- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 8, 2006

Taylor Twellman likes returning to the Washington area. The former University of Maryland standout scored the game-winner as the New England Revolution downed D.C. United 2-1 before 21,022 last night at RFK Stadium.

The 2005 league MVP has scored 12 goals in 17 games against United. Twellman’s goal last night was the 75th of his MLS career. At 26 years and 221 days, he is the youngest player in the league to reach the 75-goal mark.

“I’m so tired of him and the way he scores with his head,” United midfielder Ben Olsen said of Twellman. “He’s a handful and always has been and is always going to be in this league. He’s a thorn in our side.”

It was only the second loss this season at RFK for United, which could meet the Revolution in the playoffs at RFK if both teams advance to the Eastern Conference final. And it was the first time this season United has recorded back-to-back loses. United is now 2-5-5 in its last 12 games, not the best way to go into the postseason.

“I’m always concerned when you lose right before the playoffs,” United coach Peter Nowak said. “We weren’t sharp defensively. Offensively, we created a lot of chances.”

United outshot the Revolution 22-11 but lacked concentration at vital moments.

New England’s disciplined defense allowed United’s forwards little room early on. United reserve striker Rod Dyachenko, making his third start of the season, appeared to score in the 24th minute but was called offsides.

Two minutes later, United finally took the lead. Midfielder Matias Donnet played the ball on the right flank to the overlapping Bryan Namoff. The defender ran the ball down near the corner flag and made a cross. Jaime Moreno stopped the ball just outside the 6-yard line, and Gomez finished off the play, firing the ball past goalie Matt Reis for his team-leading 12th goal. With one game left in the regular season, Gomez is a strong favorite to win the league’s MVP award. The Argentine midfielder scored 11 goals last season.

The Revolution tied the game in the 34th minute on a goal by Clint Dempsey. Picking up a pass from Andy Dorman, Dempsey tore through the United defense, beating Namoff and tucking the ball under the charging Troy Perkins.

United missed an opportunity to take the lead when Gomez saw his shot saved off the line after a clearance by Revolution defender Jay Heaps.

Before the beginning of the second half, the players bowed their heads for a moment of silence for U.S. assistant coach Glenn Myernick, who was reported to be in a coma after a massive heart attack.

Once play began, United was down a goal soon after kickoff. Heaps back-headed Andy Dorman’s corner kick right to Twellman, who from a few yards out and unmarked easily headed the ball past Perkins.

Freddy Adu failed to earn a penalty kick in the 69th minute, when he appeared to be fouled in the box by Khano Smith.

Adu feels he’s getting a reputation as a diver.

“I really do,” Adu said. “I don’t read too much into it, but it has to be really something serious before the referee calls foul for me.”

United has one more game left in the regular season, a matchup with the Chicago Fire at RFK next Sunday at 5 p.m.

Notes — Before the game, Moreno was presented with the Supporters’ Shield from representatives of the team’s fan clubs, the Screaming Eagles, Barra Brava and La Norte. The award goes to the team with the most points in regular season. … United was missing key starters Facundo Erpen and Josh Gros, who both were sitting out suspensions, while the Revolution played without the injured Shalrie Joseph (hand) and Pat Noonan (hernia). This was the fourth meeting between the teams this season. United won 1-0 at home earlier in the year, then the teams traded two 1-1 ties at New England.


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