FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – D.C. United entered Saturday night’s clash with the New England Revolution with a dramatically reshuffled lineup, then escaped Gillette Stadium with a 2-2 draw and its first road point of the 2017 campaign.
A combination of injury and illness kept Nick DeLeon, Luciano Acosta, Taylor Kemp, Steve Birnbaum and José Guillermo Ortiz out of the Starting XI after starting the week before.
Among their replacements, Sebastien Le Toux scored in his first start for D.C. Maxim Tissot and Kofi Opare helped the back four preserve a point. And veterans Lamar Neagle and Marcelo Sarvas featured in midfield.
“I think we have a really deep squad, and that’s always been a theme around here,” said Jared Jeffrey, who scored D.C.’s other goal. “I don’t think we read too much into it. Obviously there were some different guys, but we expect everyone to come in and do the job. I thought everyone that played tonight did that.”
Jeffrey’s sentiment certainly held true for Le Toux, who made it 2-1 in the 28th minute, chipping an onrushing Cody Cropper and dinking the ball into the far-side netting.
Le Toux’s strike marked his 58th career tally, and came just two minutes after Jeffrey volleyed home an equalizer, negating an opening strike from Lee Nguyen in the 5th minute.
For Le Toux, who said he dislocated his elbow in the first half and then popped it back into place, such a response was impressive.
“It’s great character,” Le Toux said. “It’s a good mentality, but now we need to keep doing this in every game and maybe not being down a goal to react. Instead react right away. It’s a good learning process.”
Tissot said DC’s defensive resolve was equally essential in the second half.
The Revs nabbed an equalizer in the 48th minute when Sean Franklin was judged to have parried home Antonio Delamea‘s header into his own goal. But the back four stood firm after, and Bill Hamid intervened when needed with five saves.
“It’s all about attitude at the end, winning first balls and second balls,” Tissot said. “I think we did a good job of containing them pretty well. We had a couple chances ourselves, so I think we did pretty well at the end.”
Le Toux said that DC leaves Gillette relatively satisfied with a point. The match also marked the sixth straight game Olsen’s squad has earned a positive result against New England, with the Revs’ last win coming at home on May 24, 2014. Olsen, who holds a 7-3-4 record against Revs coach Jay Heaps.
“It shows that everyone’s ready to play,” Tissot said of the result. “We have a deep squad and the guys that didn’t have a chance to play in the weeks before showed they want to play. They want to stay in the lineup.”