Revs Keep Rolling, Down DC
The New England Revolution secured a vital 3 points at home as they defeated DC United 1-0 last night in Foxboro.
It was the third game in eight days for the Revs, who are coming off a midweek SuperLiga semi-final appearance on Wednesday night, in which many of Steve Nicol’s starters for last nights game were forced to the play the full 90 minutes, due to the myriad of injuries in the New England locker room.
With new signings Betu Linck and Ilija Stolica available, Steve Nicol chose to stick with the core group of starters from Wednesday. Kevin Allston and Marko Perovic both sat out due to injury, while Seth Sinovic and Joseph Niouky, sat on the bench, along with back up goalkeepers, Tim Murray and Bobby Shuttleworth.
Matt Reis put in another man of the match performance as he recorded his 58th career shutout with a season high six saves. However, it was Pat Phelan who was the ultimate hero. Phelan, who did not start Wednesday but got the nod last night, flicked on a perfect free kick from Chris Tierney to score the only goal of the game, and the first in his MLS career.
DC looked to bet the better side from the kickoff, with Andy Najar providing speed and quality down the right side. Designated Player Branko Boskovic also combined well with Chris Pontius, Stephen King, and Pablo Hernandez, and dictated the flow of play for the majority of the first half.
Both Matt Reis and rookie DC keeper Bill Hamid saw little to threaten them until the 12th minute, when Pablo Hernandez got onto the end of a cross from Santino Quaranta but Reis was well positioned to catch the well directed header.
DC did well to keep New England off the ball for the majority of the half by applying pressure in the midfield, and the Revs’ struggled to capitalize on the few chances they had. Cory Gibbs did well to head in a corner kick from Mansally in the 28th minute, but his effort went over the bar. Zack Schilawski tried a long range shot in the 39th that just missed the far post.
However, in the 42nd minute the Revs were awarded a free kick on a foul on Phelan himself that would set up the only goal of the game. Chris Tierney delivered a swooping cross that Phelan ran onto, and directed the ball back across his body to the opposite corner. Hamid could just barely get his outstretched hand on the ball, but not enough to stop it from going in, and the first half would end with the score 1-0 in favor of the home team.
The second half saw renewed energy from DC as the visitors continued to dominate the midfield. They nearly equalized in the 56th minute when Hernandez found himself one on one with Matt Reis thanks to some expert ball movement and navigation from DC’s DP Boskovic. Hernandez was well met by Matt Reis however who came off his line and blocked his attempt with a sliding kick save.
DC continued to apply pressure however, seeing efforts from Stephen King and former Revs player Adam Cristman threaten the Revs goal, but just missing.
The Revs nearly scored an insurance goal from Mansally in the final minutes, but his effort missed the corner by what seemed like just a few inches. New England did well to hold off the visitors in the final stretch, and secured the three points in a game that was truly never fully over until the final whistle blew.
The Revolution have not lost a game since their humiliating 5-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake last month, and are now undefeated in their last seven games in all competitions. The win gives New England little breathing room from the bottom of the standings however, with 18 points having won only five league games and tied three.
The victory last night sets up an important stretch of the season for the Revolution, who only have 13 league games left, as well as the 2010 SuperLiga final. However 9 of those games are all against teams that are currently struggling and fighting for a playoff spot, such as Seattle and Colorado, both of whom are looking to secure their spots in the final 8.
NE – Pat Phelan (Chris Tierney) 42
New England Revolution: Matt Reis (GK), Emmanuel Osei, Darrius Barnes, Cory Gibbs, Chris Tierney, Sainey Nyassi, Shalrie Joseph ©, Pat Phelan, Khano Smith (Roberto Linck 80), Zack Schilawski (Ilija Stolica 73), Kenny Mansally
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Tim Murray, Joseph Niouky, Seth Sinovic
STATS: Shots: 10; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 6; Corner Kicks: 1; Offside: 4; Fouls Committed: 18
D.C. United: Bill Hamid (GK), Devon McTavish, Julius James, Carey Talley ©, Marc Burch, Andy Najar, Stephen King, Branko Boskovic (Adam Cristman 69), Santino Quaranta, Chris Pontius, Pablo Hernandez
Substitutes Not Used: Troy Perkins (GK), Kurt Morsink, Danny Allsopp, Jed Zayner, Barry Rice, Jaime Moreno
STATS: Shots: 13; Shots on Goal: 6; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 1; Offside: 0; Fouls Committed: 21
NE – Cory Gibbs (caution) 30
D.C. – Pablo Hernandez (caution) 70
D.C. – Carey Talley (caution) 89
Referee: Terry Vaughn
Referee’s Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry, Peter Balciunas
Fourth Official: Peter Balciunas
Weather: Clear and 77 degrees