United stumbles late; lose 2-0 to New England in home opener

Kenny Mansally scored goals in the 80th and 82nd minute to send New England to an improbable victory over D.C. United in the Black and Red’s 2010 MLS home opener. United were “shell shocked” according to head coach Curt Onalfo after the match which saw his team dominate possession throughout the match but also squander many chances to go ahead and put the visiting Revolution on the back foot. “You don’t finish your chances, you don’t win games” said Onalfo in a very quiet media room after the match.

United almost took the lead in the 14th minute when Santino Quaranta’s free kick was well saved by Revolution goalkeeper Preston Burpo. The kick was driven low and hard and only a reaction foot save seen mostly by NHL goalies kept the scoreline at 0-0. Striker Chris Pontius had two golden opportunities to put United ahead but his 36th minute redirect of a Quaranta centering pass was deflected away from danger by defender Emmanuel Osei. Just before halftime Pontius missed his best chance when he headed Brandon Barklage’s driven cross over the bar when a simple touch downward would have opened his scoring account on the season.

As it happens though in almost textbook Steve Nicol coached Revolution fashion, the longer the defensive minded Revolution stay even, the more dangerous they become and that was proven to be true to the detriment of the 20,664 fans in attendance in the 80th minute. United failed to clear a ball from danger and it ended up bounding into the left corner of the field. Revolution midfielder Chris Tierney sent a wicked cross into the box that took a slight deflection off of Kheli Dube and right into the path of Mansally who easily beat Troy Perkins and give the Revolution an undeserved 1-0 lead. With all the air taken out of the stadium from that unlikely goal (the Revolution had just registered their first shot on goal in the 74th minute), Mansally struck again just two minutes later when he curled a beautiful ball over the outstretched fingertips of Perkins and United’s misery was complete.

A thoroughly frustrating night all around for the Black and Red as they now have gone two straight games without threatening goal. Most neutral observers commented before the season that the one thing United would have trouble doing is replacing the firepower that left the team in the form of Luciano Emilio, Christian Gomez and Fred. Well, two matches into the young MLS season and the pundits have been spot on. United will now go to Philadelphia to play the expansion Union in their home opener next Saturday evening at 6pm at Lincoln Financial Field. One dreads to think where the confidence of this team will be if they fail to come back to DC without another goal, much less a point.

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12 replies
  1. John Dyson
    John Dyson says:

    Yep . . . Mike called that one! Five minutes before kickoff, MM looks over at me and my Dad and says, “2-0!” My reply, “New England, right?” “Nope, this one is ours!” The MM curse remains.

  2. mcraun
    mcraun says:

    I knew we were in trouble when the couldn’t find the net in the 1st half. They are missing that last creative touch or pass.

    Yes, it was far better than last week. They even looked damn good for bits and pieces. But if you can’t do it for 90, a team like NE will punish you.

  3. jwgreen40
    jwgreen40 says:

    Are there any more spots left on the “Another Freaking Rebuilding Season” Bus? I think I would like to make a reservation for next Sunday. I’ll cancel that if they manage to pull off something in Philly but my expectations are dwindling by the hour it seems. I’ve never felt this disillusioned about a season this early and I’m a generally really optimistic guy. Maybe I had better avoid sharp objects, firearms, and controlled substances in the immediate future. I feel pretty stupid getting this wound up at only the second game but I just don’t see much to believe in right now. I really don’t wanna become a DCU Atheist (“there is no such thing as DC winning”) although I seem to be headed down that path. I think I’m currently a DCU Agnostic (“there is simply no proof that we can win”). Whatever. I’ll hold on until next week at least. Welcome to the DCU 12 Step Program….One Week at a Time.

  4. frescova
    frescova says:

    I thought they did pretty good; defense was notably better – there was a midfield for a change. Forwards just didn’t do their job all the way; Had Tino’s shot gone in it would have been a drastically different story. It just goes to show that soccer is a 90 minute game – they have to be focused the whole time; 2 minutes did them in, otherwise that match was destined for a draw. Peña and Castillo certainly looked good to me – just a game or two more to get “really” in sync and I think this team will be fine.

    Next week on the road they need to get a result; I won’t panic unless they mount a 5 or 6 game loosing streak…

  5. rke
    rke says:

    We really should be more optimistic* after that game. DC did look “good” for most of the match (unlike KC where the wheels fell off within 10 minutes).

    Pena is generally solid, as promised. Talley looked like he knew his teammates. And Moresink showed less stink.

    Now, about the attack… Is it time to give Allsopp a shot to start? Who goes to bench, Jaime or Pontius?

    And is there *any* chance of another midfield signing within the next couple days?

    *by “more optimistic” I mean more than we were last week, which is still pretty low on the scale.

  6. veritashoo
    veritashoo says:

    Undeniably a better performance than game 1, but if you set the bar low enough you can clear the thing by tripping over it. Still, it was good enough for another week of wait-and-see before I’ll be ready to begin overreacting.

  7. Mike Martin
    Mike Martin says:

    How big is that Philly match now?!

    Philly’s home opener gives them a boost, Nowak will pack it in and frustrate the crap out of DC, then Fred scores a counterattack against the run of play and DC is 0-3 with Chicago up next. Shudder. Hope it doesn’t play out that way of course, but seriously, doesn’t it feel like that’s coming?

    And what’s up with Allsopp? 45 minutes in two games? Nary a start? Does he stink or what? What’s Onalfo doing? Destroying the confidence of two key forwards, while at the same time running Moreno into the ground? Does that sound like good strategy to anyone?

  8. jwgreen40
    jwgreen40 says:

    As for Allsop, Goff’s post match report said that he was slated to go in against NE but knocks on other players necessitated different subs. Actually, it sounded like all 3 subs were due to knocks so maybe things would have been different if we couldn’t have completed the game plan. Upon more rational reflection I agree with others that there is no need to jump ship yet but when we hit that 5-6 game skid I’ll be looking for the lifeboats.

  9. FROM . . . the University of Virginia
    FROM . . . the University of Virginia says:

    We’re the Red Bulls: we won’t be good until we get a new stadium. It seems that Chang doesn’t want to pour any money into this team (as you will be able to see when the salaries come out), and who’s going to blame him? Without stadium ownership, he’s destined to lose money each year.

    And my goodness: get Wallace off the pitch! He has no skill, only pace.

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  1. […] vs New England Revolution image gallery. You can also read Chris Webb’s match report, “United stumbles late; lose 2-0 to New England in home opener” on […]

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