FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – In the wake of Sunday's 1-1 draw at the LA Galaxy, the New England Revolution approached their home opener against D.C. United as an opportunity to continue their positive start to the season.
By securing a 2-1 victory over United on Saturday afternoon, the Revs accomplished their objective, according to New England forward Zack Schilawski.
“That was the pregame talk,” Schilawski told MLSsoccer.com after the game. “If we could manage to get three points out of this game, we'll be confident and feel like we put ourselves in a good spot to start the season. That was the goal.”
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Schilawski's early tally – albeit one tainted by suspicion of handball – and Shalrie Joseph's penalty kick handed the Revolution the perfect start within the first 17 minutes. The two early goals bolstered the Revs' confidence, though United recovered a bit as the first half wound to a close.
“The first half, we played really well,” Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis said. “We pressed them. We did what we needed to do. There are certain things that happen during the season. The first goal probably could have gotten called a handball, but it doesn't. The penalty's a penalty in any country in the world.”
The task changed a bit in the second half as United added a fifth midfielder in Fred and inserted Charlie Davies up top to test the Revolution defense. DC committed additional numbers into attack and forced the Revs to soak up pressure defensively.
“Going up 2-0, the biggest thing for us was, in the second half, we didn't keep the ball enough,” Reis said. “We let them back in it and we gave them life and hope because we didn't possess the ball enough.”
Although the Revs did not possess the ball as much as they would have wished in the second half, they did not concede until Davies converted a penalty in second-half stoppage time.
The late goal did not change the result or derail the overall efforts on a day when the Revs further their quest to generate momentum through the early stages of the season.
“At the end of the day, when you get three points, it really doesn't matter how you get it. We're happy about that,” Revolution defender A.J. Soares said. “That was the main goal coming into the game, but I'm also happy with the performance.
"Guys were getting stuck in, making tackles, tracking runs, getting up to head the ball and backing each other up. That's how you win games like that.”
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