FOXBOROUGH -- The Revolution's powers of recovery were revived again last night.
After struggling through a 278-minute home scoreless streak, the Revolution broke through for a 6-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids, taking them within 2 points of Chicago for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Revolution (6-11-9) snapped a five-game winless streak as Pat Noonan, Steve Ralston, and Taylor Twellman scored two goals against the Rapids (10-8-9), who entered the match in first place and with the league's best defensive record.
"It's not pretty soccer but we came out fighting the way we used to," Twellman said. "We pressured the outside backs the way we used to. We will create a lot of chances if we play defense and pressure teams high the way we did. Our confidence has always been there but when the ball isn't bouncing your way you get a little down. We are all exhausted in here, we never stopped running.
"This is what got us in the playoffs the last two years when we made runs and, hopefully, it continues."
The Revolution visit Chicago Saturday, play host to Dallas (Oct. 2), visit D.C. United (Oct. 9), and conclude the regular season at home against Chicago (Oct. 16).
The enterprise of Ralston and the play of Richie Baker on the right wing ignited the Revolution after they fell behind in the 17th minute.
"If the space is there I am going to go," said Ralston, who started at right back. "We did a good job of switching the ball and that gave me more time on the ball and a chance to get forward. I came into the league as forward-midfielder and I keep moving back but I still want to go forward all the time."
Baker made an impact in the early going, his low cross punched out by Joe Cannon in the 15th minute. But the Rapids attacked through the middle of the field, Jean Philippe Peguero running through the Revolution defense. Peguero chested down a looping pass from John Spencer, held off Marshall Leonard, then faked Matt Reis and scored.
The Revolution retaliated immediately, Noonan's shot deflected by Cannon to Shalrie Joseph, whose shot was stopped by defender Nat Borchers. Peguero had a chance to increase the lead but headed wide from the penalty arc with Reis far out of the net in the 23d minute.
Baker broke through in the 25th minute, Cannon saving Twellman's header off Baker's cross. A minute later, Baker found Ralston runing into the penalty area. With the Colorado defenders marking Clint Dempsey, Noonan, and Twellman, Ralston continued through, finishing his deflection off the left post to tie the score in the 27th minute. Two minutes later Twellman took control across the penalty arc, and sent a hard shot off Cannon's right hand for his seventh goal of the season. Baker's corner kick led to a 3-1 Revolution lead in the 35th minute, the ball going to Noonan, whose left-foot half-volley went off Pablo Mastroeni's hand for a penalty kick. Ralston converted the penalty with a low shot into the open side of the net as Cannon dove to his left.
In the 40th minute, Ralston dribbled through nearly to the end line from the left side, then pulled the ball back to Noonan for a left-footer and a 4-1 lead.
Noonan left-footed the fifth goal, volleying a cross from Brian Kamler past Cannon in the 50th minute. Noonan was replaced in the 71st minute by Felix Brillant, whose first touch led to Twellman's second goal and a 6-1 lead.
The Revolution scored four goals in the first half of a 7-1 win over the Mid Michigan Bucks in a US Open Cup match at Foxboro Stadium June 27, 2001 but had never converted more than three times in a half in an MLS match. The Revolution had scored five goals in three previous MLS games, the last time in a 5-1 win over Chicago last season.
"We have to realize it's just one game," Ralston said. "But I hope this is the beginning of a lot of goals."