By Tiffany Williams –
At Gillette Stadium Saturday night the New England Revolution defeated Inter Miami CF 2-0, with homegrown Player Damian Rivera scoring in the first minute of his first MLS start. Adam Buksa tallied his third goal in as many games. Goalkeeper Matt Turner returned from injury to make his first start of 2022, saving all three shots he faced to secure his 22nd career clean sheet.
In the opening minute, Matt Polster intercepted an errant Miami pass and found Carles Gil at the top of the box, who served the ball to Rivera. The 19-year-old midfielder and Cranston, R.I. native notched his first MLS goal with a left-footed shot past Miami goalkeeper Nick Marsman to put New England ahead early.
Rivera’s goal in the first minute of the contest was the fastest goal for New England since September 17, 2016 (Kei Kamara – 1st minute). Rivera is the third player to score in the first minute of his first career MLS start. The last to do so was Matias Mantilla for Real Salt Lake in August 2007.
Buksa extended New England’s lead in the 63rd minute, heading in DeJuan Jones’ cross. Buksa has now scored in three consecutive MLS games for the first time in his career.
The Revolution have now won two in a row at home as they improve to 3-2-0 in Foxborough.
During the post game press conference Revolution Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena was asked about Damian Rivera’s performance and his first MLS start, and he said “Well, it’s just getting better. It’s his third year with us and we saw improvements this year in preseason. He’s played well with the second team and last week in D.C. I thought he gave us a good 30 minutes and he continues to make progress. We’ve got to pick the right times to give these young players an opportunity and [Rivera’s] only, I don’t even know his age, 20 years old? 19? You know, so I think it’s important that you don’t put him in at the wrong time and damage your confidence. So, the timing has to be right. It’s never perfect trying to figure that out. But I think he’s been brought along in a manner where he can step on the field, especially in the home game and try to produce, and he certainly did tonight.”
Damian Rivera during the post game press conference was asked about staying focused after scoring in the first minute and he said, “Yeah in the first minute I scored the goal. [I was] obviously very excited, but after [we] celebrated I thought, ‘we have to keep working and we have to continue to press a team.’ And I think we did well.”
When asked about his family attending the game, Rivera said “Yeah, a bunch of family. Bunch of friends here, actually. I think tonight was Bayside [United FC] night as well. To score a goal tonight was, you know, very, very – I was very happy. I couldn’t describe the feeling of when I scored a goal.”
The Revolution remain in Foxborough for another home match next Saturday, May 7 vs. Columbus Crew at Gillette Stadium.