United hoping to return Revs' favor

The return of Bryan Namoff should help solidify the United defense.

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Tony Quinn/MLS/WireImage.com

which he then celebrated by running to the location of home plate for the Washington Nationals and mimicking hitting one out of the park. Moreno converted his second penalty of the game and the third on the night eight minutes from the end when Leonard was ruled to have handled the ball, but that was all the response United could muster.

  • Here's Peter Nowak's team (3-4-1-2): Nick Rimando - David Stokes (Santino Quaranta 30), Bobby Boswell, Mike Petke - Joshua Gros, Brian Carroll, Ben Olsen, Steve Guppy (Clyde Simms 64) - Christian Gomez - Alecko Eskandarian (Freddy Adu 46), Jaime Moreno.
  • Here's Steve Nicol's team (3-4-1-2): Matt Reis - Jay Heaps, Michael Parkhurst, Avery John - James Riley, Clint Dempsey, Shalrie Joseph, Marshall Leonard - Jose Cancela (Andy Dorman 66) - Pat Noonan, Taylor Twellman
    HISTORY
  • United captured the season series a year ago, winning two of the four meetings, with the other two draws. United took a 1-0 victory on May 29 at Gillette Stadium (og 5), before they played to a pair of draws within two weeks - a 2-2 stalemate on Aug. 14 at RFK Stadium (Moreno 39, 56 - Ralston 38, Dorman 85), and a scoreless draw on Aug. 28 in New England.
  • United then took the season finale between the two with a 1-0 victory on East Capitol Street on Oct. 9 (Gomez 32)
  • Then the teams met last year in the Eastern Conference Final, often called the best game ever played in MLS history. After the teams battled to a 3-3 draw through 120 minutes, United advanced to a fifth MLS Cup Final with a 4-3 win in the penalty shootout (Eskandarian 11, Moreno 21, Gomez 67 - Twellman 17, Ralston 44 pen, Noonan 85)
  • United have won four of the last eight league meetings between the teams, with two draws. The Revolution victory this year was their first in the series since Oct. 11, 2003 (at home). In four of those matches, United had held New England scoreless (three wins).
  • Coaches record: Steve Nicol vs. DC: P14 W6 L5 D3 ... Peter Nowak v NE: P5 W2 L1 T2

    NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

    The New England Revolution remain the only unbeaten team in Major League Soccer, winning a fifth consecutive game after a season-opening draw in a 2-0 victory against the Chicago Fire on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution now have 16 points from six matches, six ahead of the Fire in the East and four better than Western Conference leader Los Angeles Galaxy.

  • It was a composed, professional performance that kept the Revolution unbeaten on the campaign and still atop the Eastern Conference.
  • Pat Noonan righted the New England ship in the 34th minute with a fine goal, cutting through the area from right to left before driving a low shot inside Zach Thornton's left-hand post.
  • Then the Revolution doubled their lead just before the hour with a well-worked goal, when a Taylor Twellman cross found Steve Ralston, and he flicked the ball over his head to find an onrushing Clint Dempsey at the six. He flicked the ball back over his head, leaving Thornton stranded as the ball flew over his head into the goal.
  • Revolution boss Steve Nicol made no changes to the team that defeated Chivas USA 1-0 at home the weekend before. Here's Nicol's team (3-4-1-2): Matt Reis - Jay Heaps, Michael Parkhurst, Avery John - Steve Ralston, Clint Dempsey, Shalrie Joseph, Marshall Leonard - Andy Dorman - Taylor Twellman (Khano Smith 86), Pat Noonan
  • "They were the better team for the first 20 minutes, and then I think we started getting in the game, from then on. I wouldn't say we were in control, but we certainly had the edge on them," Nicol said. "... I think the discipline of the whole team is better, defending starts right up front. Taylor Twellman and Pat Noonan start it off and it just snowballs down from there. [Chicago] had some balls tonight, but defensively we didn't really give them an open chance."
    TEAM NEWS
  • Since an opening night draw with the San Jose Earthquakes, when the Revolution overcame a two-goal halftime lead, they've scored first in every match and and won each one. "At this moment in time we look dangerous going forward," Nicol said. "We've got guys who are confident and enjoy playing, so when you have that combination and you are winning games, it's a great environment to play football."
  • Nicol decided to remain with a winning lineup for the second match in a row, and that meant Andy Dorman was tabbed to fill the role in behind the front two instead of José Cancela. "We have four great players for three spots and there is a lot of competition," Nicol said. "Pepe was doing a great job but, unfortunately, he got ill. Now, Andy is playing great."
  • Steve Ralston tied the club record with his 35th assist in the Fire match. He's made 87 appearances for the Revolution, while the previous record holder, Joe-Max Moore, made 96 league appearances from 1996-99 and 2003-04.
  • The Revolution have now not allowed a goal in their last 279 minutes. In recording clean sheets over the past three matches, Matt Reis has faced just 11 shots on goal - three v Chicago on April 27, two against Chivas USA on April 30, then six by the Fire.
  • "It starts up front,'' Reis said. ``It starts with Taylor (Twellman) and (Pat) Noonan not allowing their defenders easy passes, and then our midfield is very organized and has someone sitting in that gap, and our three in the back are doing a really good job of shifting and covering for each other.''
  • Clint Dempsey scored another goal off a cross - which is how all but one of his goals have officially come. "We're just playing more together as a team," Dempsey told SI.com. "Most of our goals ... have come from crosses. We're getting the ball wide and having good service into the box. Without my team I definitely wouldn't have been scoring those goals."

