MLS: A Look Back

New England Revolution 2, D.C. United 0: A Look Back

GibbsMoreno (ISIphotos.com) 

Photo by ISIphotos.com


WASHINGTON – The 20,664 at RFK Stadium didn't have time to comprehend the deflating nature of Kenny Mansally's first goal by the time he lofted his second dagger into the upper left-hand corner of the net.

Despite being out-possessed for the majority of the game and not coming up with a shot on goal until the 74th minute, the New England Revolution defeated D.C. United 2-0 Saturday night on the strength of two Mansally goals in a span of less than two minutes.

Mansally, a 68th-minute substitute, ran onto a deflected Chris Tierney cross from the left corner, sliding by the edge of the 6-yard box to slot home the game's opening goal in the 80th minute.

"I was sitting on the bench saying, 'Nobody's testing the goalkeeper, we can get more shots on goal,'" Mansally said.

He then deked out both Juan Manuel Pena and Rodney Wallace at the edge of the penalty area, creating just enough space to loft a left-footed chip over a helpless Troy Perkins – a la Clint Dempsey against Juventus – in the 82nd minute to seal the stunning victory.

"When you come in here, you're hoping to get a chance or two, and when you do you hope you finish them," said New England goalkeeper Preston Burpo, who made two saves in earning the clean sheet. "Last week (a 1-0 loss at Los Angeles) we had two chances, real good ones, and we didn't finish them, and this week we had two chances, and Mansally was obviously amazing."

Up until Mansally's stunning strikes, D.C. had a strong grasp on the game. United took full advantage of Shalrie Joseph's absence (hip flexor) by controlling the run of play, but the team lacked the ability to finish or come up with that final touch to lead to a goal-scoring chance.

"You do everything to win a game, but in the end if you don't score, you can't win," United midfielder Santino Quaranta said. "There's a lot of positives to take from this game, but I think the guys understand that we have to finish our chances and we have to do better."

The closest D.C. came to putting one past Burpo came on a free kick in the 14th minute, when Quaranta's deceptive low strike from just outside the penalty area was kicked away by the New England keeper. 

"I kind of leaned a little bit and lost sight, and then it popped through the wall," Burpo said. "Lucky I got a toe on it. We kind of got away with one there."

Quaranta had another chance in the 76th minute, when Wallace completed a great run down the left side by sliding a pass to the D.C. central midfielder inside the box. Quaranta's shot went straight into Burpo's arms, though, and the home team didn't register another shot on target after that.

"You try to keep that on frame and low, but I hit it right at him," Quaranta said. "Anywhere else I would've at least made him make a more difficult save."

Two games into the season, D.C. is still searching for its first goal. Not exactly the start head coach Curt Onalfo wanted to embark on in his return to the United sideline.

"I felt like our entire team played well for good stretches of the game," Onalfo said. "Unfortunately we lost concentration on a couple key plays and it hurt us.

"We're rushing things a little too much, but we have to stay positive and continue to plug away and know that those chances will continue and have faith that we'll put them away."

A positive for D.C. was the play of Brandon Barklage at right midfield. The hard-working, gritty Barklage, in his first extended action since suffering a torn ACL last season, turned in a strong, 70-minute shift before having his calves cramp up.

His cross at the end of the first half set up Chris Pontius with a golden opportunity, but the forward's header went high.

The 5-foot-11 St. Louis product also found his way to a Quaranta corner in the 61st minute, but his header just missed the post.

"I felt that he played well enough to warrant (starting) there again," Onalfo said.

The player who did the most to warrant a potential starting job, though, was Mansally, who immediately changed New England's offensive complexion.

He fired a 30-yard shot well right just minutes after coming on, but just generating something was almost more than the team had done all night.

"The two guys in the back (Pena and Dejan Jakovic) were giving Kheli (Dube) and Zack (Schilawski) a hard time, and the referees weren't protecting them and we were getting manhandled," Revolution coach Steve Nicol said. "We put Kenny up there to get a bit more strength and try and hold the ball up so we could try and get out, and I thought he did that. Obviously the goals were icing on the cake."

The Revolution, who will welcome Toronto F.C. to Gillette Stadium next week, will likely receive a much-needed midfield boost with the expected return of Joseph to the lineup. Although the team has done well to secure three points out of two road games, the lack of possession in both contests is a troubling sign.

"I think we can get a lot better, that's for sure," Nicol said. "If we can keep winning the way we're winning that's even better. It's about getting points on the board. You'd love to do it the Barcelona way, but not everybody can."

  • jig

    mansally’s effort was in no way similar to dempsey’s goal against Juve, in my opinion.


  • chicagofire

    They were in similar spots on the field, that’s a fact. Both shots went upper 90. Saying the have nothing in common is just as erroneous as saying they are carbon copies.


  • jig

    dempseys was a delicate chip with his right, mansally’s was a powerful curler with his left. dempsey was moving to his right, mansally was cutting in to his left. they are very different goals. bottom line is it doesnt matter, they were both sick. That’s pretty much the only thing they have in common, though.


  • VictorM

    DC in this game looked like the Red Bulls looked last season. Ouch!

    The two goals (this one and Dempsey’s) are very similar, imho. What’s different is that Mansally was shooting at goal, Dempsey was trying to cross the ball.


