In true fashion to this season, the Black-and-Red surrendered an early goal to the New England Revolution in the first half. They went in during the intermission and came back out and played up to the level they are fully capable of playing. They scored not one, but two goals in the second half to get a 2-1 result against the Revolution. The win keeps United ahead of the Revolution in the tables, but extends their lead from four to seven points.
The Revolution were missing Jermaine Jones who’s currently out after undergoing surgery for a sport hernia earlier this week, but they weren’t short on firepower in their match up with D.C. The home side had an unexpected change to the starting 11 right before the match, Chris Pontius was slated to start out wide in midfield, but suffered an injury during pregame warmups.
— D.C. United (@dcunited) June 21, 2015
It was a hot and humid day at RFK stadium in Washington, D.C. New England jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 10 minutes into the game behind a goal from Charlie Davies. Once a member of the Black-and-Red, he didn’t celebrate after scoring the game’s first goal. It was a great ball played from Lee Nguyen from the right corner of the box and Davies made a brilliant run between both centre backs. Charlie touched the ball ever so slightly on the cross, it was more of a re-direct hockey style that skipped past Bill Hamid.
The Revolution really had success up front Nguyen really controlled the pace of the game, Juan Agudelo and Teal Bunbury were excellent on the wings. Their blend of size, speed, and skill really bothered the backline of United all game long. The Black-and-Red did have create a couple of quality chances in the half, but nothing resulting in a goal. The best chance of the half came from a cleverly passed ball from Nick DeLeon to Chris Korb who placed a nice cross to Espindola. Fabi’s shot was deflected and Chris Rolfe had a good chance on the rebound but the shot was placed wide.
The second half changed drastically as the home side started to sustain possessions and build quality attacks. The equalizer came in the 70th minute, Fabi found space on the right and got into the box. He placed a dangerous ball into the box and Rolfe was on the other end, finishing a great pass with a right footed volley that the Revolution keeper had no shot at. It was Espindola’s fifth assist of the year and Rolfe’s fifth score, the duo was simply outstanding in the half.
Miguel Aguilar was sent in for Connor Doyle in the 52nd minute, the rookie instantly got a chance to get on the ball and contribute. He brought a different level of skill to the table than Doyle, while he’s much smaller, Aguilar is fully capable of taking defenders off of the dribble. That dimension helped open up New England’s backline, as there were now two wings who could sustain possession and win in 1v1 situations in him and DeLeon.
United continued to control the second half after the equalizer, the Revolution tried to replicate their success from earlier in the game but met some resistance. What did start to work for them was servicing Agudelo in the air, the young forward was able to get up and over defenders to get a head on the ball. He was able to fire several headers on frame, but all were unlucky. It was incredible to watch him go up and get the ball, very good young player.
DeLeon, Espindola, and Rolfe were causing havoc in the attacking third as all three were combining to sustain possession in that area of the field. The Revs weren’t able to get solid clearances, as those balls were often sent back and serviced to DC’s wide players. Aguilar was the recipient of one of those passes down the left flank, he received the ball outside of the box and made a move on his man. He was taken down in the box, which resulted in a penalty.
After some discussion between Espindola and Rolfe, it was Chris who stepped up to take the kick. He took his time, and calmly put the ball into the right corner while the goalie dove to his left. It was the first two goal game for Rolfe since 2013 and he took the team lead in goals with six. New England tried to recover from the back breaking score but fell short.
The Revolution remain in second place and the Black-and-Red build on their lead in first place. The home team is headed back out on the road as their next five games are on the road, starting Wednesday in Chicago against the Fire.
- Rolfe/Fabi are a joy to watch together. Fabi played alone up top, but having Rolfe behind him really put pressure on the defense
- Loved the pairing of DeLeon/Aguilar out wide in midfield. Their ability to possess the ball and win in 1v1 situations definitely helped the attack
- Hamid. The man is simply amazing back there, he should be well on his way to winning that award for second year
- Agudelo/Bunbury. The duo is impressive, they present so many different challenges for opposing defenses no matter where they are on the field