    D.C. UNITED

    D.C. United won for the first time since the season opener in scintillating fashion, hitting for a pair of goals in an early blitz on their way to a 3-1 victory against the Columbus Crew on Saturday night at RFK Stadium. It was a first win in seven matches in all competitions for United, now in third place in the Eastern Conference with eight points from six matches, two behind second-place Chicago and eight adrift of the Revolution.

  • Freddy Adu showed the breathtaking promise he possesses when he scored a goal and added two assists to lead United. He sent D.C. off to a dream start when he set up two goals in the first nine minutes. After just five minutes, Brandon Prideaux was sent in alone on goal, and despite slipping it past Jon Busch, Crew defender Chad Marshall came racing in to hook it off the line. But Adu chased it down in the left corner and drove the ball back into the six where Jaime Moreno turned it home.
  • Then Adu split open the Crew backline with an angled pass that found Ben Olsen on the right flank, and he had the time to pick out Josh Gros at the penalty spot with a driven cross. The second-year man then powered a diving header high into the goal.
  • Rookie Domenic Mediate then scored his first professional goal in the 69th minute when he reached in front of a defender and turned home an Edson Buddle flick-on from the heart of the area. It was the Crew's first goal in a run of 313 minutes.
  • Yet Adu restored the advantage just two minutes later with a wonderful individual effort, receiving a long ball from Olsen on the right deep in the Columbus box before leaving a defender behind with a quick cut and calmly finishing with a low shot home off the base of the left post.
  • United boss Peter Nowak made two changes to the team that played to a scoreless draw with the Kansas City Wizards the previous weekend at Arrowhead Stadium. Freddy Adu made his second start of the season, coming in for Brian Carroll in midfield, while Alecko Eskandarian returned from injury to start up top in place of Santino Quaranta.
  • Here's Nowak's team (3-1-4-2): Nick Rimando - Brandon Prideaux, Bobby Boswell, Mike Petke - Clyde Simms - Ben Olsen (Bryan Namoff 79), Freddy Adu, Christian Gomez, Joshua Gros (Dema Kovalenko 89) - Alecko Eskandarian (Brian Carroll 68), Jaime Moreno
  • "We needed to get a win at home. We came out and really went at them and it showed. Last time we did that against New England and we let up," said Petke. "This time we did not. This time we just kept going and that was important. Against New England we were the better team in the beginning, but look what happened in the end. We knew we were the better team tonight and we did what we had to."

    TEAM NEWS

  • For his effort, Adu was named MLS Player of the Week for the first time in his young career, in balloting by the Professional Soccer Reporters Association. Adu is the youngest player in league history to win Player of the Week honors.
  • "This was probably my best performance as a pro so far," said Adu,. "It couldn't have come at a better time, where I've been coming off the bench all along, I haven't been the happiest guy on the face of the earth. But I wasn't going to complain about it. You've just got to keep working hard and let your play do the talking. I felt like this was my one opportunity to prove to Peter and my teammates that I belong out there."
  • Said Peter Nowak: "The most important thing is he has started to believe in himself," Nowak said. "I can see it in his eyes and I can see it in his play, and I need 28 guys like that, so it was a very good start for him."
  • The header from Josh Gros was named Sierra Mist MLS Goal of the Week, in balloting on the league's official website, MLSnet.com.
  • Two regulars from last season made their first appearances of 2005. Defender Bryan Namoff played his first minutes after coming back from a broken rib, while midfielder Dema Kovalenko returned from a broken foot to make a last-minute substitution. "It means a lot to get Bryan and Dema back in there," Nowak said " ... It means a lot to them. It helps them believe in their selves again, believe they can come back from these injuries."
  • But Nowak said Kovalenko is not a candidate yet to start. "I don't think Dema is ready for 90 minutes right now," he said to The Washington Post. "He's still coming back and it was nice to give him some minutes, but it's going to be another week to 10 days for him to get his fitness back. . . . He always competes, he always has his heart out there. I'm pretty happy with his progress."
  • Gros came off with a broken right wrist - the second consecutive year he's suffered a broken wrist - but he should be available this weekend.
  • Midfielder Clyde Simms also played the full match despite being hampered by a hip flexor injury. He should also be available at the weekend.


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