  • KEEP

    If this new DP rule is in fact underway, and DC already has plenty of cap space (BEFORE THE CHANGE) and, we suck….why not be the first to sign some talent that can finish or distibute? How bout going after some players from a certain doomed prem side?


  • K-Town

    OMG, Dempsey was chipping on goal, He even said he tried and that he was lucky because 9 out of 10 it doesn’t go in. Can we put this to rest please. I am sick of people saying crap like this because it is an American player. If it was Drogba everbody would be saying how he is a genius, even if it was a lucky shot for him. Hell, Drogba could be crossing, and the ball could go in and people would still say how he is a genius. If your a good player and you take your chances good things will happen, nuff said.


  • wilyboy

    If you are referring to Altidore, than you need to wake up. Jozy is going to finish out the season, play in a world cup, and then hopefully transfer to a side that will play him AND give him service. This would be an awful time to come back to MLS, and a step in the wrong direction.

    DP’s that would be more interesting: Raul (though he would be more likely to go NY) and Veron, as those are the two positions where we’re hurting.


  • plug713

    Six goals conceded and no goals scored. Back-to-back lackluster performances. DC United are in for a long, long season.


  • CSD

    Keep was referring to Portsmouth they have to sell players to try to balance their books. Unfortunately with the transfer fee constraints in the MLS I am thinking those players would be unattainable.


  • KEEP

    Nope…..I mean really doomed, relegation isnt the only problem with this team. Josy would be great but the players I’m talking bout wear blue kits, and the FA has stated that their players can be bought before the summer transfer….


  • grubbsbl

    This game was a microcosm of what the majority of teams, over the last few seasons, do to DC United: Just pack it in and counter. The problem is DC used to have a potent attack that could break down defenses. Now DC doesn’t. Also, our defense is in no way as good as it used to be. It possibly may be better than last season, even though the current results do not tell it.

    We need either some midfield genius or a beast striker. Pontius really should have scored off Barkalage’s cross. Would have changed the game and probably resulted in a win.

    My list of DP’s (Dreaming, sign anyone please) : Guti, Raul, or Van Nistelrooy


  • Charles

    Nice to see that kind of attendance, unfortunately it is for DC, unless they make some changes, I don’t they can keep drawing, they are not looking good so far.


  • Charles

    Obviously when 3/4 of the league has no chance of winning and most are mathmatically out of it 1/2 the way through the season, “doomed prem side” is a little vague


    Altidore is probably impossible, but I would like MLS to keep the national team members here. Landon being the perfect example of how you can make your home league successful and you can still develop to a world class player….while getting paid.

    I hope others are able to pull it off.


  • wilyboy

    Apologize, the possibility was there.

    I’m still not sure that Portsmouth has what United needs, a proven goal scorer worth a DP slot. Not sure either of their top scorers make the grade.


  • sread

    I was never convinced that Onalfo was the right man. He really isn’t that much of an upgrade from Soehn imho. DP signings will be good for the fans and the league, but I think it starts with the coach and front office.


  • KEEP

    It was pretty vague, I agree that some Nats players should stay in MLS….Adu being a good example, I remember a few years back watching him dismantle a (out of season) Celtic squad and thinking that 2010 WC would be his show….not so much, but who knows how he would have developed under Tommy. But until MLS is the league above all other leagues players like LD and Dempsey need to go big time IMO.


  • Warren


    Totally agreed, you and me both are sick of folks looking to put Dempsey down.

    He said it himself he was lucky, but yeah he did exactly what he was trying to do – and I don;t doubt it inspired a few more players to try similar moves. A tough angle on an emptey net may be better odds than straight ahead with the goalie prepped.


  • Warren

    Van Nistelroy is playing too well in Budnesliga to come any time soon, maybe in 2 years – and then some will say ‘but he’s 35!’ (or 34?) yeah so what he knows how to finish. But guti, Raul, Nistelroy are sweet dreams for MLS for sure.

    I agree it would be great if the general skill level of MLS could be amped up a notch or two – but not by keeping USMNT all at home, those guys need to be tested day in day out at higher level, Landon is the exception which proves the rule.


  • Smith

    Interesting quote:

    “”I felt like our entire team played well for good stretches of the game,” Onalfo said. “Unfortunately we lost concentration on a couple key plays and it hurt us. ”

    As an RBNY fan, I saw quotes like that last season. In other words, you guys are DOOMED.


  • Josh D

    Great attendance, wish we were awarded with a nice 25,000 seater like we deserve! I feel sorry for the neutrals as this game was like watching paint dry but DC will get knocked into their sense soon enough and I’m praying we have a rabbit hidden in our hat for a transfer because at the moment, we’re stuck in first gear…


  • bryan

    still had a blast at the game. loved the atmosphere, but man, i wanted to hear that place if DC scored. all i know is they better be working on their finishing!

    and the stadium people better be working on paving Lot 8!!!


  • Smith

    Ives – When the DC team moves to St. Louis, where are they most likely to play their home games? Will they be building a soccer specific stadium similar to the one that they can’t get done in DC???


  • kfly

    Ives- When the New Jersey team wins its first trophy, will hell have already frozen over, or will that occur the next day? I understand you’re no meteorologist, but a guess would be very much appreciated.


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