Rowe scored his third goal of the season in the 29th minute to give the guests the early advantage. But Pontius responded in the 32nd minute, while Neal, who came on as a second-half substitute, seized the decider in the 63rd minute.
The loss snapped the Revolution's modest three-game unbeaten streak (1-0-2). For D.C., the win put the brakes on a three-game winless streak (0-2-1).
With Saturday's match in the books, New England's record stands at 7-15-7 (28 points) while D.C.'s mark goes to 13-10-5 (44 points).
Playoff hopes officially dashed: With the loss, the Revolution were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention and will miss the playoffs for the third straight season.
Same story, different night: For the 11th straight game, the Revolution failed to grab a win on enemy territory. On the season, the Revolution's road record stands at 1-11-2, with their last road win coming on March 31 against L.A.
D.C. sweeps season series: United remained perfect (3-0-0) against the Revolution this season. The 2-1 defeat also marked the first time since 2007 that the Revolution failed to beat D.C. at least once during the course of the regular season. Last year, the Revolution swept the season series by beating D.C. in each of their two clashes.
Simms back in D.C.: Revolution midfielder Clyde Simms, who spent eight seasons (2004-2011) as a member of D.C., made his first appearance at RFK Stadium as a member of the Revolution. Simms missed his current club's first trip to D.C. on May 26 due to a calf injury.
Toja makes his debut: Newly acquired Juan Toja suited up with the Revolution for the first time Saturday. The two-time All-Star came on in the 73rd minute for Flo Lechner as the Revolution went from a 4-4-2 formation to a 3-5-2 in search of a late equalizer.
Bengtson back in the lineup: Designated player Jerry Bengtson made his return to the lineup after missing the Revolution's 2-0 victory over Columbus on Sept. 5. The Honduran went 61 minutes against United, but recorded only a single shot before he was replaced by Dimitry Imbongo.
Barnes gets third straight start: Although regular starter AJ Soares, who missed the previous two games, wasn't on the injury report Friday, Darrius Barnes remained in the starting XI for the third straight week. Prior to Saturday's start, Barnes and the Revolution defense had shut out their opponents in their past two.
Next up: The Revolution will look to shake off Saturday's loss when they host the Red Bulls on Sept. 22 at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.