- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 19, 2001

REVOLUTION 2, D.C. UNITED 1

From combined dispatchesFOXBORO, Mass. Ted Chronopoulos scored two first-half goals to lead the New England Revolution to a 2-1 victory over D.C. United yesterday.

New England (7-12-5) ended a three-match losing streak against United (6-15-2). The Revolution had lost three straight by a combined score of 10-2.

Chronopoulos netted his first goal in the ninth minute of play, burying a low volley into the back of the net. Williams, taking a Jay Heaps throw-in deep on the right side, threaded a cross into empty space while fighting off two determined United defenders. Chronopoulos ran onto the driven ball on the far side of the box, beating goalkeeper Mike Ammann for the opening score.

In the 30th minute, Chronopoulos again finished off a Williams pass to put the Revolution up 2-0. Faced with a solid wall of white jerseys at the top of the box, Williams fed Chronopoulos with a pass into space through a seam in the United defense. Chronopoulos made a diagonal run from the left touchline, striking the ball across the face of the goal with the inside of his right foot. The shot found the inside side netting, putting United down by two goals.

In the 32nd minute, Stephen Armstrong, United's multi-purpose role player, collected the ball inside the Revolution box for a close-range shot to cut the deficit in half. Marco Etcheverry sent a long ball from the left flank to Eddie Pope at the far post. Pope headed the ball back across the box, where several Revolution players attempted to clear the ball out of danger. Abdul Thompson Conteh's positioning in the box, however, gave Armstrong enough room to control the ball and beat keeper Jose Carlo Fernandez.

New England defended its lead well in the second half, holding off United's strikers despite an aggressive front tandem of Conteh and Jaime Moreno.

Defender Leo Cullen made his New England debut in the second half, replacing Andy Williams in the 86th minute in a calculated defensive maneuver. Cullen was traded to the Revolution from the Miami Fusion for Shaker Asad and Johnny Torres on Wednesday.

United came close to evening the score and forcing a tiebreaker on A.J. Wood's header in the first minute of stoppage time. Wood, who came onto the field in the second half, rose over his defender to get his head on an Etcheverry corner kick. Fernandez handled the rising header, preserving the crucial New England win.

United (6-15-2, 20 points) is running out of time to mount a run to the postseason. Mired at the bottom of the Eastern Division standings, the three-time MLS Cup champion (1996, 1997, 1999) has only five games left to avoid missing the playoffs for the second time in two years.

United next faces the red-hot Columbus Crew, one of its archrivals, on Saturday at RFK Stadium. United must also cope with the resurgent Crew without the help of defensive midfielder Carey Talley, who was ejected in stoppage time yesterday for pulling down Matt Okoh on a breakaway.

Yesterday's win was crucial for New England (7-12-5, 26 points), a team poised tantalizingly close to a postseason berth. New England is currently ranked ninth in the overall league standings, just two points removed from the eighth and final playoff spot, currently held by the Dallas Burn (28 points).

The Revolution can make more progress toward the MLS playoffs with a win over the struggling Tampa Bay Mutiny next Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.


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