Capital battle: D.C. hosts Revolution

we pretty much knew what we needed to do," midfielder Brian Carroll said to The Washington Post. "Peter didn't have to step in or yell at us. Everyone said what needed to be said, we came out with a stronger mentality and a smarter approach to the game, and we got goals."

  • While Eskadarian finally got on the scoresheet with a goal - United's fourth - he created the first two. He won the penalty that led to Moreno's landmark tally and his header was turned by Hendrickson into his own goal.
  • "I think our strengths are different. His strength is holding the ball and keeping possession, finding those little through balls and taking guys on. It's stuff that I need to work on, and it's the opposite of my strength, which is always going full speed, running at people, making runs left and right," Eskandarian said of his partnership with Moreno. "It works great, because I have no problems running up there all day for him. I know eventually it's going to break down-defenders can't stop that combination of two different types of forwards. That's why we work so well together...We work alongside each other and complement each other, and he's helped me a lot.

    NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

    The New England Revolution failed to come away with the full three points for the second consecutive match after a pair of dominating victories, a late goal giving Houston Dynamo a 1-1 draw last Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are still level in third place with the Columbus Crew, both on 11 points from eight matches, two behind the Kansas City Wizards and 10 in back of division-leading D.C. United.

    LAST MATCH

  • Both the Revolution and Dynamo were coming into the match looking to put disappointing losses in the state of Texas behind them - the Revolution falling 4-0 to FC Dallas the week before, while Dynamo lost 1-0 at home to Chicago.
  • Although Dynamo carried the play in the opening 45 minutes, it was New England that took the lead, in the 55th minute. Jeff Larentowicz freed Pat Noonan down the right flank and his cross to the far side of the goal area was of the highest quality. The accuracy of the ball presented Ralston with the simplest of volley finishes from six yards into a gaping goal.
  • Houston's equalizer came on 86 minutes thanks to a fortunate deflection off New England midfielder Shalrie Joseph. Wade Barrett's rolling cross found an unmarked Ryan Cochrane in the box. His shot was headed towards goal before it was deflected past Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis by Joseph to give Dynamo a share of the points.
  • Revolution boss Steve Nicol made one change to the team that lost 4-0 to FC Dallas the weekend before. Pat Noonan came into the lineup for his first start since April 15, coming in to the three-pronged attack in place of rookie Willie Sims.
  • Here's Nicol's team (3-4-3): Matt Reis - Jay Heaps, Michael Parkhurst, James Riley (Jeff Larentowicz 24) - Steve Ralston, Andy Dorman, Shalrie Joseph, Joe Franchino - Jose Cancela, Taylor Twellman, Pat Noonan (Tony Lochhead 82). [Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Brown, Pat Haggerty, Willie Sims, Doug Warren, Danny Wynn]
  • "We didn't do anything as a team in the first half, we were second best at everything. They were better than us; they outplayed us," Nicol said. "But second half, we got the bit between our teeth and started playing as a team, and it made a huge difference to us."

    TEAM NEWS

  • Nicol's decision to abandon the 3-4-3 formation that has been his configuration of choice thus far this season certainly had an impact on his side. When Jeff Larentowicz came on for the injured James Riley, he went to right back, with Heaps and Parkhurst in central defense and Franchino at left back. He left Twellman and Noonan as the strike pair.
  • "We were certainly going to go 4-4-2 anyway. Nothing was happening for us; we were basically wasting having three guys up top," Nicol said. "But then the change was forced on us. The second half - I thought we were better than them in the second. We had two other great chances we never took."
  • Using the first-choice forward pairing of Twellman and Noonan, who returned the starting lineup following several weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring strain, had an immediate impact as both men combined well, most notably on the home side's goal. Noonan came off after 82 minutes.
  • "[Noonan] made a huge difference to us," Nicol said. "There was no way he could go on [when he was replaced]." Said Noonan: "I got a little stiff before the game started, so I was getting the body going, getting into the flow of the game. I got going after a few minutes out there. The more I was playing, the better it felt."
  • After a pair of impressive victories, the Revolution have now taken just one point from their last two games - the heavy loss in Dallas and the 1-1 home draw. "It doesn't get any easier. We've got to go to D.C., who's playing red-hot right now, and then to Chicago, who open up a brand new stadium," Ralston said. "It's a tough schedule, so we've got to come back out here and start working hard and work on a few things."
  • Riley's injury will likely keep him out for several weeks, adding to a lengthy injury list for the Revolution. "We can't get the same team out there and it's affecting us," said Nicol. "The guys will have to tough it out and get on with it. We have got some resolute players on this team and we will have to show that."


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