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Missing counterattack makes striking return

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Sophisticated counterattacking has never been the Revolution's forte. But they capitalized on the counter in their late-season playoff run last year and again in a 2-1 victory over the MetroStars last night.

The key to the counter last night was the midfield link of Jose Cancela and the finishing of Pat Noonan, who converted both Revolution goals.

"A good counterattack deflates [the opposition]," Revolution coach Steve Nicol said. "[Cancela] is one piece of the jigsaw and without one piece the puzzle doesn't work."

Noonan has scored five goals, plus one in the Champions Cup, since joining the Revolution in February. Noonan was expected to be a backup right-side midfielder but has been a starting striker while Chris Brown (right ankle), Joe-Max Moore (right knee), and Taylor Twellman (face) recover.

"I am just worried about making the playoffs," Noonan said. "With the other guys gone I have a chance to step in and I am going to do my best while they are out. But they are big-time goal-scorers and we need them."

Noonan made his first regular-season impact as a reserve in a 3-2 victory over Columbus May 24, the last time the Revolution won on the road.

"He is working hard and making challenges and putting the ball in the back of the net," Nicol said of Noonan. "He has had limited time but in the last two or three games he has come on. He just has to stay focused."

Timely return

Brown, who scored three goals in his first Revolution start but has been out since a 5-1 victory over Chicago May 30, is expected to return against Colorado . . . The Revolution converted three goals past Tim Howard in the first 50 minutes of a 3-3 tie with the MetroStars July 12. Howard was playing his last MLS game before moving to Manchester United. Jonny Walker, who played for five seasons in Chile, replaced Howard and has a 5-3-3 record in MLS and Open Cup matches . . . The World Soccer Weekly radio show will be broadcast from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. tomorrow on WWZN (1510-AM). The show, hosted by Steven Cohen, also is aired in Los Angeles and New York.

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