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The New England Revolution remain home for a second consecutive match having not won in three matches, the goal in a 1-1 draw last weekend against the MetroStars their first in three matches. The Revolution have won just once on the campaign, but they entertain a D.C. United side that hasn't had much success this season either. United has won just once in eight matches after a season-opening victory, losing twice last week against the Los Angeles Galaxy and Colorado Rapids.
REFEREE: Kevin Terry. SAR (bench): Greg Barkey; JAR (opposite): George Gansner; 4th: Gus St. Silva
MLS Career: 90 games; FC/gm: 30.4; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 32; pens: 38
Games involving Revolution: P15 W4 L9 T2; FC/gm: 31.9; Y/gm: 2.7; R: 8; pens: 11
Games involving MetroStars: P8 W3 L4 T1; FC/gm: 31.1; Y/gm: 2.3; R: 2; pens: 3
INJURY REPORT: NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION - OUT: DF Carlos Llamosa (L knee sprain); FW Joe-Max Moore (R knee sprain); DF Rusty Pierce (R quadriceps contusion); PROBABLE: GK Adin Brown (R groin strain); DF Marshall Leonard (L hamstring strain) ... D.C. UNITED - OUT: FW Santino Quaranta (adductor surgery); FW Thiago Martins (L ACL surgery); QUESTIONABLE: FW Eliseo Quintanilla (R fibula fracture); PROBABLE: MD Bobby Convey (L hamstring strain); MD Ben Olsen (R quadriceps strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: DC: Ryan Nelsen (New Zealand; Oceania Nations Cup)
YELLOW PERIL: NE: Clint Dempsey (8 CP in 2 gms) ... DC: Alecko Eskandarian (10 CP in 2 gms)
ALL-TIME (32 meetings): Revolution 13 wins (3 shootout), 42 goals ... United 18 wins (4 shootout), 50 goals ... 1 draw
IN FOXBOROUGH: Revolution 9 wins (2 shootout), 20 goals ... United 7 wins (2 shootout), 17 goals ... 0 draws
The Eastern Conference rivals meet for the first time in four this season, but they won't face other again until they play three times over the final third of the season. They'll next play twice in two weeks - in Washington on Aug. 14, then again in Foxborough on Aug. 28. They'll then finish the season series on Oct. 9 at RFK.
A year ago, United won two of the four meetings between the teams, the Revolution winning one with one drawn. They shared the points in a 1-1 contest on June 21 on East Capitol Street (Stoitchkov 31 & Kamler 24), before United claimed a remarkable 4-2 victory on July 27 at Gillette Stadium, scoring three goals in second-half stoppage time (Twellman 26, 31 & Quintanilla 83, 90 pen; Kovalenko 90; Eskandarian 90).
United then won dramatically at home on Aug. 9 through the only goal in added time (Kovalenko 90), before a penalty in extra time allowed the Revolution to return the favor in Foxborough on Oct. 11 (Ralston 92 pen).
Coming into last season, the Revolution had won four of the last meetings between the two teams, but United has now claimed two of the last three encounters. Over the first four years of the rivalry (16 meetings), the Revolution won just twice in regulation time, with three shootout victories among their five triumphs.
The losing team hasn't scored in five of the last seven meetings between the clubs.
Taylor Twellman leads the Revolution's career scoring table against United, with 8 goals, while Joe-Max Moore is next with 6 goals, 2 assists. For his career, Steve Ralston has 6 goals, 11 assists v United - but just 1 goal, 5 assists while with New England. Brian Kamler has 2 goals, 3 assists against his former club (2 goals, 2 assists while with the Revs).
Jaime Moreno leads current United players with 4 goals, 7 assists v New England - second only to Marco Etchevery (2 goals, 15 assists) on the club's all-time table against the Revs. Dema Kovalenko has 4 goals, 2 assists v New England, but just 2 goals while in D.C., while Ronald Cerritos has 3 goals, 3 assists against the Revs for his career - none while with United.
Coaches record: Steve Nicol v DC: P9 W5 L3 T1 ... Peter Nowak v NE: first meeting
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
At a damp and cold Gillette Stadium, Pat Noonan once again hit home against the MetroStars, and the New England Revolution continued their domination of their opponents, but in the end the home side was forced to settle for the draw.
Noonan drove home the rebound of a deflected Shalrie Joseph shot in the seventh minute, the fifth consecutive league match - and seventh including MLS Cup playoff games - Noonan has scored against the MetroStars. But Cornell Glen ran onto a perfect Mark Lisi through ball that split the Rev defense 11 minutes into the second half to pull Metro level with his third goal of the season.
Despite sharing the points, the Revolution extended their unbeaten streak against the MetroStars to nine games in league and MLS Cup competition.
