- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 9, 2002

D.C. United coach Ray Hudson is a man of his word. Earlier in the week, Hudson guaranteed a United victory over the New England Revolution, but what he failed to mention was that his goals would come from the most unlikely source.
New Zealand central defender Ryan Nelsen scored two goals, including the game-winner in the 64th minute, and added an assist to spark United to a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Revolution last night before 12,988 at RFK Stadium.
Behind Nelsen's heroics, United (4-5-1) moves into second place in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference.
For Nelsen, this was a career game. Until last night, Nelsen, a member of New Zealand's national team, had three assists in 26 games, but he almost recorded a hat trick in 71st minute when Revolution goalkeeper Juergen Sommer caught a Nelsen header between his legs.
"It was pretty freakish," Nelsen said of Sommer's save. "I'm happy with two [goals]. I think I might have been too greedy. Hopefully, I've saved one for next week."
Nelsen's game-winner came off an excellent cross from midfielder Petter Villegas. From the right corner, Villegas sent a cross to the top of the 6-yard box. An unmarked Nelsen sent his header to the far corner beyond the reach of Sommer to give United a 3-2 lead. Nelsen's header was as pretty a goal as one will see.
"It was just a great ball from Petter when he puts it on your head," Nelsen said. "With a great cross like that, it's just as easy to finish."
The last 15 minutes of the first half was a goal-scoring frenzy, as both teams scored two goals apiece. Taylor Twellman scored two goals by himself in less than a minute. The league's record book doesn't have an entry for the fastest two goals scored by the same player in a game.
Twellman, who was a two-time all-American at Maryland while on a baseball scholarship, struck first in the 35th minute and then seconds later, officially the 36th minute. Revolution midfielder Steve Ralston set up both goals. The Revolution took a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute when Ralston outran United left back Ivan McKinley to the touchline and crossed into the box.
Twellman, the second overall pick in February's SuperDraft, broke free from United defender Brandon Prideaux and with his right foot tapped in his eighth goal of the season from the top of the 6-yard box.
Before United could figure out what had happened, Twellman stung them again. Straight from the re-start, Ralston collected a ball from defender Jay Heaps and played a long ball to Twellman. Twellman brought Ralston's ball under control, put the ball through Prideaux's legs and ran onto it, and then sent a laser shot from 16 yards out past United goalkeeper Nick Rimando that gave the Revolution a shocking 2-0 lead.
"Tremendous performance by Twellman," said Hudson, who called him nothing but a poacher during the week. "Razor-edge finishing."
Twellman's second goal of the game made him the league's second-leading scorer with nine goals, one behind Los Angeles Galaxy striker Carlos Ruiz.
Apparently, Twellman's assault woke up United. In the 39th minute, United cut the deficit to 2-1 on Nelsen's first goal. Midfielder Marco Etcheverry took a corner kick that found forward Santino Quaranta for a header inside the 6-yard box. The 17-year-old Quaranta headed the ball down at Sommer's feet, but the goalie didn't grab the ball and Nelsen tapped in the rebound.
"If I would've missed that one, I would have subbed myself out," Nelsen said.
Quaranta scored the game's equalizer five minutes later in the 44th minute. Quaranta's team-leading third goal of the season came from Nelsen, who sent a long ball into the 18-yard box to him. Quaranta fought off two Revolution defenders Daniel Hernandez and Nick Downing did a half-turn from 12 yards out and fired a low shot past Sommer to the left post that tied the game 2-2.
Note
United will scrimmage Swiss league champion FC Basel Wednesday at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown beginning at 4 p.m. The free scrimmage is open to the public.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide