New England Revolution vs. DC United | MLS Match Preview

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs D.C. UNITED
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
Sept. 21, 2013 (WEEK 30, MLS Game #274)
7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE)

The New England Revolution and D.C. United will meet for the third time this season when the long-time Eastern Conference foes face off at Gillette Stadium on Saturday evening. The Revolution are looking to put the brakes on a two-game losing slide, coming off a 3-2 loss at the Chicago Fire that left them two points out of the playoff positions for now. United had their winless run extended to six games last time out, coming back for a late 2-2 home draw with the LA Galaxy.

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REFEREE: Jose Carlos Rivero. AR1 (bench): Peter Manikowski; AR2 (opposite): James Conlee; 4th: Armando Villarreal
MLS Career: 18 games; FC/gm: 26.8; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 4; pens: 7

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NE: Lee Nguyen, Dimitry Imbongo, Kelyn Rowe … DC: John Thorrington
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Juan Toja, Andrew Farrell … DC: Perry Kitchen, Chris Korb, Daniel Woolard, Kyle Porter, Dennis Iapichino, Luis Silva
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (61 meetings): United 28 wins (4 shootout), 87 goals … Revolution 24 wins (3 shootout), 78 goals … Ties 9
AT NEW ENGLAND (30 meetings): Revolution 15 wins (2 shootout), 35 goals … United 10 wins (2 shootout), 31 goals … Ties 5

2013 (MLS)
6/8: NE 0, DC 0
7/27: DC 1, NE 2 (Silva 8 – Imbongo 54; Fagundez 63)

• The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Dimitry Imbongo and Diego Fagundez scored in the second half to lead the Revolution to a 2-1 come-from-behind win July 27 at RFK Stadium; the teams reached a scoreless draw June 8 at Gillette Stadium.

• The Revolution win in the last meeting snapped a four-game winless streak vs. United. United’s win April 14, 2012 at Gillette Stadium was their first victory in Foxborough since 2007, and snapped a five-game winless streak there.

• The teams also met in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal, United getting goals from Dwayne De Rosario, Lionard Pajoy and Chris Pontius for a 3-1 win on June 26.

• Coaches record: Ben Olsen v NE: P8 W3 L4 D1 … Jay Heaps vs. DC: P5 W1 L3 D1

LAST MEETING (MLS)

• United took the lead in the eighth minute. United midfielder John Thorrington played a quick ball to Luis Silva some 25 yards out from goal. He quickly turned blasted a dipping shot under the outstretched arms of a diving Bobby Shuttleworth in the Revolution goal.

Highlights: DC 1, NE 2

• New England leveled the score in the 54th minute when a cross by Chris Tierney found its way through a host of bodies and landed at the feet of Dimitry Imbongo, who tapped it home off a defender and past United goalkeeper Joe Willis.

• Nine minutes later, the Revolution took the lead. Revs forward Saer Sene blistered a shot toward the upper 90 which beat Willis, bounced off the crossbar, then off the far post and landed directly in front of goal where Diego Fagundez headed home the rebound into an empty net.

• D.C. UNITED (4-4-1-1): Joe Willis - James Riley, Daniel Woolard, Dejan Jakovic, Taylor Kemp - Nick DeLeon, Jared Jeffrey (Lionard Pajoy 79), John Thorrington, Kyle Porter (Sainey Nyassi 59) - Luis Silva - Conor Doyle (Dwayne De Rosario 66).

• NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Andrew Farrell, Stephen McCarthy, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney - Clyde Simms (Scott Caldwell 46) - Saer Sene, Kelyn Rowe, Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez (Chad Barrett 70) - Dimitry Imbongo (Kevin Alston 84).

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

The New England Revolution lost their second game on the trot, the Chicago Fire coming back for a 3-2 win on Saturday evening at Toyota Park. The Revolution are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 37 points from 28 matches.

LAST MATCH

• The Revolution took the lead in the ninth minute when Kelyn Rowe hit a looping shot from 25 yards that found its way over Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson and into the back of the net.

• The Fire were level on the half-hour as Joel Lindpere found Juan Luis Anangonó at the edge of the penalty area, and his low shot beat goalkeper Bobby Shuttlesworth.

Highlights: CHI 3, NE 2

• The visitors again took the lead just before the halftime break when Dimitry Imbongo found Saer Sene with a through pass on the left side of the box, and he beat Johnson with a left-footed shot.

• But the Fire again pulled even 10 minutes after the restart when Patrick Nyarko found Mike Magee at the right side of the penalty area on a give-and-go -- helped by a shielding dummy from Anangonó -- and Magee slotted home from close range.

• The game-winner came four minutes from the end. A Chicago corner kick was half-cleared by New England, and Alex collected at the top of the Revs box before stroking a low shot through a crowd of bodies and into the lower corner of the goal.

• Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made three changes to the team that fell 4-2 to the Montréal Impact at Gillette Stadium. Bobby Shuttleworth came in between the posts for the suspended Matt Reis, Stephen McCarthy started in the back in place of A.J. Soares, and Saer Sene came in for Chad Barrett.

• NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Andrew Farrell, Stephen McCarthy, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney - Scott Caldwell (Charlie Davies 89) - Saer Sene (Chad Barrett 56), Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez - Dimitry Imbongo (Juan Agudelo 71).

