WASHINGTON (AP) – While Taylor Twellman and the New England Revolution were playing their way to another MLS Cup, Freddy Adu symbolized D.C. United’s frustration as he sat on the bench for much of the second half with his head buried in his gloved hands.

Twellman, the reigning league MVP, scored in the fourth minute, and Matt Reis made eight saves Sunday to lead the Revolution to a 1-0 victory in the Eastern Conference final, earning New England a second consecutive appearance in the MLS championship game.

New England will play Houston, which beat Colorado 3-1, in next weekend’s MLS Cup at Pizza Hut Park near Dallas. It will be the Revolution’s third appearance in the title game; they lost to the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2002 and again last year.

While the visitors celebrated at RFK Stadium, the home team was left to rue a season that went horribly wrong over the final few months. A 14-game unbeaten streak gave United a huge standings lead shrunk as summer turned to fall, and the East’s top seed was fortunate to get by the New York Red Bulls in the first round of the playoffs.

United played better Sunday, controlling the run of play and outshooting New England 18-6. But Reis was always in the way, cutting off the angles, smothering the ball or stretching his arms just enough to push it out of harm’s way.

Adu, who arguably created more scoring chances than any United player, was surprisingly removed for a substitute in the 65th minute and immediately went on the bench and sat alone as play continued. The game might have been Adu’s last playoff appearance in MLS – he wants to play for a European club, an aspiration that will become easier when he turns 18 in June.

The Revolution’s only shot on goal found the net. Jay Heaps played the ball ahead to Pat Noonan on the right flank. With two players converging, Noonan lifted a cross to Twellman, who lost defender Brian Namoff and turned to put a 14-yard shot past goalkeeper Troy Perkins.

It was the sixth career playoff goal for Twellman, and his second in this year’s postseason.

Otherwise, United dominated the half, a sharp contrast to their tentative effort last week against the Red Bulls. United had a 7-0 advantage in corner kicks in the first 45 minutes.

Adu made a promising move down the right flank and lost his man with a nice stutter-step, but his shot was punched away by Reis. Adu also threaded a pass to Ben Olsen in the penalty area in injury time, but Olsen’s shot went right to Reis.

Adu continued to be active in the second half, nailing a 30-yard shot that forced Reis to push the ball over the net as it headed toward the upper left-hand corner. After Adu left the game, United continued to threaten, and Reis had to make one more acrobatic jump to knock a high ball away from Olsen in injury time.

The Revolution played without forward Clint Dempsey, who sprained his ankle in last week’s win over Chicago.


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