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Twellman Hat Trick Leaves United at a Loss

September 7, 2002 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - D.C. United News Release

FOXBOROUGH, MA (September 7, 2002) - Taylor Twellman scored a hat trick, Adin Brown shut out United for the third time this season and New England toppled the Black-and-Red 3-0 before 15,748 at Gillette Stadium. D.C. United has not won a road game since defeating the Revolution July 14, 2001, a streak of 18 consecutive matches. United will finish the campaign with a home-and-home series against the MetroStars and a home date with Dallas. The club must win all three matches to hold any hope of advancing to the post-season.

"We had the better of play for much of the game tonight, but it was clear to me that New England simply wanted the go-ahead goal more," said United Head Coach Ray Hudson. "Their sheer determination was the difference."

Tonight's match highlighted two teams battling to remain in the playoff race. With so much on the line, the sides began the game at a frantic pace. Jaime Moreno had two fleeting opportunities within the Revolution penalty area while Twellman nodded a header off of the crossbar within the opening two minutes. By the ten minute mark, the sides had settled into the game, looking for extended possession and build-up in the attack.

In the 11th minute, Ryan Nelsen's tackle won the ball, but left the New Zealand international with a sprained right MCL. Nelsen left the game five minutes later in favor of Petter Villegas and will not return to action for the Black-and-Red this season. D.C. United would be forced to continue their must-win match without the club's leading scorer and mainstay of the back line. The Black-and-Red responded by using the speed of Villegas and Bobby Convey to free play along the wings.

The visitor's assertiveness produced positive results. Twenty minutes in, quick passing from Petter Villegas and Ben Olsen resulted in the ball being placed on Moreno's right foot 12 yards from goal. His one-timer missed just high of target. Later, a Villegas cross caught the Revolution backline off-guard before being cleared over the end line by Daouda Kante. D.C. United continued to play quickly and creatively through the middle third of the field, but repeated efforts failed to produce scoring chances of quality. A typically sturdy and well positioned defense rendered the high-powered Revolution attack equally ineffective and the first half finished in a scoreless draw.

D.C. United emerged from the locker room in disorganized fashion. The defense twice lost possession in their own end, but were able to recover before the hosts caused any damage. The club would re-group, however, and once again begin to pressure the New England defense. Three minutes into the second stanza, United nearly broke through. After winning the ball near the midfield stripe, Marco Etcheverry left the ball to Villegas along the right flank. His cross was deflected just over the cross bar by the 19-year-old midfielder. Minutes later, Villegas rifled an attempt just over his target. Moreno followed by beating Kante between his legs before missing just wide left with his bid. Villegas then freed a streaking Olsen, but his off-balance attempt presented no challenge to Brown.

In the game's 63rd minute, New England broke through. Steve Ralston collected a pass from Daniel Hernandez and broke behind United's defense along the left side of the penalty area. His right-footed bender beat Nick Rimando and caromed off of the right post. Amidst a scramble for the ball, Twellman one-timed the rebound off of the same post and into the back of the net.

Despite their perilous situation, United pushed for the equalizer. Etcheverry squeezed between three defenders before his quick toe poke was deflected over the endline. The resulting corner dropped to Convey within 10 yards from goal, but the midfielder was unable to direct a shot on frame. The Black-and-Red continued to press forward, inserting Henry Zambrano for Brandon Prideaux in the 74th minute.

United's fate was sealed, however, just a minute later. Brian Kamler collected a loose ball and sent a lengthy through pass to Twellman, well clear of any defender. The MLS point leader calmly beat Rimando to etch himself in the Revolution record book as the club's all-time leading single season goal-scorer (19). Twellman finished the scoring in the 90th minute in similar fashion after collecting Leo Cullen's long lead pass.


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