FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Third-year midfielder Pat Phelan scored the first goal of his MLS career and goalkeeper Matt Reis made a season-high six saves to record his second regular-season shutout, lifting the New England Revolution to a 1-0 victory over D.C. United on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
The win extended the Revolution’s (5-9-3, 18 pts.) unbeaten streak to seven games (5-0-2) in all competitions and three games (2-0-1) in league action. Meanwhile, the loss was the fourth straight for United (3-13-3, 12 pts.), which is now winless in its last seven league games.
The game’s only goal arrived in the 42nd minute courtesy of a set piece, as Chris Tierney’s curling free kick was nodded home by Phelan.
Kevin Alston (L hamstring strain) and Marko Perovic (L calf strain) both missed out after sustaining minor injuries in the midweek SuperLiga victory over Puebla, leaving just 14 healthy field players available for the Revs. That included Serbian forward Ilija Stolica, who received his U.S. P-1 Visa on Friday morning and arrived in Boston from Belgrade on Friday night.
With his options limited, head coach Steve Nicol named an improvised starting lineup with central defender Emmanuel Osei playing right back and forward Kenny Mansally earning just his second start of the regular season alongside Zack Schilawski.
As expected under the direction of interim head coach Ben Olsen for the first time, United came out with high energy as the visitors looked to prove a point following the dismissal of former head coach Curt Onalfo midweek. The Revs did well to limit D.C.’s chances, however, as a 15-yard header from Pablo Hernandez represented the only decent effort for either side in the opening 25 minutes.
New England responded with its first quality chance in the 28th minute, when Cory Gibbs’ free header from Mansally’s corner kick looped over the bar. Schilawski followed that up with a 25-yard blast in the 39th minute, and although D.C. goalkeeper had Bill Hamid appeared to have it covered, the shot flashed just wide of the right post.
The Revolution’s pressure paid off with a goal just before halftime, as Phelan got on the end of Tierney’s curling free kick in the 42nd minute. Tierney’s service came from near midfield, and Phelan pulled away from Branko Boskovic before expertly flicking a header toward the far post. Hamid got his hand on the ball but couldn’t prevent it from crossing the line to give the Revs a 1-0 halftime lead.
United began the second half in search of an equalizer and almost found it in the 56th minute when Boskovic’s clever pass freed Hernandez at the penalty spot. Hernandez fired a low shot, but Reis charged off his line to kick the effort away.
Looking to hold on to their slender lead, the Revs brought on Stolica for his MLS debut in the 73rd minute. At 6-foot-1, the big striker provided some muscle up front, the ability to hold the ball and help the Revs move out of the back.
United almost broke through just seconds after the substitution, but Stephen King’s side-footed effort from 20 yards narrowly flew past the upper right corner. Former Revolution forward Adam Cristman then had a free header from six yards in the 80th minute, but he bounced his effort wide.
The game’s final scoring chance fell to Mansally in the 85th minute as his left-footed volley went close, but the Revs didn’t need the goal in the end as Phelan’s strike held up for the 1-0 win.
The Revs will now have a full week off before their next match, a regular-season encounter with the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, Aug. 14. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 8 p.m.
New England Revolution (5-9-3, 18 pts.) vs. D.C. United (3-13-3, 12 pts.)
August 7, 2010 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
NE – Pat Phelan (Chris Tierney) 42
New England Revolution: Matt Reis (GK), Emmanuel Osei, Darrius Barnes, Cory Gibbs, Chris Tierney, Sainey Nyassi, Shalrie Joseph ©, Pat Phelan, Khano Smith (Roberto Linck 80), Zack Schilawski (Ilija Stolica 73), Kenny Mansally
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Tim Murray, Joseph Niouky, Seth Sinovic
STATS: Shots: 10; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 6; Corner Kicks: 1; Offside: 4; Fouls Committed: 18
D.C. United: Bill Hamid (GK), Devon McTavish, Julius James, Carey Talley ©, Marc Burch, Andy Najar, Stephen King, Branko Boskovic (Adam Cristman 69), Santino Quaranta, Chris Pontius, Pablo Hernandez
Substitutes Not Used: Troy Perkins (GK), Kurt Morsink, Danny Allsopp, Jed Zayner, Barry Rice, Jaime Moreno
STATS: Shots: 13; Shots on Goal: 6; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 1; Offside: 0; Fouls Committed: 21
NE – Cory Gibbs (caution) 30
D.C. – Pablo Hernandez (caution) 70
D.C. – Carey Talley (caution) 89
Referee: Terry Vaughn
Referee’s Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry, Peter Balciunas
Fourth Official: Peter Balciunas
Weather: Clear and 77 degrees
- The win improved the Revolution’s record against D.C. United to 21-25-8 all time, and 14-9-4 at home – including 8-3-4 at Gillette Stadium since the facility opened in 2002.
- The Revolution now has a seven-game unbeaten in all competitions dating back to July 10 … New England is 5-0-2 during that stretch, including 2-0-1 in MLS play … the run matches the Revolution’s longest such streak since 2008.
- Pat Phelan scored his first career goal in the 42nd minute when he redirected a free kick off the foot of Chris Tierney with his head into the back of the net … Phelan’s first goal comes in the same season as his first career regular-season assist, which he picked up at Columbus (May 8).
- New England won its first season series of 2010 on its fourth try … the Revs finished 0-1-1 against San Jose, and 1-1-0 against both Toronto and LA.
- The Revolution won consecutive season series over D.C. United for the first time ever … New England finished 1-0-1 against D.C. last year and swept this year, 2-0-0 … before 2009, the Revolution had not won a season series since 2005.
- Chris Tierney tallied his second assist of the season on Saturday night – fifth of his career … Tierney’s first assist of the season was also against United, when he assisted Kenny Mansally in the 80th minute on New England’s first goal of the 2010 season.
- Emmanuel Osei started the first game of his career at right back, in place of the injured Kevin Alston.
- Chris Tierney started his 15 match of the season – the fourth game of the season at left back … he has also started eight games at left midfield and three at central midfield.
- Recent signees Ilija Stolica and Roberto Linck were present and available for their first MLS matches as members of the Revolution … Stolica was on the sideline for his first game, while Linck was available, but did not play in the SuperLiga semifinal win over Puebla F.C. on Wednesday.
- Ilija Stolica made his first MLS appearance in the 73rd minute when he replaced Zack Shilawski. Roberto Linck subsequently made his initial appearance in the 80th minute when he came on for Khano Smith.
- After making his first start in a Revolution uniform at left back last weekend at Philadelphia, Gibbs moved back to his customary position at central defense ... while Gibbs was a member of the Colorado Rapids last year, he made 16 of his 19 starts at left back.
- D.C. United interim head coach Ben Olsen made his head coaching debut on Saturday night against the Revolution … Olsen took over early in the week when Curt Onalfo was dismissed in the middle of his first year at the helm.
- Former Rev Adam Cristman made his first ever appearance against the Revolution when he replaced Branko Boskovic in the 69th minute … Cristman was a member of the Revolution for two seasons, from 2007-2008, when he appeared in 46 games, scored 10 goals and assisted on five others … Cristman played for Kansas City in 2009 before landing in D.C. this season