TEAM NEWS

• The Revolution saw their winless streak reach three games, their longest of the season since going five games without a win from March 16-April 20. They have dropped back-to-back games on three occasions this season.

• The Revs have also conceded seven goals over the last two matches, the most goals they’ve allowed in back-to-back games this season.

• “It's a difficult match for us because we had the lead twice and we let it go,” Heaps said. “We're not really a happy group because we didn't finish – or play well – once we got the lead or once we were at 2-2 at the end of the game. We have to be smarter on the last goal.”

• Kelyn Rowe scored his seventh goal of the season and his fifth over the last five matches.

• “Scoring two goals on the road is always a good thing. I don’t think it was good enough, the whole team, it wasn’t one guy, it wasn’t a couple guys, whole team wasn’t good enough. You can throw a lot of things in there,” Rowe said. “Obviously some crazy plays but we have to do better to hold onto the game, 2-2 on the road isn’t a bad result. Obviously we’d like to win it. We needed to get a point out of this one.”

• Saer Sene made his first start since Aug. 10, and scored a goal – his first since July 13 – while also adding an assist for a second consecutive match.

• “We wanted to get Saer scoring goals like he used to.  He added a little bit of a spark for us there with the goal,” said Heaps.

• With Matt Reis suspended following his early expulsion against Montréal, Bobby Shuttleworth made his first MLS start since Aug. 10, when he was between the posts for a 3-0 defeat by Sporting Kansas City, then the second of back-to-back losses.

• “It’s tough to take because we really needed those points but we have to move forward,” said defender Stephen McCarthy. “Looking back it turned into a shootout there at the end, going both ways. We need to be smarter and get guys behind the ball. Second half was not our best stuff.”

D.C. UNITED

D.C. United saw their winless streak reach six games, but still came back for a result, reaching a late 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy on Saturday afternoon at RFK Stadium. United are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 15 points from 28 matches.

LAST MATCH

• The Galaxy had the lead after just seven minutes. Landon Donovan fed Robbie Keane with a clever back-heel pass in the penalty area, and his shot wrong-footed United goalkeeper Bill Hamid from close range.

Highlights: DC 2, LA 2

• But in the 39th minute, United leveled the match. After Omar Gonzalez mis-controlled a long ball, Chris Pontius stripped the Galaxy defender and sidestepped goalkeeper Jaime Penedo before chipping in to an empty goal.

• The Galaxy appeared to have hit the winner in the 81st minute when Michael Stephens hit home with a perfectly-placed shot on a set-up by Galaxy captain Robbie Keane, skimming a low shot from the edge of the area inside the right post.

• Yet United netted the equalizer in the 84th minute, when a cross came in from Perry Kitchen and substitute Kyle Porter headed home from the heart of the area.

• United head coach Ben Olsen made four changes to the team that suffered a 1-0 defeat to Chivas USA at StubHub Center. Dejan Jakovic and James Riley came into the back four for Daniel Woolard and Dennis Iapichino, and Chris Pontius and Dwayne De Rosario started in place of Collin Martin and Conor Doyle.

• D.C. UNITED (4-2-3-1): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Ethan White, Dejan Jakovic, James Riley - Lewis Neal, Perry Kitchen - Nick DeLeon, Luis Silva (Conor Doyle 69), Chris Pontius (Kyle Porter 69) - Dwayne De Rosario.

TEAM NEWS

• While United saw their overall league winless streak extended to six matches, it was a second consecutive home draw and stretched their home undefeated run to three games.

• “I think the difference between tonight and a lot of our games this year is that everybody showed up and played well. Everybody did their job, including the subs, and we had a couple guys who I thought played great,” said United head coach Ben Olsen. “That’s the recipe to try to get results, especially against really good teams like that. I love the courage to come back from both goals and tie it up and have a look or two at the end to get a win. … The results still aren’t there – we’re not winning games, [and] it’s been a difficult year. There are times of real spirit with this crew, and I still believe in the nucleus of this team.”

• Chris Pontius made his first start since July 7, scoring his second goal of the season and his first from open play. His other league goal came June 22, converting a penalty kick.

• “We really talked about him moving off the ball in an urgent way and players all around the midfield to make their moves dynamic,” said Olsen. “The urgency is there. We tried to look forward more to reward those guys for their runs and I think we did that at times, and I think it caused them a little bit of trouble. Getting the goal is going to help with confidence and it’s good to have another threat out there.”

• Said Pontius: “You are starting to see people come back off injury. I think we started to find a rhythm in the second half a little bit. We created a decent number of chances tonight. We were dangerous. It’s what I think we have been lacking a lot in the first part of the season. It was nice to see.”

• Kyle Porter made his first appearance after missing two matches while on national team duty with Canada and came off the substitutes’ bench to score his second MLS goal.

• “It’s tough to come back from two goals from a great team like the Galaxy. It just shows we can play with the best,” said Porter. “We’re at the bottom of the table, but we can still play with the best. It’s very big, especially for our big [Open Cup] game upcoming. It just helps us put it forward. Everyone getting healthy, everyone gelling. We’re just pushing for that cup.”

• After starting vs. Chivas USA and playing the full 90 minutes, Conor Doyle came off the substitutes’ bench for the final 21 minutes against the Galaxy.

• “In particular off the bench, he really understands what we want from him and he finds himself in the right spots,” Olsen said. “He plays simple and knows when to get in the box and knows how to work that area.”