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Twellman, Ralston propel Revolution past Chivas USA

Sep 12, 2008 - 2:30 AM FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- Taylor Twellman opened the scoring in the 53rd minute and Steve Ralston had a goal and two assists to lead the New England Revolution to a 4-0 triumph over Chivas USA on Thursday at Gillette Stadium.

Jeff Larentowicz and Khano Smith also scored and Matt Reis finished with three saves for his sixth shutout of the season and 48th career.

With the victory, New England (12-7-5) moved past idle Chicago (11-7-5) and into sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference. After playing their 11th game in the last 38 days, the Revolution trail the first-place Columbus Crew (13-6-4) by two points in the standings.

"We won 4-nil, we are pleased and it is a great result," New England coach Steve Nicol said. "We know it was a lot harder than what 4-nil looks on paper, but we are glad to be getting our legs back a wee bit and we look forward to next week.

"It is huge. Tonight's win, a 1-nil win would have been would have been huge, 4-nil is fantastic. One-nil would have been great, just to get the three points and get us rolling - so hopefully we will start rolling."

New England enjoyed the better of play in the first half before finally solving goalkeeper Dan Kennedy just minutes after intermission.

Ralston raced up the wing and fed a streaking Twellman, who ran past Chivas USA defender Paulo Nagamura and immediately blasted a shot past Kennedy and just inside the right goalpost for his 97th career tally and sixth this season.

Twellman admitted that while the Revolution are tired, they were motivated for the nationally televised game.

"There is no doubt about it," he said. "It is hard to deny how tired we are as a team mentally and physically, but Thursday night at home on (national television), let's try to make a little statement. And then, (we'll) get four days off and really rest up because it has been a whirlwind for everybody."

Larentowicz doubled the advantage in the 83rd minute, blasting a shot from outside of the penalty box that sailed past Kennedy and just inside the right goalpost for his third tally of the season. Ralston, who assisted on the tally, now has seven assists in 17 matches this season for New England.

"It is one of those situations in my position that you have to come late and hope the space is there," Larentowicz said. "Steve picked his head up and dropped it off - and I just put my head down and shot it."

Ralston was happy just to be back on the pitch after missing the team's last three matches due to back spasms.

"It felt great to be back," Ralston said. "You know, watching is so difficult when you have an injury. You want to participate and be a part of it - and I was just glad to be a part of it."

Smith gave the Revolution a three-goal bulge in the 90th minute. He raced up the left wing and unleashed a hard left-footed shot past Kennedy, who had come out to cut off the angle.

One minute later, Ralston capped the scoring after settling the ball just inside the penalty box and quickly blasting a shot past the beleaguered goalkeeper for his team-best seventh tally of the season.

Kennedy finished with three saves for Chivas USA (8-9-7), which saw its modest two-game winning streak come to an end and remains seven points behind first-place Houston (10-5-8) in the Western Conference. Chivas USA fell to 2-7-3 on the road this season.

"We could have been better than what we showed in the second half, especially after we gave up the first goal," Chivas USA coach Preki said. "I felt too many guys put their head down and lost a little confidence and we lost our way."