D.C. United rebounded from last week's poor second half, earning a point on the road in a 0-0 draw with the New England Revolution. In their second MLS game of the season, United looked less threatening over 90 minutes in a choppy game, but were able to earn their first point of the season after a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of the LA Galaxy in the season opener.
Travis Worra got a surprise start in goal, after Andrew Dykstra was deemed not healthy enough to make the trip to Massachusetts. The only other change to the starting lineup for the Black-and-Red was the insertion of Rob Vincent, who took the place of the injured Patrick Nyarko at right midfield. Fabian Espindola, who went 45 minutes in a substitute appearance last week, was also not part of the match day roster as he recuperates from an apparently troublesome hamstring.
After a promising first half was undone by a four second half goals against the Galaxy, United put in a more workman-like effort on Saturday, something United fans have grown accustomed to over the Ben Olsen years. Without many chances themselves, United were able to limit the Revs to just a handful of chances.
Neither the team started the game brightly, as New England began the game with a lion's share of possession, but could only force Worra, who was making his first MLS start, to grab a cross in the box. Gershon Koffie took aim from range in the 12th minute to no avail, before Luciano Acosta had D.C.'s first shot, a swerving effort target.
The game began to pick up after the midway point in the first half, as New England went close in the 24th minute from Teal Bunbury. Lee Nguyen picked out Diego Fagundez in the middle of the park, allowing the Uruguayan to turn and find Bunbury on the right. With options in the middle, Bunbury took the chance himself, but could only find the side netting with Worra cutting down the angle.
Vincent, making his MLS debut in his second appearance with the Black-and-Red, had an opening five minutes later, as Acosta found the midfielder out wide near the box. Vincent opted to shot right away, but Bobby Shuttleworth was able to parry the ball away, preventing any further danger.
Bunbury was sprung free moments later by Fagundez, but the chip was wide of the mark. Former United striker Charlie Davies attempted an audacious bicycle kick from the miss, but United blocked the shot out for a corner, which they dealt with successfully.
In the 32nd minute, a perfectly weighted cross from Sean Franklin found Chris Rolfe at the far post, allowing the midfielder to line up a volley, only for the Revs to deflect the shot out for a corner.
Jose Goncalves should have put the Revs ahead late in the first half, as the center back failed to convert a chance from a corner kick. Chris Tierney's corner picked out Goncalves on the doorstep, but the ball bounced over the goal, without an intervention from Worra.
United, after finding some footing in the first half, was pegged back early by the Revs, with New England coming close twice in the opening 15 minutes. After 55 minutes, Bunbury kept a ball alive in the box for Nguyen, who waited for an opening to shoot. Finding his chance, Nguyen beat Worra from inside the box, but the ball smacked off the bar.
Nguyen came close again four minutes later, as Worra was finally given a proper challenge in his first MLS start. Nguyen again found himself in the box with a lane to shoot, but Worra could only parry the shot away, and not far enough to completely clear the danger. Juan Agudelo, a first half sub for Davies, kept the ball alive with a back heel into the middle, but United were able to finally clear the danger.
Julian Buescher and Alvaro Saborio entered in the second half for Rolfe and Acosta, as United looked to hold on to the scoreline, after their second half capitulation last week. But without a chance to speak of for themselves, United again allowed Nguyen a shot on goal in the 79th minute, with Worra confidently holding onto the shot.
Fagundez tried his luck from range seconds later, but his effort bounced straight to Worra. Tierney then tested United's backline with a ball in from the left, but United knocked it out for a corner, which they were able to deal with.
United came close to stealing all three points late on, as Miguel Aguilar came on, and made an immediate impact in getting behind the Revs defense and earning a corner. Bobby Boswell was able to flick a header towards the middle, but Nick DeLeon lashed the ball wide from a tight angle.
Kelyn Rowe should have won the game in stoppage time, after receiving the ball in the box, and having to just beat Worra. Instead, Rowe's effort skipped just wide of the far post, leaving both teams sans a goal, but with a point.
United return to action next week against the Colorado Rapids on Sunday, in their first MLS home game of the season.