United salvages a point against undiscplined Revolution; remain top of the East

Foxborough, Massachusetts, May 23, 2015 – Jairo Arrieta’s 80th minute goal salvaged a precious point for D.C. United in their topsy-turvy 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution tonight.

New England (5-3-5, 20 points) had two men sent off within minutes of each other early in the second half but the Black-and-Red could only muster that lone goal despite parking their team in the Rev’s half of the field for the remaining 30 minutes after Chris Tierney and Lee Nguyen were sent off in the 52nd and 58th minutes respectively. Tierney was shown a straight red for a studs up swipe on the shin bone of Chris Pontius. Six minutes later Lee Nguyen saw a second yellow card for a nasty elbow to Davy Arnaud. Don’t be surprised if Nguyen is suspended additional games for the intentional elbow.

United (6-2-4, 22 points) had it all to do with the two-man advantage but first had to overturn their 1-0 deficit courtesy of Charlie Davies first half stoppage-time goal to stake the home side to a deserved 1-0 lead. The Revolution dominated United in the first forty-five minutes before the Davies tap-in after a spectacular save from Bill Hamid on a Juan Agudelo header from a corner kick. United’s defense were slow in reacting to Davies, the former United man who scored 11 goals for the team in 2011.

United offered very little going forward in the first half as head coach Ben Olsen once again made numerous changes to his lineup as the team was playing their 5th match in 21 days. As was the case this past Sunday night in Philadelphia, United were lethargic and disconnected in the final third of the field. Add in the numerous injuries that have cropped up over the past few weeks and it was surprising to see them chasing a quality side like New England on their terrible Field Turf surface.

However, all that changed in the second half with the quite frankly boneheaded decision making by the Revolution with the sending offs of two of their top players in Tierney and Nguyen. Forced to scramble to cover for the ejections, Jay Heap’s team had no choice but to batten down the hatches and hope United’s futility in front of goal continued. Up to the point of the second sending off, United had gone 150 minutes without even registering a shot on goal going back to Sunday night.

United did persevere and gained the equalizer thanks once again to some astute substitutions from Olsen. Chris Korb had started at left back mostly to combat the dangerous Teal Bunbury on the the Revs right flank. However, once the home side were down to ten men, the efficiency and dangerous quality of Taylor Kemp’s cultured left foot was the way to go and Olsen made the move. Just a few minutes later he gave a United debut to another left-footer Facundo Coria, acquired just a few days earlier from Argentinos Juniors.

In the 80th minute both of those moves paid off in a big way. Davy Arnaud began the play by scooping a loose ball up out of midfield and quickly shifted it to his left to Coria. Coria then sent Kemp down the left flank and as the former University of Maryland defender approached the bi-line, he squared a pass across the goal mouth where Arrieta easily ghosted in behind Revolution defender Andrew Farrell and tapped the ball in near side for his third goal of the season.

United still had to time to grab the game-winner but their overall quality was lacking in getting that final ball in a game-winning position. This was not surprising consider the number of games they are currently forced to play and also the number of different players and combinations that have taken the field for United over the past three weeks. Up next for United it doesn’t get any easier as they now have to travel 3,000 plus miles to the North West to take on the Portland Timbers on Wednesday night. That match will be shown live on CSN at 10:30pm EST

 

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