The Revolution had slowed down this season, barely crawling to round one.
The Chicago Fire came to Gillette Stadium in 2nd place in the East, one up on New England.
New England was top of the conference mid-season, but they didn't win a game in their last 5 games, getting only 1 point total. They dropped behind Columbus and Chicago, losing their chance to have home advantage in game two of the two game series.
Now they stumble into the playoffs without leading goal scorers Twellman or Ralston. The playoffs looked bleak as they played the offensive power Chicago. With these players out, New England was now playing a 4-4-2 lineup instead of their regular 3-5-2.
The game started well, with New England keep possession most of the game. The Revs had more free kicks than you would think possible, but nothing was going in as the Chicago goalie shined. Shalrie Joseph was the MVP of the game, making big plays on both sides of the field including some solid shots.
Meanwhile, the New England defense shut down Blanco and the Fire's front. Matt Reis barely got any shots on net, but the ones he got he saved.
The game ended in a 0-0 tie, and the teams will wait until they get to go head-to-head again in Chicago. This second game will decide who goes on to the semi-finals. Both teams were aggressive and showed signs that this truly is a rivalry. In game 2, watch out for more of the same from the clubs.
New England came out and showed that even with this injured stricken squad, they can still put out solid games. The Fire faithful will have something to say about who will move on, but don't be surprised if New England pulls out a close, 1-0 brawl.