Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Revs' resilience, Twellman's brilliance down Chicago
by Ridge Mahoney, November 9th, 2007 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

If all 1-0 games featured the teams sharing 36 shots equally, dozens of crunching tackles, and a moment of flair a la Taylor Twellman on a chilly Thursday night, so much more popular in America MLS might be.

The Revs' poise and tenacity proved superior to Chicago's sporadic bursts, but only by that single goal, as a noisy but disappointingly small crowd of 10,317 did its best to fill the vastness of Gillette Stadium with banging drums and droning chants. At the final whistle, they celebrated their third straight victory in the Eastern Conference final and a spot in MLS Cup.

November soccer in the Northeast is prosaic. Sub-freezing temperatures and balls skittering across an artificial surface discourage fancy feints or pretty pirouettes, but amid stretches of aimless, sometimes reckless play, players linked up to move the ball smoothly and crisply.

Referee Kevin Stott let most of the borderline stuff go, which greatly irritated Cuauhtemoc Blanco and occasionally left a player stretched out in distress, but for a playoff game to generate far more shots than fouls (22, 11 to each team) is a testament to the players as well as the referee. Usually the players, even the cantankerous Blanco, got up and got on with it.

The fact six players were carrying yellow cards and knew another one would rule them out of the final minimized debate, leaving Stott free to ignore Blanco's tumbles, use the advantage rule wisely, and issue just one card, to the Revs' Jeff Larentowicz.

Chicago pressed early but couldn't net the goal that would have enabled it to play tighter against a team trying to catch-up. Twellman lit up the night with a goal steeped in his characteristic opportunism yet rather alien to his lunch-bucket persona in the 38th minute.

He and Fire defender Dasan Robinson contested a Wells Thompson cross and after the ball had ricocheted straight up into the air,

Twellman went horizontal to strike a bike between the desperate lunges of Robinson and Logan Pause. The sharply hit ball skipped off the turf past Fire keeper Matt Pickens, who had come out a few yards as the cross came over but then retreated and thus had no chance to reach it.

Chicago generated a fair share of chances at both ends of the match. In the first half, Avery John blocked a close-range Paulo Wanchope attempt set up by Wilman Conde, and Wanchope also dragged one shot well wide and missed a close-range header from a Blanco free kick.

Chris Rolfe fired a low shot past the post from just beyond the penalty arc. But defenders Jay Heaps, Michael Parkhurst and John repelled many more crosses and passes, and Shalrie Joseph and Jeff Larentowicz plugged the middle.

The Fire sometimes got the wrong matchup in the right area. Barrett found space on the left wing, but seldom could trick his way past Heaps or Parkhurst. Had Rolfe, who twice needed a few minutes to recover from being decked, run onto those balls, more danger would have resulted. Barrett and Wanchope won head balls, but usually one of the Revs' back three pounced to hack the ball clear.

Twellman's goal typified not only his zeal to score in any way possible but his resiliency. Before he scoring he'd missed two decent chances and once got up off the ground grimacing, having wrenched his back in a challenge. It also marked the 100th tally, counting regular season and playoff goals, of a career studded by accomplishments.

Twellman's bike came with Robinson draped over him trying to head the ball, and in such cases there's always a suspicion of dangerous play. But while Robinson did turn his head just in case Twellman's foot were to reach it, he was never going to get the ball leaning over Twellman's shoulder.

Chicago coach Juan Carlos Osorio held onto his two attacking subs until very late. Justin Mapp, out since Aug. 29 with a sprained ankle, entered the game in the 77th minute and speedster Calen Carr didn't get on until the 88th. Still, a final flurry nearly netted an equalizer against a scrambling Revs defense, but shots by Conde, Rolfe, Carr and Gonzalo Segares went straight to Reis, and Rolfe also fired wide.

New England maintained its unblemished record -- no goals allowed -- in the 2007 playoffs.

Chicago's loss ended a great run of 10 games unbeaten to reach the playoffs and then knock off top seed D.C. United. For Revs fans, they yearn that their team's run of three MLS Cup losses - including in overtime and on penalty kicks the past two years - is about to end.

Nov. 8 in Foxboro, Mass.
New England 1 Chicago 0.

Goals: Twellman (Thompson) 38.
New England - Reis, Heaps, Parkhurst, John, Thompson (Riley, 82), Joseph, Larentowicz, Ralston, Smith, Twellman, Noonan (Cristman, 86).
Chicago - Pickens, Brown, Robinson (Gutierrez, 46), Segares, Pause (Carr, 88), Rolfe, Armas, Blanco, Conde, Wanchope, Barrett (Mapp, 77).
Yellow Card: New England - Larentowicz 36.
Referee: Kevin Stott.
Att.: 10,317.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Cup: Remaining tickets sell out in three minutes    
Major League Soccer announced that tickets Saturday's MLS Cup between Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders ...
What They're Saying: Chapecoense mourner Claudiane Penegalli     
"It creates indignation because it was a human failure. It wasn't a problem with nature, with ...
What They're Saying: Simon Grayson    
"You expect it in the playground between 4- or 5-year-olds, not from two professionals who've been ...
MLS Moves: Quakes decline options on nine players    
Former U.S. national team defender Clarence Goodson, former U.S. U-20s Marc Pelosi and Tommy Thompson and ...
MLS Moves: Former Xolos sign with Atlanta and SKC    
Two Americans who began their pro careers at Mexico's Tijuana have signed contracts with MLS clubs. ...
Video Pick: Pulisic's pocket warmer    
Both had a laugh when Christian Pulisic entered Borussia Dortmund's 4-1 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach and ...
U.S. U-17 boys crush competition at Nike Friendlies    
The USA won the U-17 Nike International Friendlies competition in convincing fashion, clinching with a 3-0 ...
U.S. Abroad: Arena watches Pulisic and Johnson    
New U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena watched Christian Pulisic play at Borussia Dortmund as he ...
U.S. U-17s boys romp again, beat Turkey, 5-1     
After opening the Nike International Friendlies with a 7-1 win over Portugal, the U.S. U-17 boys ...
U-20 WWC: USA badly outplayed in third-place game loss    
Japan outshot the USA 29-3 while beating the Americans 1-0 in the third-place game at the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives