Juan Agudelo strengthened the New England Revolution's playoff hopes in a big way with a creative backheel shot in a victory over the Chicago Fire on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, 2-0.
In the 54th minute, the Colombian striker, who will join Stoke City in the English Premier League in January, accepted a length-of-the-field pass from Chris Tierney in the center of the box, sending it flying above keeper Sean Johnson to put New England on the scoreboard. An acrobatic leap from defender Bacary Soumare failed to prevent the ball from crossing the goal line. Soumare would later receive a red card in the final moments of the match.
It was Agudelo's sixth goal of the season and the first in eight games after being sidelined with a right knee strain. The dazzling strike is expected to garner consideration for goal of the year in MLS.
Agudelo's goal snapped a scoreless streak of 261 minutes by New England. The win put New England within three points of Houston for the last playoff spot in the East.