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Injury depleted Revs struggle to get results despite good play
The New England Revolution have come away with three ties in a row, while without as many as 11 players due to injury in addition to missing two players to the World Cup. The Revs were missing Pat Noonan, Daniel Hernandez, James Riley, Joe Franchino, Khano Smith, Marshall Leonard, Doug Warren, Willie Sims, Jani Galik, Ryan Latham and Leandro de Oliveira for all or most of their recent matches due to injury in addition to Clint Dempsey (USA) and Avery John (Trinidad and Tobago) due to World Cup duty. Despite this, the Revs still outplayed many of their opponents and can feel unlucky to have only come away with three ties in three matches.

On June 11th, the Revs took on the Chicago Fire in the opener of their brand new stadium, Toyota Park, in Bridgeview Illinois. The Fire looked to have gotten off to a perfect start to their home opener when defensive errors by the Revs led Chicago’s Nate Jaqua to give the Fire the lead in the 39th minute and double it 40 minutes later. Andy Dorman thought he had tied in for the Revs 7 minutes before Jaqua’s second goal when he slotted home the rebound of a Taylor Twellman shot. The linesman, however, declared the play offside. Replays showed that Dorman was in fact onside by several yards and made the linesman’s antics after the decision in which he seemingly taunted Dorman by nodding and smirking look quite foolish and ridiculous. The Revs finally got on the scoreboard in the 87th minute, when Taylor Twellman headed home a cross from New Zealand international Tony Lochhead. Four minutes later, Chicago seemed to have put the game out of reach when Calen Carr scored on a counter attack. The Revs did not surrender, however and with just a minute left in stoppage time Steve Ralston scored off an Andy Dorman cross to make the score 3-2. Dorman was not done yet though as within a minute justice was served when he sent a pass from rookie Kyle Brown into the back of the net. The match ended 3-3 in one of the most spectacular comebacks in Major League Soccer history.

On June 17th, a much tougher task was on hand for the Revs as they had to face first place DC United. Despite the ridiculous injury list, the Revs surprisingly came out the better team and put the pressure on DC. They could not convert the pressure into a goal, however, and DC United took the early lead when Moreno scored a great goal from long range a minute before half time. Going in at half time down a goal, the Revs could only blame themselves for blowing several golden opportunities to score in the first half. They came out just as strong in the second half and after goalie Matt Reis kept them in the game by denying some DC counter attacks, Dorman managed to be the hero once again when he tied the game at one with a great goal in the 86th minute. While disappointed with only a point from the match, the Revs could take comfort knowing they outplayed the top team in the league despite missing several key players.

The Revs would finally score first on June 21st, but again they would have to settle for a tie. It was Dorman once again scoring for the Revs, as he beat goalie Noah Palmer to the near post after receiving the ball on a nice through pass from Taylor Twellman in the 66th minute. The Revs were the victim of a late game equalizer this time as Kei Kamara scored in the 86th minute off a Ritchie Kotschau cross. Twellman had a golden chance to take back the lead before the end of the match, but his open header off a Steve Ralston cross hit the crossbar.

The Revs will be disappointed to have only gotten three ties from three games they felt they could have won, but at the same time they can be proud of gutting out three important points while missing so many key players.
June 23, 2006 Sean Donahue


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Houston 1
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