MLS Snapshot: New England Revolution 0-0 Columbus Crew SC

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The game in 100 words (or less): Not many teams in MLS are good enough and/or smart enough to slow the New England Revolution down and limit Jay Heaps’ side to just five shots. Given Columbus Crew SC’s ridiculous road trip (Columbus to Vancouver to Boston, in four days’ time), that was always going to be the visitors’ gameplan on Saturday. Despite the season debut of Jermaine Jones — and the absence of their own Wil Trapp — Crew SC earned their point in the heart of midfield by pushing Lee Nguyen out wide every time he touched the ball and clogging up any and all passing lanes to Juan Agudelo.

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Three moments that mattered

8′ — Farrell with the key block on Finlay’s shot — It’s hard to tell exactly where this ball was headed as it came off the foot of Ethan Finlay, but it sure looks destined to sneak inside the far post of Bobby Shuttleworth’s goal, all the way up until Andrew Farrell slides in the way and makes the key block.

36′ — Clark gets acrobatic to save Nguyen’s shot — Agudelo’s hold-up play through traffic brought Nguyen into the attack, thanks to a nifty through ball that split Michael Parkhurst and Tony Tchani. Nguyen’s shot was an ambitious one, as few ‘keepers in MLS possess the reflexes of Steve Clark.

65′ — Clark spills, reclaims Nguyen’s free kick — The 0-0 scoreline nearly got away from Crew SC midway through the second half, as Nguyen’s free kick dipped quickly and bounced right in front of Clark, who initially spilled the ball sideways into the path of three onrushing Revs attackers, but reclaimed quickly.

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Man of the match: Gregg Berhalter — Not a single player in this game stood out head and shoulders above the rest, so the Crew SC manager gets all the credit for managing his roster so well with the Wednesday-Saturday back-to-back and taking a pair of points from two of the league’s most explosive squads.

LINEUPS

New England Revolution: Shuttleworth, Alston, Goncalves, Farrell, Barnes, Caldwell, Jones (Dorman 46′), Rowe (Davies 59′), Nguyen, Bunbury, Agudelo (Fagundez 77′)

Columbus Crew SC: Clark, Klute (Barson 67′), Pogatetz, Parkhurst, Grana, Tchani, Saeid, Meram, Higuain, Finlay (Steindorsson 74′), Kamara (Schoenfeld 84′)