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Rolfe helps lead D.C. United rally past Revs

MLS: New England Revolution at D.C. United

Photo by Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports


WASHINGTON — While many might have thought the sweltering heat of the nation’s capital would drain players’ energy, Chris Rolfe — and D.C. United — weren’t fazed a bit.

Two second-half goals by Chris Rolfe led D.C. United to a comeback 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution on a hot Sunday evening at RFK Stadium. The win gives D.C. United breathing room in the form of a seven-point lead over their Eastern Conference rivals.

New England started strongly and didn’t take long to find a lead. In the 10th minute, Teal Bunbury released Lee Nguyen down the right flank, ahead of the defense. Nguyen sent an inch-perfect cross along the ground to Charlie Davies, who calmly redirected the pass into the net for his seventh goal of the season.

For much of the rest of the first half, New England looked by far the more threatening team. Had Bill Hamid not made two impressive saves, New England could have put the game beyond doubt before halftime. Hamid’s heroics seemed to galvanize his team, however, as D.C. United looked much more dangerous heading into the halftime break.

The second half began much the same way, as D.C. United used their possession advantage to create a handful of chances, but lacked the final ball, until the 70th minute, when impressive play by Nick DeLeon and Fabian Espindola opened up space on the wing, where Espindola lofted in a cross that saw Rolfe unmarked for an easy goal on the volley.

D.C. United rode the goal’s momentum and found a pay off in the 80th minute, when Steve Neumann’s challenge brought down Miguel Aguilar in the corner of the box. Referee Ismail Elfath wasted no time in pointing to the spot, where Rolfe’s low shot gave him his second goal of the night and D.C. United a vital three points.

D.C. United may have come into the game in familiar territory atop the Eastern Conference standings, but losing successive games is something that Ben Olsen’s team had not been accustomed to in quite some time. However, D.C. United entered tonight with two successive losses. New England has found themselves in unwanted form as well until last week’s win against Chicago, which snapped a six-game winless streak.

In addition to a commanding lead in the East, the win gives D.C. United a two-point lead in the Supporters Shield race, albeit having played more games than the Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps.

Wednesday night, D.C. United will travel to Chicago to play the Fire, while New England will be in Columbus for a match against Columbus Crew SC.


  1. Totally agree. The thing is: Woodberry was subbed out, as was Daigo Kobayashi, playing defensive mid. So that’s one of the back four and another from the larger defensive unit subbed out.

    Kevin Alston, who came in for Woodberry, is a solid player and a speedy guy. So I can see the idea of putting him in to inject some energy into a team that was fading in the heat. But so much disruption to a defense that hadn’t let in a goal yet all game is just a bad idea. And Neumann is an exciting player but he’s never player D-mid before.

    Heaps has occasional great ideas and frequently mismanages the substitutions. I think he’s really good at motivation and man management as well. But his strategy and substitutions are just really hurting us right now.

  2. More dropped points from a winning position. Someone in New England needs to learn how to manage a game. That’s at least 7 times this season the revs have scored first and failed to win…

    • They bleed some “meh” goals. What’s the problem? I like their CB combo – at least in terms of athleticism, it’s hard to find a better pairing – and London Woodbury looks like a real gem at right back. Are they just not synched up or are they not getting enough cover from their mids? Because in terms of offensive firepower, it’s hard to find a more talented bunch in MLS.

      The whole does not seem to be equaling the sum of their parts here. You’d expect the Revs to be comfortably in first and probably equal to Seattle, with the talent they obviously have.


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