only to see it clank off the outside of the post. Then in the second minute of stoppage time, Twellman received a neat pass from Noonan in the restraining arc and hit a powerful shot on the turn, but United 'keeper Troy Perkins rose up to get a hand on the shot and tip it on to the crossbar.
Revolution coach Steve Nicol made two changes to the team lost a lead in a 2-1 home loss to the Kansas City Wizards the previous weekend. Steve Howey made his MLS debut in central defense and Clint Dempsey made his first appearance since July 17 after suffering a broken jaw, Avery John and Brian Kamler returning to the substitutes bench.
Here's Nicol's team (4-1-3-2): Matt Reis - Steve Ralston, Rusty Pierce, Steve Howey (Avery John 46), Marshall Leonard - Shalrie Joseph - Richie Baker (Andy Dorman 72), Jose Cancela (Brian Kamler 46), Pat Noonan - Clint Dempsey, Taylor Twellman.
Then at the break, Nicol made a complete tactical shift, changing to a 3-5-2 as John and Kamler came on for Howey and Jose Cancela, Pat Noonan moving from the left flank to partner Twellman in attack as Dempsey moved back to an attacking midfield role.
"In practice, guys were kicking over brick walls to get in the [lineup]," Nicol said. "In the first half, we looked sluggish, again, but we looked the stronger of the teams in the second half and had more purpose about us."
Despite seeing his low-output season continue (five goals in 15 games this season after scoring 38 in his first 50 league games), Twellman was encouraged with how his two chances came about that hit the woodwork. "It definitely boosts your confidence because they are two shots that came out of nowhere,'' Twellman said. "On the second one, Pat looked up and saw me, but the ball hit me on the heel. If it doesn't, then I'm straight in on the goalkeeper.''
The Revolution have lost just once since July 4, but have just two victories in the nine games over that time. "There's no ifs, ands or buts about it now," Twellman said. "Our backs are against the wall. We've been dodging the question, but seven games left, [one point out of] last place, it doesn't get more against the wall than that."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The Earthquakes and Rapids both continued shutout streaks and unbeaten runs, but settled for a scoreless draw as well.
Neither club had allowed goals in winning their last two matches, but although those runs were continued, Colorado missed out on a chance to move into a tie for the top spot in the West while San Jose once again fell out of a playoff place.
Rapids goalkeeper Joe Cannon continued his remarkable season, called upon to make nine saves on the evening in recording his 10th clean sheet of the season, a Rapids club record.
"We just couldn't find the net," Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear said. "I thought Joe played well, but not fantastic. Everything (he did) just seemed to be magnified. We had those five really good chances in the early minutes of the second half, but it was one of those nights where the ball was just not going to cross the line for us."
Kinnear made just one change to the team that defeated the Dallas Burn 3-0 at home the previous weekend. Jeff Agoos returned to the heart of the San Jose back four, coming in for Ryan Cochrane.
Here's Kinnear's team (4-4-2): Pat Onstad - Craig Waibel (Dwayne De Rosario 79), Jeff Agoos, Troy Dayak, Todd Dunivant (Eddie Robinson 80) -Brian Mullan, Ronnie Ekelund, Richard Mulrooney, Ramiro Corrales - Brian Ching, Landon Donovan.
"We couldn't get a goal to pull them out of their shell," Kinnear said. "They didn't come here to win, just to get a point."
The San Jose Earthquakes once again fell back into last place in the Western Conference despite posting a shutout for the fourth time in five games, playing the Colorado Rapids to a scoreless draw at Spartan Stadium on Saturday night. The Quakes have lost just once in their last seven games yet are still currently out of the playoff picture with 31 points from 22 games, a point behind the Dallas Burn and just four points adrift of joint leaders Kansas City Wizards and Los Angeles Galaxy.