Revolution coach Steve Nicol made two changes to the team that lost 1-0 to the Columbus Crew the weekend before - but also made a fundamental tactical shift, moving to a 3-5-2 system after changing to it for the second half of the Crew match. Avery John made his first MLS appearance, coming into the back three as Daouda Kante was dropped. Marshall Leonard was also left out of the side as Shalrie Joseph returned from suspension, resuming his usual holding midfield role.
Here's Nicol's team (3-4-1-2): .Matt Reis - Jay Heaps, Brian Kamler, Avery John - Steve Ralston, Shalrie Joseph, Clint Dempsey, Joe Franchino - Jose Cancela (Felix Brillant 71) - Taylor Twellman, Pat Noonan.
"We started the season losing goals," Nicol said. "We had to be solid and we did that. The time is right to start opening up. I think it proved correct."
One of the effects of the change in systems is increased space for central midfield schemer Jose Cancela. "I felt I had more freedom, but it didn't give us the game," Cancela said. "We controlled the game but we are unhappy because we didn't win the game, and we are getting to a point in the season where we need to take three points. It's frustrating because we had control of most of the game."
Twellman has now gone the longest in his brief professional career without scoring a goal. Since hitting for the Revolution's lone goal on April 17, a 49th-minute strike in a 3-1 loss to San Jose, Twellman has gone 491 minutes without scoring, after scoring in 38 of his first 50 MLS games.
"Taylor has been hitting goalkeepers in the face," said Pat Noonan. "But Taylor will score goals. We are not worried about that.
The New England Revolution saw their winless streak extend to three matches, dropping into last place in the Eastern Conference after a 1-1 home draw with the MetroStars on Saturday afternoon. The Revolution now have six points from seven matches, two points behind the Columbus Crew and four points out of first place in the division.
The Rapids extended their home unbeaten run to 16 matches, dating back to last May, surpassing the league mark held by San Jose Earthquakes with their victory. Zizi Roberts put the home side ahead after 13 minutes when he redirected home a terrific overhead kick from Jean-Philippe Peguero.
Josh Gros brought United level two minutes after the halftime break with his first professional goal, hammering home a rolling cross played through the area from Earnie Stewart.
But it took Colorado just four minutes to answer, Peguero diving to head home a Mark Chung knockdown of a deep Chris Henderson cross from the right corner. For Henderson, the assist gave him the Colorado Rapids all-time scoring lead with 101 points.
"Of course it's going to be a different ball game, but after the first goal by Colorado we have to regroup and then we made the right adjustment," United coach Peter Nowak said. "I'd say after the last 60 minutes of this game after the first goal by Colorado was pretty much D.C. United, nothing else."
Nowak made three changes to the team that lost to the Galaxy, also making a significant change to his tactical scheme. Nowak put in a back four, David Stokes coming into the team at right back. Freddy Adu returned to the first XI in an attacking role underneath lone striker Jaime Moreno, as the strike partnership of Ronald Cerritos and Alecko Eskandarian was dropped.
In addition, third-choice goalkeeper Troy Perkins made his first MLS appearance, coming in for Nick Rimando.
Here's Nowak's team (4-4-1-1): Troy Perkins - David Stokes, Mike Petke, Bryan Namoff, Brandon Prideaux - Joshua Gros, Brian Carroll, Earnie Stewart, Dema Kovalenko (Ronald Cerritos 79) - Freddy Adu (Alecko Eskandarian 80) - Jaime Moreno
In addition to the major changes, there were other tweaks to Nowak's system. Josh Gros played on the right flank for the first time this season, while Earnie Stewart moved centrally into a holding role alongside Brian Carroll.
"From a soccer standpoint, we did everything we could to win this game," Nowak said. "At the end of the day, it's pretty frustrating to lose this game."
Adu had a wonderful chance to put United up early, but his breakaway attempt was kicked out by Rapids 'keeper Joe Cannon. "I was caught by surprise," said Adu. "I thought I was offside, but I wasn't so that slowed me down a little bit. But that's a lesson to be learned. Next time I'm going to keep going until I hear the ref blows the whistle.''
Captain Ryan Nelsen has traveled to Australia to join New Zealand for the Oceania Nations Cup, but after missing both league matches last week he is still in doubt for his availability. "Personally, I want to play against Australia, but it will be up to the medical staff to make a judgment when we get into camp," he said. I'd say I'm 60-40 at the moment and hopefully getting better every day."
In addition, midfielders Ben Olsen and Bobby Convey will not be available for selection again at the weekend.
Even with the club's injury problems, midfielder Dema Kovalenko has been allowed to miss the New England match to travel to Barcelona to play in Hristo Stoitchkov's testimonial. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, something Dema will never forget," said Nowak. "If it were any other thing, no, we wouldn't let him go, but this is very special."
D.C. United lost for the second time in a week, falling 2-1 on the road to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night after a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy at midweek. Still, United remains in third place in the Eastern Conference, just one point out of the first-place tie between the MetroStars and Chicago Fire.