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Revolution 1, Rapids 0

Victory over Rapids gives Revolution the Major League Soccer record for points in a season

New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner (30) makes a diving save during the first half of Wednesday night's 1-0 win over Colorado at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH – Two years ago, the Revolution were struggling with the worst record in MLS. Now, they can be considered among the best teams in the league’s 26-year history after setting a points record with a 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday night.

Tajon Buchanan broke through a packed defense to score in the 74th minute as the Revolution (22-4-7, 73 points) moved a point ahead of the league mark set by the New York Red Bulls in 2018 and tied the wins record set by Los Angeles FC in 2019.

The result improved the Revolution’s unbeaten streak to 10 with one game remaining, against Inter Miami on Nov. 7.

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The Rapids (15-7-10, 55 points) went with five defenders and the setup, plus some tough tackling (Lalas Abubakar and Diego Rubio were cautioned) and a clogged midfield, mostly stifled the Revolution until late in the game.

Emmanuel Boateng sparked the Revolution attack in the second half, helping set up Buchanan, who went past two defenders on the right side of the penalty area, finishing with a low shot into the far side of the net. Boateng, who replaced Tommy McNamara in midfield, found Adam Buksa on the left of the penalty area, Buksa lofting a cross to Buchanan, who broke a seven-game scoring drought with his eighth goal of the season.

“Kind of remarkable,” Revolution sporting director/head coach Bruce Arena said. “I said that to the team – what a [expletive] show I inherited in May of 2019 [the Revolution had a 2-8-2 record when Arena was hired], to think how far they’ve come is kind of remarkable, it really is. That shows the character of these people, not only the players, but the staff. You come to work every day, it’s a pretty good work environment. I guess they’ve accomplished more than any team in the history of the league, so that’s a heck of a story.”

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Observations from Wednesday’s game:

• Arena has set standards since the league began, capturing the first two MLS Cups with D.C. United, starting in 1996 at Foxboro Stadium. Asked to rate the Revolution, Arena said: “First of all, we haven’t won anything. We won a Supporters’ Shield and I guess the way you’re judged in this league is what you do at the end, and there’s still a lot ahead. I don’t know how you judge this team. I’ve had some really good teams. I tell people all the time, the 1998 D.C. United team I had was the best team I think I’ve coached in this league and we lost in the final that year. Different eras, the league’s better, the game’s different, it’s played at a lot more speed today. I don’t know how to answer the question. This is a good team.”

• The Revolution clinched their first Supporters’ Shield with the league’s best regular-season record last week, and will have home-field advantage in the playoffs, starting in late November. The Revolution improved to 12-1-3 at home, tying the team record for home wins and points (39) set in 2017, and Arena equaled Sigi Schmid’s all-time coaching mark with 240 victories. “I’m still trying to figure out how we’re going to get our team better in November with the layoff and the distance between our last regular-season game and our first playoff game,” Arena said. “It’s really challenging.”

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• Injuries have limited Boateng to 11 games, but he has proven to be a difference-maker off the bench. “I think he gave our team balance in the attack,” Arena said of Boateng. “We needed a bit more balance to stretch them out and he gave us that.”

• Matt Turner made a diving save on Cole Bassett (34th minute) and stopped Michael Barrios’ close-in shot (84th) in recording his fifth shutout of the season and the Revolution improved to 18-2 in one-goal games. “Good to see Matt back in good form,” Arena said. “We needed a clean sheet, really good to see. I think these 3-2 games are getting kind of old, we needed to grind one out.”

• Gustavo Bou provided the Revolution’s best threats for most of the contest, his shots from distance either barely missing or saved by William Yarbrough. On the goal, Bou drew a defender and went down in the penalty area, helping clear space for Buchanan. Bou also set up Buksa for a header that went wide in the 87th minute.

• The Revolution have played two Western Conference teams this season. “I think the games going forward are going to look like that,” Revolution midfielder Matt Polster said. “It’s a playoff environment. Colorado is playing for a position in the West and going into Miami it’s going to look similar, and then the playoffs were what tonight was really about. To grind it out, we know we can do that. I think we’ve lacked it a little bit at times but the mentality to defend was really good.”

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REVOLUTION-COLORADO RAPIDS 1-0

REVOLUTION: Matt Turner; Brandon Bye, Andrew Farrell, Henry Kessler, DeJuan Jones; Tajon Buchanan, Tommy McNamara (Emmanuel Boateng 65th), Matt Polster, Carles Gil (Lucas Maciel 88th); Gustavo Bou (Arnor Traustason 88th), Adam Buksa.

COLORADO: William Yarbrough; Steven Beitashour (Braian Galvan 78th), Lalas Abubakar, Auston Trusty, Drew Moor, Lucas Esteves; Nicolas Mezquida (Mark-Anthony Kaye 58th), Cole Bassett (Dominique Badji 78th), Collen Warner; Andre Shinyashiki (Jonathan Lewis 58th), Diego Rubio (Michael Barrios 69th).

Referee: Victor Rivas. Goal: Buchanan 75th. Attendance: 10,199.


Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at frankdellapa@gmail.com.