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United’s valiant effort falls short in 2-1 loss to New England

It was always going to be a difficult prospect for D.C. United as they were playing their third match in seven days and had to leave three players expected to play at home before boarding their plane to Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts.

New England got goals from Patrick Mullins and Diego Fagundez sandwiched around a Fabian Espindola strike to lead the Revolution to a 2-1 victory at rainy Gillette Stadium this evening in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

The Revolution came into the match having scored 10 goals in their previous two league matches but United did very well to stymie the potent Revs attack. With United leaving Chris Rolfe, Luis Silva and Conor Doyle back in D.C. due to various injuries and illness, head coach Ben Olsen was forced to shuffle his lineup. In came season starting debuts for Alex Caskey and Collin Martin as well as welcoming Eddie Johnson back from a league-imposed one game suspension last weekend.

For the first forty-five minutes at least, the Revolution knew it wasn’t going to be another goalfest. United defended in numbers and countered when the opportunity availed itself but both teams went to the locker room at half scoreless.

In the 55th minute the home side took the lead under a touch of controversy. Diego Fagundez did well to split the United defense in the penalty area before Jeff Parke intervened and knocked the ball away. The ball ricochet off of Fagundez and was just about to be cleared by Chris Korb when he was hip-checked off the ball by Lee Nguyen. The play went uncalled and first-round draft pick from the University of Maryland Patrick Mullins picked up the ball and scored at a narrow angle past Bill Hamid to give the Revs the 1-0 lead. It was the fourth consecutive game that Mullins had scored for the Revolution in as many starts.

Undaunted, United bounced back and leveled the match in the 73rd minute. Substitute Lewis Neal played a ball to the left wing where Cristian Fernandez’ cross found Espindola in the penalty area. The Argentine striker took a touch to settle and drove it straight through the Revs defense and United seemed in business.

Just four minutes later however a defensive lapse by Neal would help provide the game-winning goal for the Revolution. Neal was stripped a bit too easily deep along the left touch line and the ball was immediately sent into the area by Teal Bunbury. The dangerous ball was parried by Hamid but it unfortunately fell right in stride for Fagundez who’s angled strike easily found the net.

More trouble was heaped on United just a few minutes later when Eddie Johnson was shown a straight red card by referee Juan Guzman. Guzman, you will recall, was the referee who failed to give a red card to a Columbus defender after Johnson was taken down from behind while on a breakaway towards goal on April 19th. Guzman showed no hesitation to card Johnson after Johnson was fouled by Kelyn Rowe. Johnson appeared to kick out at Rowe while he was on the ground.

Even playing a man down, United very nearly leveled the match in the 89th minute when Cristian’s diving header was swept off the line by a Revolution defender on the post for the corner kick. That was all that United had left on the evening and now they must turn their attention towards their match next Saturday night against Sporting Kansas City at RFK Stadium. The match is at 7pm EST and will be televised on Comcast SportsNet.

United vs Revolution: United overwhelmed in 2-1 loss in New England

For the second time this season the New England Revolution turn around a 1-0 halftime deficit into a 2-1 win over D.C. United tonight at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA

Lee Nguyen’s second-half penalty kick conversion was the difference on a night when the Black-and-Red were on the back foot for nearly the entire ninety minutes.  United could not string any passes together and were under heavy pressure from the Revolution who are in the hunt for one of the final playoff positions in the Eastern Conference. United did however jump out to a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute against the run of play when Luis Silva’s hopeful through ball was redirected into the goal by Revolution midfielder Scott Caldwell. Silva was attempting to thread the ball through a number of Revolution players to the onrushing John Thorrington but Caldwell took care of any finishing that might have required on the play.

The Revs continued to pour at United’s goal but Bill Hamid kept the home side at bay with a few routine saves as the teams went to the locker room. United offered very little cohesion in the first forty-five minutes and things did not improve in the second half either.

