for this game

Revs end skid with first road win of year at D.C.

Jul 21, 2011 - 4:46 AM Washington, D.C. (Sports Network) - New England coach Steve Nicol could only shake his head after Pat Phelan surrendered a penalty kick during a scoreless game Wednesday night, but D.C. United coach Ben Olsen's reaction minutes later better told the story at RFK Stadium.

Charlie Davies had converted all four of his penalties this year, but launched the kick over the crossbar late in the first half. Olsen could just stare into the ground in front of United's bench, and about an hour later, he didn't feel much better.

Stephen McCarthy scored in the 73rd minute as the Revolution beat D.C. United, 1-0, to win on the road for the first time in 10 matches this season and end a nine-match winless streak in Major League Soccer.

"We obviously got a break with [United] missing the penalty, but we haven't had a break since I think we played them last [in March]," Nicol said.

"Everything we've gotten with our team we've had to claw to get, so we got a break there but at the same time we did make some chances."

The Revolution (4-9-7) won for just the fourth time this season, and for the first time since a win over expansion Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 14. New England overtook Toronto FC and the Chicago Fire to climb out of last place in the Eastern Conference.

United (5-6-8) had its five-match unbeaten run snapped as it remained winless at home since it defeated Seattle Sounders FC on May 4. D.C. is now just four points ahead of New England in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

Just days after calling his team "schoolboys" following a 3-0 defeat Sunday to the Philadelphia Union, Nicol's team failed to respond to the criticism early against United.

With temperatures of almost 90 degrees and a heat index of 100 at kick off, it was even hotter for New England goalie Matt Reis in the first half. Dwayne De Rosario put Reis under pressure a few times before Davies, who has eight goals this season, forced a diving save at the left post in the 17th minute.

One minute later, Reis showed off his ability again with a diving save at the right post to tip a blast from De Rosario around the right upright.

New England ended a 120-minute drought without a shot on goal just after the half-hour mark, but Zak Boggs' half-volley from 20 yards was parried away from the net by United goalie Bill Hamid.

As the Revolution continued to struggle to connect offensively, United easily worked its way through New England's defense throughout the first half only to lack a final touch in front of goal.

United was finally rewarded for its attacking mentality in the 43rd, when Josh Wolff tried to send a pass in from the right side of the box and Phelan lifted his arm to knock down the ball, drawing an immediate call from referee Michael Kennedy.

Nicol was upset on the sideline, but could only shake his head as Davies lined up the spot kick. However, Reis did not have to work to stop the penalty kick, as the former U.S. national team striker lifted his shot well high.

"[The miss] was huge because we didn't have to play from behind," Reis said.

Thanks to Reis' two key saves and Davies' miss, the Revolution reached half on even terms and showed more offensively after half. Zack Schilawski, making his first start in 11 games, headed off target on one of the best early chances.

Clyde Simms and De Rosario shot just wide of each post in the next few minutes for United, and New England finally made D.C. pay for its missed chances when McCarthy converted his team's second shot on goal in the 73rd.

Although New England wasted numerous set pieces in the game, Chris Tierney was able to drive a corner kick to McCarthy, who turned a header from 10 yards off the ground and just inside the right post on one hop.

"It doesn't really matter if we had more chances, because they took advantage of the one they had," Olsen said.

McCarthy's second goal of the season was never answered by United, although it was Reis who preserved the rare win with a few more strong saves, one against Austin Da Luz and two more against De Rosario.

Reis finished with six saves for his fourth shutout of the year to help Nicol and the Revolution breathe a little easier ahead of Saturday's game at the MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids. United is off from MLS play this weekend.

"[The win] was big for us," Reis said. "We haven't had a lot to be happy about this year and after our performance against Philadelphia on the weekend, we were really down in the dumps and it just shows a lot of heart and resolve in these guys.

"I still think this team is good enough to win and we definitely showed it."