Revolution on right track heading into home opener with D.C. United

Steve Nicol looks to have the Revolution on the right track heading into its home opener on Saturday after a dramatic 1-1 draw with the Galaxy last Sunday. (Courtesy Nordstrom))

By Ryan Fleming

Surprises have come early to the New England Revolution.

Many predicted the Los Angeles Galaxy to push aside the lowly Revs, last year’s afterthought come playoff time. Instead, the Revs, behind captain Shalrie Joseph ,showed David Beckham, Landon Donovan and the rest of the Galaxy exactly how this year is different.

Amidst torrential rain, the Revs left the West coast with a point, a huge accomplishment to any MLS team.

“It feels good starting the first game of the season getting a point on the road against a huge team like LA. Coming down here and getting a point is good for our confidence,” Joseph said after the game.

Confidence is something that wandered away from the Revs locker room as last season wore on. The Revs found themselves near the bottom of the Eastern Conference and out of a playoff spot for the first time since 2001. This season, despite only one game, the Revs are already noticeably different.

D.C. United comes to Foxborough for New England’s home opene. United boasts the league’s best story, Charlie Davies.

After suffering serious injuries in a fatal car crash in October of 2009, the American international has spent the last year and a half recovering, battling his way back – not only getting him back in shape, but learning the basics like walking. In United’s impressive 3-1 win over Columbus last weekend, Davies tallied two of the goals, DCU looked like a team much improved over its league-worst 22 points last season.

With the additions of Dax McCarthy, draftee Perry Kitchen, Fred, Davies and player/assistant coach Pat Onstad, United are undoubtedly an improved team over last year. With a leader like McCarthy in the midfield, along with the young and talented Chris Pontius, Davies should be seeing a lot of the ball. As the season wanes it, it will be seen if DCU’s No. 9 can get his pace back.

Of course, United isn’t the only improved team. The Revs showed a lot of character in it’s 1-1 draw to LA. The Beckham led Galaxy continuously attacked the Revs, but, with manager Steve Nichol’s new additions, A.J. Soares, Franco Coria, and Stephen McCarthy, were able to turn away the onslaught after LA’s lone goal.

“They all did a great job and it was a great point,” Nichol told “Half the time you don’t get them but today I think we got what we deserved.”

The Revs crew of newcomers will once be tested again, and like last weekend, where much of the attention was given to the obvious choices, Donovan, Beckham and Juan Pablo Angel, the eyes will be on someone else.

“It was for me crossing a finish line,” Davies told to the Washington post after his team’s 3-1 win. “But another race starts again. It was just another hurdle, another mountain I was able to climb, conquer. But now the real journey starts for me.”

The Revolution will do their best in pulling another upset, and at least putting a minor bump in the road of Davies’s amazing recovery.

Ryan Fleming can be reached at

Game Notes

-Kitchen is out for DCU taking part in the US U-20s.

– Revs are 10-5-0 in home openers and have posted a 4-1-1 record in the clubs’ last four meetings.

– New England is 21-25-8 all-time against D.C United with a home record of 14-9-4.

– The Revs enter the the game with DCU with a four-game unbeaten streak of 3-0-1.

-The Revolution are 10-5-0 all-time in home openers since Major League Soccer began in 1996.

Ryan Fleming can be reached at

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