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4/27/09
Revolution Update: April 27, 2009

Revs return home to host the rival Houston Dynamo at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon




NEW ENGLAND VS. HOUSTON SERIES INFORMATION

  • New England and Houston have met just six times in the overall MLS regular-season series, with the Revs holding an undefeated 3-0-3 record against the Dynamo … the Revolution is 3-1-5 against the Dynamo in all competitions, including the MLS Cup Playoffs and SuperLiga.
  • The Revs are 1-0-2 against the Dynamo in regular-season action at Gillette Stadium, including a 3-0 win in the 2008 season opener … New England is 2-0-1 in Houston.
  • The teams’ most recent meeting occurred at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 5, 2008, in the SuperLiga 2008 final … the Revolution claimed the title of North American champions with a 6-5 victory in a penalty shootout after the teams finished regulation and extra time tied at 2-2.
  • New England and Houston have met in two MLS Cups (2006 and 2007), with the Dynamo emerging victorious in both … Houston won the 2006 title match in a penalty shootout after extra time finished level, 1-1, and the 2007 championship with a come-from-behind, 2-1 victory.
  • The Revolution swept the 2008 regular-season series with a pair of shutout wins … the Revs powered to a 3-0 win in the season opener at Gillette Stadium on March 29, while they earned a 2-0 victory at Robertson Stadium on June 12.
  • The Revs have never been shut out by the Dynamo, but have posted three defensive shutouts in regular-season action.
  • Houston has never scored a goal in the first half against New England in regular-season action … all five of the Dynamo’s goals have been scored in the second half.

PLAYER NOTES VS. HOUSTON

  • Steve Ralston has scored three goals against the Dynamo in regular-season action to lead the Revs … he recorded both of New England’s game-winners against Houston in 2008, while he also scored against the Dynamo in the 2008 SuperLiga final.
  • Shalrie Joseph has scored two goals against the Dynamo in regular-season play and is the only Revolution player besides Ralston to have scored multiple goals against Houston … Joseph also scored the game-tying goal against Houston in extra time of the 2008 SuperLiga final, sending the match to penalty kicks.
  • Kheli Dube has one goal and one assist in just two career appearances (one start) against the Dynamo … both came in the 2-0 win on June 12, 2008.
  • Sainey Nyassi scored his first career goal in the 2008 season opener against the Dynamo, earning MLS Goal of the Week honors for his stoppage-time strike.
  • Matt Reis is 3-0-3 in his regular-season career against the Dynamo with a 0.83 goals against average and three shutouts … he is the only goalkeeper to ever play for the Revolution against the Dynamo.

LAST REGULAR-SEASON MEETING
New England 2, Houston 0
June 12, 2008 – Robertson Stadium (Houston, Texas)

Steve Ralston and Kheli Dube scored first-half goals and goalkeeper Matt Reis saved a late penalty kick, as the Revs swept the 2008 regular-season series with a 2-0 win over the Dynamo … Ralston scored the decisive goal in just the eighth minute, as Dube eluded a defender to create a two-on-one in the box before sliding a pass across the face of goal to Ralston, who tapped into the empty net … Dube doubled the Revs’ lead in the 35th minute from a Mauricio Castro corner kick, striking a full volley which found the back of the net … Houston had its best chance to score in the 82nd minute when the club was awarded a penalty kick, but Stuart Holden’s attempt was saved by Reis, who dove to his right to deny the effort and preserve the shutout.

NEWS & NOTES

TWELLMAN LAUNCHES CHARITABLE PROGRAM, “TAYLOR’S TEAM”
Taylor Twellman – the 2005 Major League Soccer Most Valuable Player and the Revolution’s all-time leading scorer – has formed “Taylor’s Team,” a charitable initiative in conjunction with the New England Revolution, New England Revolution Charitable Foundation and the world-renowned Children’s Hospital Boston … Twellman will host several patients from Children’s Hospital and their families at Gillette Stadium at 10 Revolution home games this year … each game, Twellman’s guests will go on the field for pregame warm-ups, and then be escorted to a luxury suite to take in the game … after the game, Twellman will visit guests in the suite, and each child will take home a goodie bag filled with gifts from Twellman, the Revolution and various other sponsors of the program, including many of Twellman’s personal sponsors … “Taylor’s Team” will officially launch this weekend at the Revolution’s game against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday, May 3.

HOMEWARD BOUND
After playing four of their first five matches on the road, the Revs will finally get a bit of home cooking as they’ll play four of their next six games within the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium … the stretch begins when the Revolution hosts the Houston Dynamo on Sunday, May 3, before the club returns to the road to face the Chicago Fire on Saturday, May 9 … a home game against the Colorado Rapids (May 16) follows before another road trip to face Toronto FC (May 23) … the Revs will then finally play their first back-to-back home games of the season against D.C. United (May 30) and the New York Red Bulls (June 7).

MIND ERASER
The Revs will be eager to return to the field as soon as possible this week as they aim to recover from Saturday night’s 6-0 loss to Real Salt Lake, which matched the worst loss in club history … incredibly, in some sense history might actually be on the Revolution’s side for Sunday afternoon’s meeting with the Houston Dynamo (May 3) … the last time New England conceded six goals in one game (a 6-1 loss to the Columbus Crew on Aug. 8, 1998), the Revs responded with a 2-1 win against the Tampa Bay Mutiny in their next match.

REVS LOOK TO CONTINUE REGULAR-SEASON SUCCESS AGAINST DYNAMO
As the Revs aims to bounce back from Saturday night’s 6-0 loss to Real Salt Lake, they will have to do it against the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup champion Houston Dynamo – although that may not be as bad as it seems … the Revolution has never lost to the Dynamo in the regular season, boasting a record of 3-0-3 in six previous meetings while outscoring Houston, 11-5 … New England is 1-0-2 in three regular-season games against Houston at Gillette Stadium, including a 3-0 win in the 2008 season opener.

REMATCH!
Sunday afternoon’s match pitting the New England Revolution against the Houston Dynamo will mark the first meeting between the two inter-conference rivals since the SuperLiga 2008 final on Aug. 5, 2008, at Gillette Stadium … after losing to the Dynamo in both the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup finals in heartbreaking fashion, the Revolution gained a measure of revenge by claiming the title of North American champions with a 6-5 victory in a thrilling penalty shootout after regulation and extra time finished tied at 2-2 … Nate Jaqua and Kei Kamara gave Houston the lead on two separate occasions – once in regulation and once in extra time – but Steve Ralston and Shalrie Joseph scored equalizers for New England on both occasions to send the match to penalty kicks … a winner wasn’t decided until the eighth round of the shootout, when Revs defender Chris Albright buried his penalty kick and Dynamo midfielder Corey Ashe sent his effort off the crossbar.

EVERY MEETING FEELS LIKE A CUP FINAL
Last year’s meeting in the SuperLiga title match was old hat for the New England Revolution and the Houston Dynamo, who have now met in cup finals for three consecutive seasons … the streak began with MLS Cup 2006, which the Dynamo won in a penalty shootout to claim the title in its first year after relocating from San Jose … the clubs met again in the 2007 MLS Cup title match, and Houston was once again victorious, coming from behind to earn a 2-1 victory and back-to-back championships … then last season, the Revs and Dynamo battled for the right to be called champions of North America in the SuperLiga 2008 final, which the Revolution won in a penalty shootout … with three of their nine all-time meetings being cup finals, it’s no surprise that every match between the Revs and Dynamo feels like a championship game.

BRIGHT HORIZONS ON THE INJURY FRONT
Despite the fact that the Revolution has five players listed as “Out” on its most recent injury report (Friday, April 24), there is reason for optimism in the treatment room, as many of those players have made visible progress in recent weeks … while Kevin Alston (R hamstring strain) and Mauricio Castro (L hamstring strain) are both currently listed as “Out” with hamstring injuries, the pair was very active in training last week, returning to the field for agility drills, passing and even some shooting … meanwhile, Taylor Twellman – who has been out all season with neck pain – has also ramped up his participation in training recently, playing as the neutral player in possession games and a small-sided scrimmage last week … the other two players currently listed as “Out” – Chris Albright (L lateral meniscus tear) and Gabriel Badilla (lower back sprain) – are dealing with long-term injuries but are also on their way to recovery.

ALBRIGHT UNDERGOES SUCCESSFUL SURGERY
The Revolution announced on Wednesday, April 22, that defender Chris Albright has undergone successful surgery on the lateral meniscus in his left knee … the procedure was performed by head team physician Dr. Bertram Zarins at Massachusetts General Hospital … Albright, 30, required the surgery because of a tear in his left lateral meniscus, an injury which he originally suffered in training the week before the April 17 match against D.C. United … he is expected to miss 6-8 weeks while recovering from the surgery and rehabilitating his knee … Albright has made just one appearance this season – the home opener against FC Dallas – and has missed matches because of suspension, a right ankle injury and this knee injury.

REVS TRADE MLS RIGHTS TO AVERY JOHN TO D.C. UNITED
The Revolution announced on Thursday, April 23, that the club traded its Major League Soccer rights to defender Avery John to D.C. United in exchange for a conditional draft pick in either the 2010 of 2011 MLS SuperDrafts … John, 33, spent the 2008 season with Miami FC of the United Soccer Leagues First Division after playing four seasons (2004-07) with the Revs … in 75 career appearances – including 71 starts – the Trinidad and Tobago National Team member recorded one goal and two assists.