The Black-and-Red’s evening ended in a deflating 1-2 home loss against the New England Revolution. However, despite the final score, D.C. appears to be a much improved and cohesive team, especially with the return of Taxi Fountas.

D.C.’s head coach Wayne Rooney remained sidelined due to illness, with assistant coach Pete Shuttleworth leading the campaign at Audi Field against Bruce Arena and the Revs. Before the match, Shuttleworth had emphasized confidence in the capability of the players to get the job done, saying, “we feel we’ve got a good group of players, we feel they’re buying into everything we’re asking them to do, and the style of play that we like to implement.” Unfortunately, Bruce Arena’s men still gave the Black-and-Red a dressing down at home.

While New England created danger early in the first half, Gustavo Bou thankfully bungled two close-range opportunities, giving the depleted D.C. squad some time to find their feet. The Revs’ early missteps would pay off for the Black-and-Red.

With some assistance from Jackson Hopkins and Ruan, Christian Benteke sent the Black-and-Red into the half with the lead, lobbing a rocket past Djordje Petrovic in the 45′. With some assistance from Jackson Hopkins and Ruan, Christian Benteke sent the Black-and-Red into the half with the lead, lobbing a rocket past Djordje Petrovic in the 45′.

New England came into the second half swinging, hungry for an opportunity level with D.C. United. A high-impact substitution by Arena would be just what the Revs needed.

Within a minute of entering the match, Carles Gil became a difference-maker. Gil immediately found Bou waiting in the box and supplied an assist to give New England the equalizer in the 63′. Within a minute of entering the match, Carles Gil became a difference-maker. Gil immediately found Bou waiting in the box and supplied an assist to give New England the equalizer in the 63′.

In an effort to bolster the attack, Shuttleworth brought on Taxi Fountas and Yamil Asad from D.C.’s meager bench.

Taxi Fountas returned to the pitch for D.C. United after a prolonged absence due to injury. Although he was only able to play about 25 minutes as a precaution, his signature creativity gave Black-and-Red supporters something to be optimistic about. Shuttleworth said, “we know he’s got that explosivity in the box where he can drive at people and get shots off both feet, and I thought he was gonna score. I think he had a couple of really good half chances, and you know Taxi is a very, very good player, and to have him back and available for selection will be really good.”

Fountas certainly injected momentum into the attack, but it wouldn’t be enough to overcome New England.

In the end, it was 17-year-old Noel Buck that gave the Revs the go-ahead goal and handed them all three points. Capitalizing on a corner kick, Buck managed to slide in a shot past Tyler Miller to put a bow on the game for New England.

D.C. United hits the road again to take on Chicago Fire on April 1 at Soldier Field.

Three Takeaways

  • Christian Benteke continues to deliver. Benteke has been a bright spot in D.C. United’s lineup, especially recently. The veteran attacker’s consistency has been a boon to the Black-and-Red. While we are happy to see him play the danger man, we’re looking for
  • Taxi returns, and so does our optimism. Seeing THREE designated players on the field for the Black-and-Red, especially three very competent DPs, makes us feel a certain way. We love it.
  • Getting defensive. It’s been clear that the biggest issue in D.C.’s performance has been defense. Tightening up the backline will go a long way toward improving performances. Notably, homegrown defender Jacob Greene made his first Major League Soccer start.

Watch the highlights from D.C. United vs. New England Revolution

Box Score

MLS Regular Season – Game 5

D.C. United: 1 Benteke 45′

New England Revolution: 2 Bou 6”, Buck 88′


D.C. United: Tyler Miller, Ruan, Derrick Williams, Steven Birnbaum, Jacob Greene (Nigel Robertha 79′), Russell Canouse, Chris Durkin, Ted Ku-DiPietro (Taxi Fountas 68′), Jackson Hopkins (Yamil Asad 68′), Mateusz Klich, Christian Benteke

New England Revolution: Djordje Petrovic, Dave Romney, Henry Kessler, Matthew Polster, Brandon Bye, DeJuan Jones, Gustavo Bou (Giacomo Vrioni 8”), Jack Panayotou (Emmanuel Boateng 7”), Noel Buck, Bobby Wood (Jozy Altidore 6”), Esmir Bajraktarevic (Carles Gil 62′)

Misconduct Summary

D.C. United: Williams 58′

New England Revolution: Bye 82′

BySarah Kallassy

Managing Editor

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Any reason why DC played in the home white?

Talonesque #

Closest to Cherry Blossom season, they wanted to wear them.


They were the cherry blossom kits.

Well, they did have some fight in them, but this is a mediocre squad with many holes. Canouse continues to regress, not very effective as a destroyer and useless in moving the ball forward. Nice job putting the body on Benteke when he had a reasonable chance at goal. Palsson will be a welcome replacement.
Hopkins is cooked. Reminds me of a slow Drew Skundrich. With Taxi returning, the left side depth chart is TKDP/Santos/Asad/Fletcher/Hopkins. The kid is just not very good and he is slooow – I mean glacial pace.
Birnbaum is almost immobile at this stage of his career. Given that he isn’t an organizer — that’s clearly Williams’ job — he must be replaced by a more mobile CB pairing.
Greene is developing into a tidy player — maybe he’s the answer at RB. I certainly think Ruan is better used upfield where he can use his pace and not be the last line of defense.
Benteke is a beast, I hope he can develop a good relationship with Taxi. TKDP had an average night — tried to do too much.
Miller reminds me of Louis Crayton — with more skill.


