EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — In the deathly quiet D.C. United locker room, Bobby Boswell was slumped in a chair, towel draped over his head, staring at his cleats for what seemed like an eternity before pulling them off.
A 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls at Giants Stadium yesterday was certainly a disappointment for Boswell and United. Playing a team that had lost five of its last eight matches and was missing its star striker because of a one-game suspension, United (7-6-3, 24 points) should have had an easy time of it. Instead, the Red Bulls (8-6-3, 27 points) won behind their defense and goalkeeper Jon Conway.
Conway turned away four shots to earn his third shutout of the season in a match that was played mostly in the midfield and perimeter.
"I thought Conway was pretty good," said understated New York coach Bruce Arena, who led United to MLS championships in 1996 and 1997.
Said United coach Tom Soehn: "We had plenty of opportunities to get ourselves back, but overall I don't think our performance was good enough in the first half."
United, which was coming off a loss at Houston and a tie against FC Dallas, has scored just five goals in eight league road games. At RFK Stadium, it has 21 goals in eight games.
"If you don't finish your chances, you're not going to win," Soehn said. "There [are] no excuses. You have to come out and perform, and we did not do that today."
The Red Bulls made the most of their chance in the 19th minute. Forward John Wolynic redirected a pass from teammate Jozy Altidore past Troy Perkins for the only score of the match.
"Wolynic worked real hard," Arena said. "I think in his experience he's gotten a little bit better; even on a bad day, John helps our team."
In the 38th minute, Boswell beat Conway with a header that bounced off the near side of the post.
In the 56th minute, Conway stopped a close-in blast from United's Nicholas Addlery. Christian Gomez had an empty net two minutes later, but his drive was cleared at the top of the goal.
Red Bulls forward Juan Pablo Angel sat out the game because of a red card he received in a 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution on July 14. Angel is third in MLS in goals with nine, one behind Luciano Emilio of United and three behind Eddie Johnson of Kansas City.
Emilio was held in check, only taking one shot on goal. He said the Red Bulls' defense did nothing out of the ordinary to slow him.
"Nothing different in the first half; I was the lone forward in the first half, and I was marked in all angles," Emilio said through a translator. "We have another game coming, and we have to start thinking about the next one."
Dynamo 3, Revolution 3
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Houston extended its unbeaten streak to 11 matches but had to settle for a tie with New England.
New England midfielder Shalrie Joseph converted his third penalty kick of the season in the 66th minute to help the Revolution (7-3-6) salvage a tie against the defending MLS Cup champions.
Crew 2, Toronto 0
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Guillermo Barros Schelotto scored twice, and Columbus beat FC Toronto.
The Crew (6-5-7) are 5-1-2 in their last eight games. Toronto snapped a four-game unbeaten streak and fell to 5-8-4.
Rapids 2, Wizards 2
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Eddie Johnson scored his MLS-leading 11th and 12th goals to help Kansas City earn a tie with Colorado.
The physical match was marred by eight yellow cards and one red handed out by referee Tim Weyland. The Wizards were forced to play the final 23 minutes a man down after defender Jose Burciaga Jr. received a red card and was ejected for violent conduct.