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Aug. 30, 2008 – David Beckham makes Gillette Stadium debut; Taylor Twellman sustains concussion. Revolution 2:2 LA Galaxy (Att.: 39,256)

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Taylor Twellman scored a 22nd-minute goal, sustaining a five-stitch cut on the face and concussion as goalkeeper Steve Cronin attempted to punch Khano Smith’s cross (Cronin broke a finger and was replaced after halftime by Josh Wicks). The Galaxy rallied on Landon Donovan goals (33rd and 55th minutes) before Shalrie Joseph equalized (71st). Beckham seemed reluctant to perform on the Gillette Stadium artificial surface but made three appearances there in his six-year MLS career.

Twellman remained in the match and would go on to score three goals in the final eight games of the season, but was hampered by the concussion and held out of the playoffs. Twellman never completely recovered from the injury, though he continued to attempt to come back, and scored two goals in his final game, a 4-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on June 7, 2009. Twellman finished his career with 101 goals in 174 MLS games (.581 strike rate), the only player in league history with 100-plus goals in less than 200 regular-season games.

The Twellman injury, plus other losses through contract disputes, injury and transfers led to an uncharacteristic Revolution season-ending collapse, signaling the beginning of the end of a cycle. The Revolution did not win a game after Sept. 11, 2008 (0-5-3 from Sept. 11 through the end of the MLS season) and were 0W-3L-0D in U.S. Open Cup and Champions Cup matches from August on. The Revolution had a 16W-15L-15D record in all competitions, but went 1W-8L-5D after Aug. 20, 2008.

The Revolution won the SuperLiga, taking a penalty kicks victory after playing to a 2-2 draw with the Houston Dynamo on Aug. 5, 2008. But they were eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup in a 3-1 loss to D.C. United on Aug. 12, 2008; knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions Cup with defeats by scores of 2-1 (Aug. 26) and 4-0 (Sept. 2) to Joe Public of Trinidad & Tobago; and eliminated by Chicago in the first round of the MLS playoffs. Chris Aduama photo



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