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Revs' rout puts them back on track
by Ridge Mahoney, September 12th, 2008 3:25AM
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[MLS] Three of the goals came very late in the match, yet in dispatching Chivas USA, 4-0, Thursday night at Gillette Stadium the Revs reminded everyone that potential MVP Shalrie Joseph isn't their only player worthy of seasonal honors and terrible results last week were probably an aberration. Steve Ralston, playing as a second forward in tandem with Taylor Twellman, scored one goal and assisted on two others. Twellman, Khano Smith and Jeff Larentowicz each notched a goal apiece as New England rang up its biggest win of the season after losing by the same score to Joe Public FC in the CONCACAF Champions' League and Columbus in MLS play.

Goalie Matt Reis recorded three saves and defender Michael Parkhurst cleared a ball off the goal line as the Revs (12-7-5) posted their sixth shutout of the season and closed back to within two points of Columbus atop the Eastern Conference.

Ralston had missed the past three weeks - including both of those 4-0 defeats -- with back spasms, but his return to health and a dearth of alternatives at forward earned him the start up top, with Joseph in the attacking midfield position and Pat Phelan alongside Larentowicz in the middle. Parkhurst manned the middle of a three-man back line that had Jay Heaps and Chris Albright on the flanks.

Chivas USA held the Revs scoreless in the first half, yet twice had to stop Twellman. He pounced on a poor Francisco Mendoza pass but pushed his shot wide of the post as well as stand-in keeper Dan Kennedy, making his second straight start in the injury absence of Zach Thornton. Later in the half he directed a shot on goal from a Ralston free kick that Kennedy stretched to save.

Missing Maykel Galindo and Jesse Marsch, Chivas USA was somewhat shorthanded, yet several times could have taken the lead. Atiba Harris muscled past Parkhurst but shot over the crossbar, and Reis saved from Ante Razov. Early in the second half Reis scrambled a loose ball out for a corner with Jim Curtin in pursuit, and Harris' header from the re-start called Parkhurst into action.

In the 53rd minute, the Revs got on the board. Referee Jair Marrufo played advantage when Joseph was fouled in midfield, and Ralston carried on to slip a through ball that Twellman dispatched for his sixth goal in just 10 games.

Kennedy kept it close by saving from Smith as well as Curtin (on a deflection), but Larentowicz struck one of his patented lasers in the 83rd minute that beat Kennedy and ended Chivas USA's resistance. Very late goals by Ralston and Smith rounded out the result that left the visitors at 8-10-6 and in third place just two points ahead of surging San Jose, which can climb into a playoff spot by beating Houston at home Saturday.

Sept. 11 in Foxboro, Mass.
New England 4 Chivas USA
0. Goals: Twellman (Ralston) 53, Larentowicz (Ralston, Thompson) 83, Smith 91+, Ralston 92+.
New England - Reis, Albright, Parkhurst, Heaps, Nyassi (Thompson, 81), Joseph, Larentowicz, Phelan (Mansally, 70), Ralston, Twellman, Smith.
Chivas USA - Kennedy, Talley, Burling, Curtin (Suarez, 82), Bornstein, Paladini (Braun, 59), Mendoza (Nurse, 86), Nagamura, Flores, Razov, Harris.
Yellow Cards: New England - Ralston 20, Albright 28. Chivas USA - Razov 43, Mendoza 79.
Referee: Jair Marrufo.
Att.: 7,606.


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