if only reversed.
The rebuilt Earthquakes opened a two-goal lead in the game's first 21 minutes, Brian Ching left completely unmarked to head home a Brad Davis cross from the left (13), then Ronald Cerritos converting from the penalty spot after Ricardo Clark was upended in the area after rounding Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis on a play where the New England 'keeper was fortunate not to receive his marching orders.
But it was a new Revolution side after the break, and they eventually pulled level. Pat Noonan ran onto a long ball out of midfield from Clint Dempsey that beat the offside trap and slotted home for the first (52).
Then after Taylor Twellman hit the crossbar and was denied by San Jose 'keeper Pat Onstad on a breakaway - and after the Quakes were reduced to 10 men when Eddie Robinson was sent off - the Revolution claimed the equalizer when Twellman gathered in a long ball from substitute James Riley, rounded a defender and Onstad and rolled the ball into the empty net (73).
"We showed what we can do in the second half, we created six great chances," Revolution coach Steve Nicol said. "You have to win the fight before you can play and we lost the fight in every department in the first half. The feeling I have in my stomach is disappointment, in how bad we played in the first half, but obviously I am pleased with the way we played in the second half."
Said Twellman: "We should have had three or four goals in the second half. We were up a man and we should have done better, but to be away in the first game and get a tie is a good result. Part of the problem was first-game jitters, plus we haven't been together in the preseason," he said to The Boston Globe.
During the week, the Revolution placed veteran defender Carlos Llamosa on waivers. Llamosa has made 141 league appearances since being signed in 1997, and has played for D.C. United, Miami Fusion and New England. He made 38 appearances for the Revolution after arriving for the 2002 season, but missed the entirety of last season with a knee injury.
"With all the injuries we had last year we had to think hard about it. We didn't feel he was ready to start on Saturday. We had to make a decision by a certain date on whether to pick up his option," said Nicol, "and we felt he just wasn't ready, and we had to move in another direction."
Rookie Michael Parkhurst made his MLS debut in the center of the back three, and became the third-youngest player in club history to start Opening Day, after Rusty Pierce and Welton. "I can't say I am surprised by how he did," Nicol said to The Globe. "He was solid. We wouldn't play him unless he was capable of handling it."
Defender and captain Joe Franchino returned to the club this week, after missing the opener while attending to his father, who underwent surgery to remove cancerous cells from his throat and tongue. "I was there with him when he was choosing doctors. I was with him before he went into the surgery. I was with him after surgery. I can only be thankful to the coaching staff and the support of my teammates to be able to do that. The guys ask about him all the time. My dad wants me here. He said being away from the team is going to keep me from starting. `You need to do your job here,' Franchino told The Boston Globe.
The Revolution now haven't won their season opener in nine years. Since opening the 1997 season with a 1-0 victory against the Dallas Burn, they managed just three draws since. "I think in the scheme of things, playing away from home, a tie is usually a decent result. We'll take it," Nicol said. "If you had offered me 2-2 at halftime, I would have bitten your hand off. After the chances we had, it is slightly disappointing."
The new Columbus strike force of Edson Buddle and Ante Razov punished lax Los Angeles Galaxy marking for all three goals as the Crew ran their record unbeaten streak to 19 league matches.
Buddle scored the first two goals -- both within minutes of the start of each half -- with the sublimest of touches. He opened the Columbus account in the eighth minute when he met a Manny Lagos with a glancing header while completely alone in the area, then after the break, was allowed to stroll onto the end of a curling Razov freekick from the flank and touch it home from inside the goal area (47).
Razov then finished off the night when a cross intended for Buddle was cleared by a Galaxy defender -- but only as far as Razov, who calmly finished (54). The Galaxy's new signing, Landon Donovan, was unable to play after suffering from flu-like symptoms.
I think we didn't get into any rhythm in the first half. Defensively we did what we wanted to do in the first half and pressed them a little bit. ... Clearly getting that goal early in the second half made a big difference for us, then you can spread it out a little bit. I think there is a long way to go. I don't think we got enough actual shots off or had good goal-scoring situations. We took advantage of two really good set pieces and Ante's finish was clinical."
Crew coach Greg Andrulis started Kyle Martino in the classic playmaker's role behind the front two, while with U.S. international Frankie Hejduk unavailable with injury, Mark Schulte made his MLS debut in the back three.
Here's Andrulis's team (3-4-1-2): Jon Busch - Mark Schulte, Robin Fraser (Ryan Kelly 87), Chad Marshall - Danny Szetela, Simon Elliott, Manny Lagos, David Testo (Domenic Mediate 77) - Kyle Martino - Edson Buddle, Ante Razov (Knox Cameron 88)
Buddle became the 18th player to score two or more goals on Opening Day in MLS history. Jason Kreis scored a hat trick for the Dallas Burn on March 20, 1999; the last to do it was Carlos Ruiz with two goals v D.C. United on March 23, 2002.
For his two-goal performance, Buddle was named the season's first MLS Player of the Week in balloting by the Professional Soccer Reporters Association.
"It feels good to start out as well as you can and to get two is a blessing. I am glad my teammates got me involved," Buddle said. "He (Ante Razov) is very easy to find. He is a good target and we played well together tonight. If we continue to do that we will be successful."
It was the first time since the 1998 season that the Crew have opened their season with a victory. Over the past six years they had drawn two and lost four.
The 2004 MLS Supporters Shield winners began their season in impressive fashion, rolling to a 3-0 victory against the Los Angeles Galaxy on a miserable night at Crew Stadium. The Crew, along with D.C. United and Kansas City Wizards, sit atop the Eastern Conference after each opening their campaigns with victories.