretty good job of winning a lot of balls, being able to create chances off picking up and winning balls in the midfield, and pressing [North Texas SC] and forcing them to play a little faster than they wanted to not allow them to dictate tempo. I think that's the most important thing is that [North Texas SC] likes to dictate the tempo of the game and we disrupted that."
On closing out the season strong and extending the five-game unbeaten run:
Peay: "It's very important. The group has been playing well and we want to continue that. We've got to recognize that development continues and people are still going to be watching to see how they're perfoming. We certainly don't want to take our foot off the pedal and make sure that we continue to play well as a group and individual."
Revolution II Forward Damian Rivera
On scoring the opening goal:
Rivera: "Obviously, I got the ball in the midfield and I had a lot of space. My first thought was to maybe pass the ball but I saw a clear angle and I hit, it went in and I was very excited to score here at home and the team was very happy for me."
On breaking down North Texas SC's high press:
Rivera: "At times it was hard getting out of our half because they have some very fast, aggressive guys. I think when we did break their press we had a lot of space, especially out wide and a lot of space in behind. We could've done a little better up top and been a little cleaner, but we'll move on to the next game."
On the importance defending as a unit:
Rivera: "I think we did a pretty good job for the most part defending. We could've been better at times being a little bit more connected but overall it's a big thing we've been working on and I think we did a pretty good job tonight."
On the biggest emphasis for the team in the final week of the regular season:
Rivera: "It wasn't a bad performance from us today, we just have to keep our heads up. We've got two games on the road and we're looking for six points out of those two games."
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United Soccer League One Stories from October 16, 2020
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- Revolution II Draws with North Texas SC, 1-1 - New England Revolution II
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