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New England Revolution vs DC United Game Recap


New England Revolution 

Starters:  Djordje Petrovic, Dave Romney, Brandon Bye, Ryan Spaulding (Ben Sweat 87'), Andrew Farrell, Gustavo Bou (Damian Rivera 87'), Matthew Polster (Joshua Bolma 64'), Carles Gil, Ian Harkes (Jack Panayotou 90'+2'), Emmanuel Boateng (Justin Rennicks  71'), Bobby Wood (Esmir Bajraktarevic 87')

Unused Subs:  Earl Edwards Jr., Omar Gonzalez, Noel Buck

Formation (4-4-2)

DC United 

Starter: Tyler Miller, Andy Najar (Ruan 53'), Derrick Williams, Steven Birnbaum (Brendan Hines-Ike 17'), Victor Pálsson, Russell Canouse (Cristian Dájome 64'), Lewis O'Brien, Mateusz Klich, Yamil Asad (Nigel Robertha 46'), Taxi Fountas, Christian Benteke

Unused Subs: Alex Bono, Chris Durkin, Kristian Fletcher, Erik Hurtado, Gaoussou Samaké

Formation (3-4-2-1)

Game Recap: 

First Half: Coming into a game where the Black & Red with the goal of a positive result and a momentum boost going into the League’s Cup, came a match where United played one of their worst performances. DC United had an opportunity to play against one of the top teams in MLS and as they did in Nashville, found themselves wanting.

DC had looked up for the challenge until they allowed the ball into the back of the net on a great run by Gustavo Bou. Once the team allowed a goal, United never looked up for the challenge.

The night was bad for United. Already down the team’s most consistent Center Back in Donovan Pines, United lost Steve Birnbaum in the 17th minute. He came off the field following an unintentional but pretty violent collision with the Rev’s Bobby Wood. Not one of the Referee’s better moments as it was obvious that Birnbaum was hurt and bleeding, yet play was allowed to continue. When finally tended to, it was obvious the team’s Captain would have to come out, so Brendan Hines-Ike came into the game replacing him.

Even with this loss, United was able to stay in the match. Part of this was because Wayne Rooney had the Black & Red man-mark Carles Gil with midfielders Mateusz Klich and Russell Canouse. It appeared to have worked but in the 45th minute Gil managed to find some space after receiving a pass from Gustavo Bou on the right flank. While United’s focus was on Gil, Bou continued his run, not being picked up by either a midfielder or center back. Gil was able to put the ball into the space between Hines-Ike and Williams where it found a running Gustavo Bou, who expertly headed the ball past Miller. This was Bou’s eighth goal of the season and gave the Revolution all they would need to win. 

Still only down one goal, United was in the game, and was playing decently, until Ian Harkes scored his first goal since his return to MLS in the seventh minute of the first-half stoppage time. This goal was greatly aided in part by Birnbaum's injury as the Center Backs allowed Harkes to make an unimpeded run. Off a United turn over in their own half, Bobby Wood played a quick through-ball to Ian Harkes, who had split the Center Backs. It was Miller’s soft pass that was intercepted, and he was caught in limbo. Harkes expertly chipped Miller from about 30 yards for a beautiful goal.

DC entered the half down two and looking bereft of ideas.

Second Half: Rooney surprised with his initial lineup trying Yamil Asad as a Left Wingback. He was okay, but it’s obvious that he no longer has the speed that defined his early MLS days, which was obvious when he didn’t close down on Gil for the first goal. Behind two goals, to start the second half, Rooney went offensive and subbed Nigel Robertha on. Unfortunately this didn’t help the team’s offense, and hurt the defense.

Harkes scored his second goal with another well placed finish in the 49th minute for his first two-goal match of his career. Harkes drove his shot off the underside of United’s crossbar off  Gil's second assist of the night. In his time with DC United, Harkes only scored two MLS goals, now against his former club he scored two goals in one night. Beyond that, his runs, movement both with and without the ball was greatly improved since the last time he played for United. It was a depressing reminder that United held his MLS rights recently, and got basically nothing for him.

Just adding to United’s despondency Andy Najar exited in the 53rd minute with an apparent leg muscle injury.  

The Revolution didn’t let the boot off United’s throat. They pressured the Black & Red into conceding a second-half own goal when Hines-Ike accidentally deflected a ball into the net.

To make the disaster complete, Mateusz Klich picked up his second yellow card during second-half stoppage time, and was sent off. He will now be suspended for United’s next regular season match.

The difference in this game was the stars. 

Djordje Petrovic showed on several occasions why he’s talked about as the best goalkeeper in the league. There was one moment when United was knocking on the door, but Petrovic showed his agility, reflexes, and speed, in denying United even a moral victory.

Carles Gil contributed his eleventh and twelfth assists of the season, showing that even when his opponents focus on him, it’s near impossible to mark him out of a match for the whole game.

Gustavo Bou not only scored, but his runs kept United’s defense off balance all game.

The New England Revolution thoroughly trounced the Black & Red in a 4-0 rout that has left the team with a lot of questions. United has a break in MLS play because of the new League’s Cup format. Once the League’s Cup is over, there will only be a third of the season left. After a game like this, one has to ponder what moves United might have to make to strengthen this team to make a run at the playoffs.

Notes From the couch :

  • The Revolution has come out on the front foot, but United is meeting them 

  • Birnbaum off with a nasty head injury

  • Taxi with an ankle injury 

  • Damn that’s a really great goal by Bou

  • Benteke just can’t exert enough of himself on the game.

  • Missing a true Left Back tonight

  • I think DC really need to bring in both a Right Back and Left Back for the defense in this transfer window 

  • Beautiful goal by Harkes, defense really let down 

  • Down two to a team that rarely gives up multiple goals is just not the recipe for success 

  • Did United even try to land Harkes?

  • Down 3

  • Najar out with injury 

  • DC’s midfield is being dominated 

  • Lewis O’Brien is a great player, but the last two have been off, wonder if he’s already one foot out the door 

  • Own goal, damn

  • Damn, not a great game for Hines-Ike

  • United just can’t buy a goal

  • Petrovic is the best goalie in MLS

  • Klich off on a really dumb foul 

  • Please just end this game 

Thank You Lewis O'Brien

Words from the Gaffer:

“He’s [Lewis O’Brien] been great for us. We’re losing a really good player, and we knew that’s what it was. We’re still trying to get him back and keep him here. I’m sure over the next two weeks or so we’ll have an answer from Nottingham Forest, but we’re trying in a few different ways to get him back.”

Player Ratings (FotMob):

Tyler Miller            5.3

Steve Birnbaum     6.1

Derrick Williams    6.1

Victor Pálsson        6.8

Andy Najar             6.2

Yamil Assad           5.8

Russell Canouse    6.7

Lewis O’Brien        7.2

Mateusz Klich         5.0

Taxi Fuentas            6.2

Christian Benteke   7.2


Brendan Hines-Ike   5.7

Nigel Robertha         6.3

Ruan                         6.1

Christen Dajome      6.9

Next Match: The next match is on July 26 at Montréal to take on CF Montréal in their first game of the League’s Cup.

The next MLS match is August 20 as DC United in New Jersey to face New York Red Bulls 

Written by: RJ Rolsen 

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