D.C. United take early lead but can't hold on

D.C. United take early lead but can't hold on
July 27, 2013, 9:15 pm
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D.C. United fall to New England Revolution

D.C. United midfielder John Thorrington (8) tackles the ball away from New England Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe (11) during the first half at RFK Stadium.

(Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports)

For the second time in his pair of appearances for the Black-and-Red Luis Silva put D.C. United on the board tonight to give his squad an early 1-0 lead over the Revolution. United would fail to hang on in the second half, however, falling 2-1 to New England for their 15th loss of the season.

DCU's early assault on net piloted by midfielders Nick DeLeon and Kyle Porter produced numerous scoring chances in the box, but it was Silva's strike from distance that paid off. In the eighth minute the newly acquired forward sent in a deceivingly innocuous shot from the the top of the box that New England keeper Bobby Shuttleworth appeared to misjudge when a friendly bounce sailed by him. The goal was both his second for United and his second this season.

"You see the shot from outside the box," said Dwayne De Rosario. "He had an opportunity to play right but I've told him since he got here, 'Stop looking to pass the ball. You come here to score goals. If you have the opportunity to strike the ball strike it.' And he did it two times and it ended up in the back of the net. It's nice to see that confidence."

New England's attack heated up as the first half wore on, producing several dangerous moments and a pair of crucial saves from United keeper Joe Willis on Revolution forwards Saer Sene and Dimitry Imbongo at point-blank range. United weathered the storm to hang to the lead at the half -for just the second time this season- but the Revs' offense was just getting started.

In the 54th the Revolution tied things up on a perfect cross from Chris Tierney from the left wing. Tierney's pass found Imbongo in front of the net for a quick strike to tie things at on a piece.

Less than ten minutes later New England would put things away when Sene's close-range shot took a lucky bounce off the crossbar to tee midfielder Diego Fagundez up perfectly. With Willis out of position after going up for the initial blast, Fagundez got his head on the rebound for the quick go-ahead tally.

"I think in the second half we didn't play bad, of course they scored two goals and we were pushing but I thought we kept the ball more in the second half than we did in the first half," said Willis. "They snuck one in on us and then it went back to that old story of 'here we go again'. I didn't seem like we lost confidence though. These things happen sometimes."

Now 2-15-4, these things have been happening all too often for DCU, who have not won an MLS match in five games.

"It sucks. Losing sucks. We've lost so many games. You can't be content with it ever though," said Willis. "Once you've lost a certain amount of games it's easy to say, 'OK we've lost another one. Big deal.' but you can't ever have that attitude. You've got to keep on it every game. If nothing else, maybe we're not in the playoff picture but this is professional soccer. People are playing for their jobs now and spots on the team, starting spots. Every game is important for every player."

United remains in last place as Eastern Conference powerhouse Montreal (9-5-5) visits RFK next Saturday. Olsen plans to continue to tinker with his line up in what has become a busy season for DCU's front office.

"Silva's a real piece," said head coach Ben Olsen. "We're looking to add as many real pieces for the future of this club. I've got one eye here on the week-to-week of the MLS to figure out which guys are going to be here with the club. I've got another eye on the Open Cup, which is a big deal and finding out what the best team is to put out there. And I have my third eye on the futurue of this club and I still believe in the future of this club and a bunch of the guys that I have in this locker room."

Notes: Recent acquisitions Conor Doyle and Jared Jeffery made their first starts for United. Jeffery committed five fouled and earned a yellow card with his aggressive play. Revolution defender Kevin Alston entered the match in the second half for Imbongo, his first appearance since being diagnosed with leukemia in April. Dwayne De Rosario came in as a sub in the 66th for his first appearance since June 29. Chris Pontius missed his second consecutive game with a strained hamstring.