FOXBORO, Mass. - The crowd (13,589) was tiny. The rain (as always) poured down. But while Saturday might thereby have seemed like a home game, Gillette Stadium was anything but hospitable to DC United in a chippy, 2-1 loss to the New England Revolution that featured five yellow cards and a straight red for Eddie Johnson.
The loss marked just the second for DC United (5-4-3) in its last 12 contests.
"We're extremely disappointed with the result. I felt like we did more than enough to come away with something from the game, and we didn't," midfielder Davy Arnaud said. "Coming off three games in a week, I thought we came here and matched them and then some."
While Arnaud spoke, most of his DCU teammates stayed inside the locker room. Showers were prolonged. Little was said.
The match looked, after all, like it might very well be headed in the visitors' direction in the 73rd minute. Fabian Espindola—who started on the bench in Foxboro after playing 270 minutes this past week—equalized from near the six-yard box after being subbed on, collecting a centering pass from Christian and finishing cleanly past Bobby Shuttleworth.
Four minutes later, though, the Eastern Conference-leading Revolution had already restored their advantage.
Diego Fagundez, who along with Arnaud received a yellow card for an incident in the 67th, caught Bill Hamid off his line after a cross from Teal Bunbury to make it 2-1 New England.
But while some teams may have laid down after finding themselves with a second deficit, Ben Olsen's squad started laying people out.
Eddie Johnson, a week removed from netting his first goal of the season against Montreal, was judged to have kicked Kelyn Rowe in the 82nd minute and was immediately ejected; Johnson had just two shots (one on goal) prior to his sending-off.
Saturday night's physicality manifested itself early on—perhaps most noticeably in the beginning stages of the second half, when right back Chris Korb was knocked down by Fagundez on Patrick Mullins' opener in the 55th.
"I'm not sure about the first goal, if that's..." Olsen said, trailing off. "I'm sure when I look at it, I'm gonna think again that that's a foul. And I'm gonna have to check out the red on Eddie. I thought that was a little harsh, too."
Johnson, who was not available after the game, will now be out for next week's match against Sporting Kansas City, after having already served a one-game suspension on Wednesday for a challenge on Impact goalie Troy Perkins.
Sean Franklin—who made the 18 against New England after a couple weeks out with an injury—is "fine," Olsen said, and should be in the starting XI next Saturday at RFK. After scoring against Houston midweek, Chris Rolfe was held out Saturday as a precaution, while Conor Doyle and Luis Silva each sat with illnesses.
Both midfielder Alex Caskey and forward Collin Martin made their first starts for United in the loss.
"When you play a team in your conference that's ahead of you, you want to try and jump them, and that wasn't the case tonight," center back Bobby Boswell said. "You play enough games, you're gonna have some that don't go your way. But this one still hurts, because I think we thought we were better than them."