Saturday night, D.C. United shut out the New England Revolution 2-0 in another dismal loss at RFK Stadium for a crowd of 10,526. Little can be done to sugarcoat New England's fourth shutout of the season and the fact that the long-struggling team has only scored one legitimate goal in five games.
New England (1-3-1, 4 pts.) has slim chance of competing in MLS 2014 without reinvigorating the roster with competitively paid veteran professionals. D.C. (1-2-1, 4 pts.) cleaned out their 2013 personnel and partly got this winning result from Chris Rolfe, recently acquired from Chicago, who scored the second goal in stoppage.
United's first goal came from New England's 2014 MLS Defender of the Year Jose Goncalves, who was involved in a salary dispute with the Revolution front office in the offseason. Goncalves scored the own goal just before the break for United, giving the home team an early lead.
In the 88th minute,the Revolutions Charlie Davies was issued a well-deserved yellow card for simulation against his former club. One minute later, Revolution head coach Jay Heaps was ejected for disputing the call and he'll miss the team’s next match on Saturday, April 12 vs. Houston at Gillette Stadium.
This match was the second meeting in a row with United the Revolution allowed the game’s opening goal via an own goal. On Sept. 21, 2013, Scott Caldwell scored an own goal in the first half, but New England came back for a 2-1 win.
"I was pretty emotional at the end, actually," said Davies. "When I landed at the airport I got that weird feeling that it just didn’t feel right playing against D.C. You know, I feel really close to the club and to the supporters, so it was difficult to actually get focused and mentally prepared for this game. It was good, but it was an emotional time for me."
For MLS, one of the downsides of tolerating under-performing teams like the Revolution is that the worst teams are awarded the top young American players in the MLS Draft. These top young draft picks cannot develop professionally as well as they should, further hindering the United States' chances in the international game. MLS would be better served by awarding top draft picks to the top performing teams and providing the young players a better chance to develop to their fullest professional potential with the best MLS teams.
The Revolution next host the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, April 12, at Gillette Stadium at 5 p.m. ET, broadcast on Comcast SportsNet.
DC – Own goal (Jose Goncalves) 43
DC – Chris Rolfe (Fabian Espindola) 93+
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney, Jose Goncalves ©, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen, Andy Dorman, Daigo Kobayashi (Steve Neumann 84), Saer Sene (Charlie Davies 60), Teal Bunbury
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Scott Caldwell, Stephen McCarthy, Darrius Barnes, Dimitry Imbongo
STATS: Shots 10, Shots on target 1, Saves 1, Corner kicks 2, Offsides 4, Fouls 13, Possession 53%, Passes 447 (74%)
D.C. United: Andrew Dykstra, Cristian Fernandez, Jeff Parke, Bobby Boswell, Sean Franklin, Lewis Neal (Chris Rolfe 63), Perry Kitchen, Davy Arnaud, Nick De Leon, Fabian Espindola, Eddie Johnson (Conor Doyle 87)
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Willis, Nana Attakora, Alex Caskey, Jared Jeffrey, Taylor Kemp
STATS: Shots 9, Shots on target 2, Saves 1, Corner kicks 2, Offsides 7, Fouls 15, Possession 47%, Passes 395 (71.9%)
DC – Lewis Neal (caution) 2
NE – Andy Dorman (caution) 26
NE – Charlie Davies (caution) 88
DC – Conor Doyle (caution) 92+
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Assistant Referees: Greg Barkey, Richard Gamache
Fourth Official: Daniel Fitzgerald