From where I sat…Greene had the deer-in-the-headlights look for at least the first 30 minutes…did he have on the wrong cleats? He was slipping and sliding. But, it was his first MLS start and in that context, he was more or less adequate and at times a flash more than that.

Benteke is the reason we continue to hope as the game progresses. Is he a hustling, go after the ball no matter what sort of player? Of course not. But he is a guy who makes maye 10-20 passes in an evening and maybe 19 are perfect. The guy demonstrates why MLS is still not an elite league…even in his “old age.”

Taxi put one or two shots on net in his shot time out there. That’s promising. Midfielders who push the ball up to him (with Benteke hanging out in the box) will give DCU some much needed scoring.

Disagree Hopkins is cooked. First game of the season. He got better as the night progressed.

Talonesque #

Thought the lineup choices were strange, including the one that “worked” once. In future, I’d rather see Ruan overlap from RB, and Hopkins on the right wing to do crosses with more consistency. Not convinced that Durkin is going to be statistically valuable in a starting role, maybe we just throw him on late if we need forward play and hope he does another random magic trick? Strange player.

More than anything, it looks like the forest from the trees is that many key players are neither ones to build on for several or even a few seasons due to age, and that we are not going to “win now,” either. Winning requires control and dominance consistently, and we simply don’t have that. We’ll score more goals than some teams sometimes, but overall, we’re not beating the margins between us and most MLS opposition. I’m not on the “abandon all hope” train for avoiding the wooden spoon just yet, but I think I can honestly say I’d have been happier without the “we’re going to be great now” fantasy that Rooney has put forward. It takes trial and error to eventually build greatness, and Rooney doesn’t want to be around long enough to even make a go of that. Based on how this squad is set up, it’s hard not to start looking past this season, and likely past this manager.


Nice analysis except for two things.

We have not seen Tax and Benteke together on the field consistently. If those two pose a threat, it may give more room in the midfield for others to shine. In addition, I will withhold judgment until I see the new midfielder O’Brien playing with the team. That is weeks off but the central midfield has been the weak spot for DC United for years and it could possibly become a strength. I’m looking forward to seeing Klich-O’brien and Benteke-Taxi all on the field at the same time. Having said that, the defense still needs more work.

Talonesque #

I agree that we’ll get more goals with Taxi and Benteke, and that should get us over the line in some games. O’Brien’s impact is as yet unseen, and might well be around till only early summer transfer time.

I’m actually not of the opinion that our backline alone is responsible for our defensive issues, think Klich is leaving a lot of the central defending to Canouse, and our lack of offensive effectiveness has allowed opponents to get forward with too much impunity. It well may be that we see a boost from Taxi and O’Brien, this squad is still not progressing like a younger core could.


Klich had an off game for sure. He only had 2 tackles and 2 key passes. But he did have a lot of crosses. Totally agree with rest of points.


I agree with a lot of what you said but I’m also going to reserve fully judging this team until O’Brien is here. While our CB’s aren’t good (and last night, ESPECIALLY in distribution), I think that Canouse is supposed to be a midfield destroyer but these days he’s just 1.5 seconds late to everything. Klich I don’t think is being asked to do defensive duty nearly as much as he needs to be given Canouse’s regression. I really hope that O’Brien’s arrival means that Canouse gets a spot on the bench and can come on for Klich once a game has already been won. We need someone in there who is positionally aware, and Canouse just isn’t that at the moment.

Talonesque #

I don’t know if I buy Canouse’s demise quite yet, he definitely works better when he has a partner sharing the load and they have an understanding. O’Brien may indeed end up being an upgrade, but that’s a mystery box as of yet. Palsson I feel doesn’t do anything particularly well, imagining him as Klich’s only cover is worse in my head than Canouse likely is in yours.

More than anything, it seems this team are underwhelming in their veterans and too often need speed and energy from extremely inexperienced players. I wish we could say were developing for the future, but not sure what most of these veterans can even impart to our young guns in terms of example.

Brendan Cartwright

Tyler Miller is currently on pace to be worse than David Ousted, but not as bad as Rafael Romo.

It’s harsh for him, but those are the numbers.


Were you at the game where NE could have been up 3-zip after 15 minutes. Tyler is fine.

[…] of D.C. United’s 2-1 loss to the New England Revolution by us, WaPo, and MLS. Blazing Musket with the other end of […]

Bryan McEachern

How do we miss out on local talents like Payanotou? The kid played some spirited ball. Our section actually gave him polite applause when he exited the pitch, which he kindly acknowledged. Hoya Saxa, right in our back yard.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x