Both MLS teams will have to make up deficits in the home legs
of their CONCACAF Champions' League preliminary series after losing on the road Tuesday night. New England fell, 2-1, to Joe Public FC in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, and Chivas USA lost, 2-0, in
Panama to Tauro FC. The second legs will be played next Tuesday at Gillette Stadium and Home Depot Center, respectively.
In neither case is the opposition daunting, yet both MLS teams
were hard-pressed to convert opportunities during the periods they controlled play.
The Revs, playing on a FieldTurf surface similar to their home turf at Gillette, battled back in the
second half after being outhustled and outshot, 11-2, in the first 45 minutes. Reon Nelson
fluffed two chances to open the scoring in the first half, during which Revs captain
suffered back spasms and had to be replaced. A well-struck free kick by Jeff Larentowicz
forced a good save from Joe Public keeper Alejandro
Joe Public pressed again at the outset of the second half and scored in the 51st minute when Kerry Baptiste
got free down the right and centered a ball
that Nelson guided into the net past goalie Doug Warren
. Eighteen minutes later, again Baptiste rolled down the right flank and Jamal Gay
, who had replaced Nelson
moments earlier, tucked away a shot with his first touch of the match.
Wasted possessions and poor touches had plagued New England since the opening kickoff, yet trailing two goals, the
Revs persisted and in the 76th minute, a Taylor Twellman
through ball and run from Shalrie Joseph
yielded a foul by Carlyle Mitchell
converted the penalty kick.
Sub Joe Germanese
came on in the 80th minute and from the right flank led a few spirited charges that Joe
Public fended off to preserve its 2-1 win. TAURO TRIUMPHANT.
Heavy rains prevented Chivas USA from training the day before its match at Rod Carew Stadium, located just
outside Panama City and named for the former major league infielder and hitter extraordinaire.
Had baseball been the game of choice, it might have been postponed. A chewed-up, soft, and
uneven surface hampered Chivas USA's passing game, yet it finished the match two goals down because of its own ineptitude after falling behind early.
In the sixth minute, Luis
got free down the left and cut a ball back from the goal line that Edwin Aguilar
steered into the net from close range. Chivas USA pushed into the attack, and
glanced a header wide of the near post from a Sacha Kljestan
Jean Mclean nearly scored from out near the touchline midway
through the half but his looping shot/cross clanged off the crossbar, and Escobar hit the same frame with a free kick a few minutes later. Harris then squandered a great chance when Kljestan's through
ball matched him one-v-one with goalie Willington Dominguez, who charged out to block Harris' tame effort with his chest.
Aguilar doubled Tauro's lead in the 65th minute
when he dribbled up the left side and then veered inside past hobbling defender Shavar Thomas to lift a lazy chip over keeper Zach Thornton.
Free kicks from
Alecko Eskandarian and Paulo Nagamura in the final minutes failed to beat the defensive wall and Chivas USA headed home hopeful its scoring touch returns in time for
a home date with Toronto in league play Saturday as well as the second leg against Tauro. It has scored just one goal in three games since tying the Galaxy, 2-2, on Aug. 14.
Canadian representative Montreal Impact opens its preliminary series against Real Esteli FC of Nicaragua (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel), and Puerto Rico Islanders of the USL play Costa Rican powerhouse
Alajuelense (10 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).
Aug. 26 in Macoya
Joe Public 2 New England Revolution 1. Goal: Richardson 51, Gay 70; Castro pen. 76.
Public -- Figueroa, Springer, Thomas, Harvey, Mitchell, Wolfe (Noray, 81), Saunders, Dwarika (Andrews, 83), Baptiste, Nelson (Gay, 69), Richardson.
England -- Warren, Tierney, Larentowicz, Parkhurst, Heaps, Castro (Germanese, 80), Joseph, Phelan, Nyassi (Igwe 65), Ralston (Thompson 25), Twellman.
Referee: Courtney Campbell (Jamaica).
Aug. 26 in Panama City
Tauro FC 2 Chivas USA 0.
Goals: Aguilar 5, 67.
Tauro FC -- Dominguez, Moreno, Morelos, Parris (Dasent, 79), Vega, Aguilar, Manotas, Palma, Escobar, Maclean (Avila, 56),
Canales (Amores, 66), Rojas.
Chivas USA - Thornton, Bornstein, Suarez (Curtin, 46), Thomas, Mendoza, Chiles (Vaughn, 62), Nagamura, Paladini
(Eskandarian, 46), Flores, Kljestan, Harris.
Referee: Elmar Rodas (Guatemala).