Tampa Bay Sports Day

DC United wilts 1-0

It was a familiar picture show with DC United and the New England Revolution Wednesday night at RFK Stadium. The Revolution absorbed some moderate pressure but never really broke as United held the ball for most of the first half. United had some good chances, mainly from the outside, that they couldn’t finish, goalkeeper Matt Reis made some excellent, timely saves, the Revolution subsequently counter, and lo and behold, they score on a set piece.

As United dithered away chance after chance in the first half, including a missed penalty that would have significantly opened up the match, only to see the scourge of their season rise up to bite them again. Stephen McCarthy nodded home a Kenny Mansally corner in the 73rd minute as United dropped a dispiriting 1-0 decision to the bottom team in the Eastern Conference.

“They sit back, Reis comes up with some big saves and they score on a set piece,” said United midfielder Chris Pontius. “It was one lapse but it shouldn’t come down to that. It was one of those nights where we don’t finish and if we do finish we can dictate the game from there. McCarthy gets into one and they are allowed to sit (back) the rest of the game.”

This was the Revolution’s first road win of the season and their first win of any sort since a 1-0 win over Portland on May 14, snapping a nine game winless streak in league play.

“It’s a tough one to take because of the opportunities we had early to put this one away. If you don’t do that; we’ve all seen this script, right? In the second half, they think they got through a half, and a new lease on life and then they get a set-piece goal and that’s what they do. It’s the one thing they are dangerous with and they punished us with that,” said United coach Ben Olsen.

After DC controlled the ball for most of the first half, Charlie Davies missed a penalty kick after Pat Phelan handled the ball in the box in the 44th minute that could have given United a deserved lead going into the break.

After both teams took the first quarter hour to get used to the heat, United garnered three good chances in succession but came up empty.

Dwayne De Rosario cut back into the middle from the left flank and cut loose a bender from 23-yards out that missed just high after some nice combination work from Pontius and Josh Wolff in the 16th minute.

A minute later, Davies cut into the left side of the box and tried to sneak a low shot past Reis on the short side but the veteran keeper was better, getting down quickly to get his right hand on the ball to knock it away.

Reis denied United again a minute after that chance, extending hard to his left this time to knock away a De Rosario shot from 18-yards out that was labeled for the inside corner.

Zak Boggs had New England’s first legitimate chance in the 32nd minute, scorching a volley off a bouncing ball at the top of the penalty arch that bent around two United defenders before Bill Hamid knocked it to safety with a good reflex save.

New England nearly capitalized on a sloppy pass out of the back by United in the 38th minute, and after one quick ball, Rajko Lekic was through but foiled near the penalty spot by an alert Brandon McDonald. Hamid alertly foiled another chance seconds later, coming off his line to knock a high floater away in a violent collision with the Danish striker near the top of the box.

On the penalty, Phelan jumped wildly to block a Josh Wolff cross from the goal line just outside of the right post and the ball struck him under his extended right arm drawing referee Michael Kennedy to point to the spot. Davies stepped up and missed badly, high and wide to the right.

By all rights, the Revolution should have taken the lead in the 64th minute as Phelan played a superb ball into the 6-yard box from the right flank that Zack Schilawski extended to get his head on but knocked slightly wide of the far post.

De Rosario’s driving run into the box in the 81st minute could have equalized for United but Reis came up large again, flicking away the short side, close quarters effort with a great foot save.

“We put a good effort in for the first forty-five (minutes) and the goal didn’t come, and then physically we tanked. I was disappointed we didn’t get through it a little bit more and find a way to get a result,” Olsen said.

“Again, you get these summer games where you go back and forth, you give up chances, you get chances – New England did well with one of them, and we didn’t do well with any of ours.”

Scoring:

NE — Stephen McCarthy 2 (Chris Tierney 2) 73

New England Revolution — Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane (Darrius Barnes 22), A.J. Soares, Chris Tierney, Shalrie Joseph, Stephen McCarthy, Pat Phelan, Zak Boggs (Sainey Nyassi 58), Zack Schilawski (Kenny Mansally 68), Rajko Lekic.

Substitutes Not Used: Franco Coria, Diego Fagundez, Ryan Guy, Bobby Shuttleworth.

D.C. United — Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen, Ethan White, Brandon McDonald, Daniel Woolard, Andy Najar, Dwayne De Rosario, Clyde Simms (Joseph Ngwenya 79), Chris Pontius (Austin Da Luz 71), Charlie Davies, Josh Wolff (Fred 63).

Substitutes Not Used: Stephen King, Chris Korb, Kurt Morsink, Steve Cronin.

Misconduct:

NE — Kenny Mansally (caution; Delaying a Restart) 77

Referee: Michael Kennedy
Referee’s Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry; Bill Dittmar
4th Official: Jose Carlos Rivero

Attendance: 15,597
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-91-degrees