After the break it was more of the same and it didn’t help matters that United were just starting to fall on the wrong side of some dodgy calls from the game officials. United were whistled for a penalty when Dejan Jakovic seemed to make a routine tackle on Kelyn Rowe in the penalty area. The head referee felt differently and pointed to the spot. Nguyen stepped up and hit his shot to Hamid’s right only to see United’s burly goalkeeper make the save.

Just seconds later a United turnover gave the Revs their equalizer. However, once again the officials got it wrong as midfielder Diego Fagundez was clearly offside when he received a through ball but the diminutive midfielder put it past Hamid for his team-leading 11th goal of the season.

United had still failed to register a shot on goal deep into the second half when they almost fashioned the game-winner in the 82nd minute. Nick DeLeon and Conor Doyle combined to overwhelm Revolution defender A.J. Soares and DeLeon’s header sent Doyle in on goal. With Jose Goncalves and goalkeeper Matt Reis converging on Doyle, the Derby County on-loan striker managed to lift the ball over Reis. Reis quickly turned around sprinted for the goal line and palmed the ball away just inches before it crossed the line.

Just a minute later a poor decision by substitute Lewis Neal gifted the Revolution their second penalty kick when he dove in and clearly took down Nguyen. Nguyen waived off attempts by Fagundez and Rowe to take the second spot kick and the Revolution captain didn’t miss a second time when he calmly chipped to Hamid’s left as United’s goalkeeper dove again to his right.

United now has hit the 20-loss mark (3-20-6  15 points) on the season and are still win less on the road with an abysmal 0-12-3 record. For weeks now head coach Ben Olsen has made mention of his team building towards the Open Cup final on October 1st in Sandy, Utah against Real Salt Lake. Well, if their performance tonight and in recent weeks is any indication, United will be in for a long night in the Open Cup final.

United will now turn their attention to road match in Toronto next weekend where it is expected that Olsen will rest most, if not all of his expecting lineup ahead of the final in Utah just three days after this match. With United staring at the history books for season-long futility, I don’t expect much next weekend, even against a just as terrible TFC squad.

United vs New England: United’s quick start fades to 2-1 loss to Revolution

Getting out to a lead has been one of many puzzling issues for D.C. United this season. United took the lead in the 8th minute against the visiting New England Revolution but faded as the match wore on and the Revs took home a come-from-behind 2-1 win tonight at RFK Stadium.

Luis Silva’s second goal in as many games as a United player gave the home side a shock lead.  In a definite sign of United’s offensive futility this season, Silva’s goal ties him with Dwayne De Rosario and Lionard Pajoy as United’s leading scorers this season. United continued to put the visitors under pressure and nearly doubled their lead on a few chances inside the first twenty minutes. The Revolution however settled into the match after that and their ball control seemed to unlock United and forced them to put numbers behind the ball.

As the second half wore on the Revolution’s continued dominance of ball possession led to the game-tying goal in the 54th minute when Chris Tierney’s cross eluded multiple United defenders deep in the six-yard box and Dimitry Imbongo ghosted in ahead of United defender Taylor Kemp to poke the ball into the goal.

Just nine minutes later the Revs would get the game-winner thanks to a great individual effort and quick thinking. Saer Sene received the ball on the right side of the penalty area and deeked inside to unleash a left-footed curling shot past goalkeeper Joe Willis only to have the crossbar and the left goal post deny the bid. However, the only player who reacted to the missed shot was Diego Fagundez who easily slipped by James Riley to head the bouncing ball into the net.

United should have leveled the match late when Dwayne De Rosario slipped a pass to Lionard Pajoy but his shot was quickly smothered by Revs goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth and United were out of answers once again.

United will now welcome the Montreal Impact to RFK Stadium next Saturday evening at 7pm.

United Notes

  • Perry Kitchen missed his first game since late in the 2011 season. Kitchen was injured in practice on Saturday, snapping a 51-game streak
  • Chris Pontius, Casey Townsend and Carlos Ruiz were all left off the 18-man roster
  • Conor Doyle and Jared Jeffrey made their United debuts with starts tonight
  • Silver Spring, Maryland native Kevin Alston made his first appearance for the Revs since March 30th when he was diagnosed with Leukemia