- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 16, 2008

D.C. United doesn’t know which Louis Crayton will turn up against the New England Revolution at RFK Stadium on Thursday night.

Will it be the goalie whose blunder led to a 3-0 loss against visiting Chivas USA on Oct. 4 or the goalie who preserved 0-0 tie at the Houston Dynamo on Sunday?

Crayton almost single-handedly kept United’s depleted lineup in the game against the two-time defending MLS champions.

“It was redemption day for me,” Crayton said.

Crayton will need another strong performance in the club’s last MLS home game. Revolution forward Taylor Twellman has scored 14 career goals against United, more than any other player.

“He’s a sneaky player,” defender Devon McTavish said. “We will have to keep tabs on him.”

Crayton knows about Twellman’s talents.

“In my second game in the league, he scored a goal against me,” Crayton said.

Twellman, a former Maryland star, has 98 career goals and likely will become the fifth player - and the youngest in MLS history - to reach 100.

“Taylor’s the guy who doesn’t get a lot of touches, but with the touches he does get, he creates real opportunities,” United coach Tom Soehn said.

With Crayton in goal, United is 3-5-3 in all competitions with four shutouts. The 30-year-old signed with United on Aug. 15 after playing 11 years in the Swiss league. Over his career, Crayton has earned 36 caps with the Liberian national team. Since joining United, the keeper has shown aggressiveness in coming off his line - sometimes to a fault. Ultimately, however, it was his quick instincts and an ability to make difficult saves that earned him the job over opening day starter Zach Wells.

“We know it’s our last home game, and we’ve got to do everything [Thursday] … to help us win this game,” Crayton said.

But Crayton only can do so much against the Revolution. United needs to score goals to get back into the playoff picture. The club has not scored in its last three league games, and its two leading strikers are battling injuries. Jaime Moreno (knee) said he won’t start but may see some minutes. Luciano Emilio (hamstring), who has missed the last two games, trained Wednesday and is listed as probable. Soehn refused to comment on the status of the two forwards but said they would be available for the game.

United midfielder Fred, who was originally believed to be lost for the season after suffering a hamstring injury, is now listed as questionable on the club’s injury report.

United needs to win both of its remaining games to have any hope of advancing to the postseason.

“We need to walk away with three points,” McTavish said. “If we come away with a win, we are still in the playoff run.”

The playoff-bound Revolution will be without all-time MLS assists leader Steve Ralston, who broke his leg in Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Kansas City.

United is winless in 10 MLS games (0-7-3) since beating Colorado 3-0 at RFK Stadium on Aug. 23.

“It’s a home game, and we are going to win,” defender Marc Burch said. “We are confident right now.”

Notes - Crayton said he has received massive support after a fan called him a racial slur after the Houston game. Houston president Oliver Luck, coach Dominic Kinnear and more than 150 Houston fans sent him apologies, including the fan who abused him. …

United will be without veteran defender Bryan Namoff, who is suspended because of a red card against Houston. …

Former D.C. United defender Jeff Agoos will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Tradition at the game.



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