Washington, DC – Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - The New England Revolution return to the road on Saturday to face D.C. United to bring an end to a run of four away contests in the club's first five games.
New England's first three games produced just one point and zero goals for the Revs. But a 2-1 win at San Jose last weekend that saw Lee Nguyen score the winning goal in stoppage time has provided a bit of lift for the squad ahead of the trip to the nation's capital.
"It is a big three points for us," New England head coach Jay Heaps said following the victory. "It really is. We have had a tough start, especially with our schedule with being on the road so much. We had to grind out a result tonight and we felt like we did a nice job."
New England's first goal of the season didn't arrive until the 35th minute against the Earthquakes, and it came from a Victor Bernardez own goal.
But after Chris Wondolowski equalized in the second half for San Jose, Nguyen became the first Revs player to score this season, and in doing so, handed his side three valuable points.
United is a team that has also struggled to find goals early this season with the team failing to score in its first two games before a 2-2 draw with Chicago.
Perry Kitchen scored in the 73rd minute to put United up 2-1 on the Fire, but Quincy Amarikwa equalized for Chicago eight minutes from time.
And although D.C. will be disappointed to have let the lead slip, Kitchen still was able to take some positives from the match after United opened the campaign with a 3-0 loss to Columbus followed by a 1-0 defeat against Toronto FC.
"It's a work in progress," Kitchen said of United's early-season play. "I think every game has gotten better for us. I think if you look back at the Toronto game, that was a step up from Columbus and this game's definitely a step up from Toronto, so we just have to keep building on it and working forward."
United will also have a bit of a new look as well as the team acquired midfielder Chris Rolfe from Chicago this past week in exchange for allocation money.
The move was due partly to the fact that both Chris Pontius and Luis Silva could be out for at least the next month with injury problems, forcing United to seek reinforcements in midfield.