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In-synch Revolution beat Sounders

The Revolution’s Lee Nguyen celebrated his goal on a penalty kick during the first half.Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH — The Revolution needed nearly three months to get into victory mode. But now the team seems to have figured out ways to win, thanks to the late-game scoring of Femi Hollinger-Janzen, whose 80th-minute goal gave the Revolution a 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

Hollinger-Janzen, in his first professional season, scored for the second time in three games, the Revolution winning both times.

“I just think, in his mind, he’s thinking I can score at any moment, because he’s a goal scorer,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “Guys are keying on other guys and he’s able to come in and think to score.”


The Revolution fell behind to a seventh-minute Aaron Kovar goal, then tied the score after a controversial penalty call, Lee Nguyen converting in the 24th minute.

Hollinger-Janzen finished off a Nguyen setup, three minutes after replacing Kelyn Rowe, earning a loud greeting from the crowd of 21,456. Hollinger-Janzen converted his first goal of the season in the 84th minute of a 2-0 victory over Chicago May 14.

Nguyen, captaining the team after being dropped from the US roster for next month’s Copa America Centenario, assisted on the goal, advancing into the penalty area, then touching back. Hollinger-Janzen fell to a knee just outside the penalty area but quickly recovered, took a touch, and sent a low shot to Stefan Frei’s left.

“I didn’t actually see it go in,” Hollinger-Janzen said. “I saw guys cheering and knew it went in. I saw the space in front of me, the goal in front of me, so I just hit it. I just got up and saw a little space and just hit it.”

Though the Revolution (3-4-7, 16 points) are within 3 points of the Eastern Conference lead, they have underachieved most of the season. This has been the Revolution’s longest wait to their third victory. In 2004, the Revolution gained their third win in the 13th match.


The combination of a revamped back line and a tweaked midfield, with timely second-half substitutions, paid off for the Revolution against a Sounders (4-7-1, 13 points) team missing former Revolution Clint Dempsey, playing for the US national team, plus center back Brad Evans, who departed in the 41st minute.

Jose Goncalves paired with London Woodberry in central defense, combining to neutralize Sounder strikers Herculez Gomez and Jordan Morris. Andrew Farrell became the fourth Revolution player to start at right back, replacing Je-Vaughn Watson, who played for Jamaica in Chile Friday night. Rowe and Diego Fagundez helped stabilize the midfield with Gershon Koffie (leg) unavailable. And Teal Bunbury and Hollinger-Janzen energized the attack in the late-going.

Kovar scored his first MLS goal, collecting Bobby Shuttleworth’s clearance off a Joevin Jones cross, touching past Chris Tierney, and finishing past Shuttleworth.

Farrell, starting at right back for the first time since 2014, helped set up the tying goal with a low cross from the right side of the penalty area, Zach Scott’s clearance hitting Erik Friberg, referee Fotis Bazakos awarding a penalty kick. Nguyen finished the penalty kick just inside the right post, breaking Shalrie Joseph’s team record with his 13th career penalty kick.

Evans was replaced by Tony Alfaro, making his MLS debut, after being hit in the face by a Kei Kamara left-foot half-volley in the 41st minute.


Kamara remained scoreless in three games since joining the Revolution in a trade with the Columbus Crew.

“Kei’s giving us everything we want,” Heaps said. “He’s working hard, he did a lot of pressing, he was the key to our game plan, in terms of that. He’s been unlucky, he’s been close. He’s been a little more creative than we thought.

“Teams know, they’re marking him. Since we‘ve gotten him, we’ve got two goals every game and maybe he’s not the benefactor but at the same time we’re creating a lot of opportunities around him.”

The Revolution were on the verge of breaking the deadlock several times in second half. Nguyen set up a chance, stripping Osvaldo Alonso just outside the penalty area to set up a Kamara cross in the 63d minute. Three minutes later, Bunbury volleyed wide after Kamara headed on.

But the Revolution struggled to finish until Hollinger-Janzen’s shot.

“I was so excited he was able to get in there and do what we see every day,” Heaps said. “He brings so much energy.”

“He’s a goal scorer and when he gets the opportunity — we felt like Teal came in an added a great spark and as the half went on, we wanted one more level of spark. And I really thought Femi brought it.”

Summary: Revolution 2, Sounders 1