The NBC Sports broadcast was New York-centric and the significant events that tell the story of the result are perhaps all New York’s, too. From camera angles to the angles of the commentators’ conversation the broadcast was focused on the New York Red Bulls and New England was assigned the role of featured extra. The game can be summarized by the energy and production of Thierry Henry and the vacuum his injury left behind. The two-fold task of New England’s included stopping the Red Bull offense and the start of the game was an example of why that was important. The Revs chased this game in the opening twenty minutes and conceded an athletic golazo to go down 1-0. When Henry’s right hamstring went and he left the game New York bunkered down and held off New England for the win. The Revolution played parts of their game plan but were unable to influence the outcome.
After a bye week the Revolution could not match New York’s intensity. Turnovers were rampant and the tempo belonged to Henry. While Henry’s departure opened up the game for the Revolution that is as much due to Red Bull conceding space to stay in front of their goal and any effective play by the Revs. Lots of possession held the ball near threatening positions for the Revs and created serious opportunities. At the sharp end of the attack, though, New England again came out dull or soft.
Changes from here on out will be examined. Credence will be given to tactics and players who prove effective. So, which changes would push the Revs into winning situations? The only two players who seem to understand their roles and consistently meet expectations are Matt Reis and AJ Soares. Clyde Simms could probably be added to that short list, though his game success can be affected by those around him. Shalrie and Benny, even Nguyen have raised expectations with certain stretches of past play and they have all had up and down moments so far this season. Our forwards seem an improvement from last year – we can attack the goal – though, actual goals remain mostly elusive. Saer Sene does a great job of helping get the ball into attacking positions, but his shots just cannot seem to find the net. Jose Moreno will need to conjure up a few spectacular plays or we’ll all suspect he has returned to Columbia. Something has to change in front of goal.
There are lots of opportunities for experimenting to improve the Revs’ play. Wednesday we host Colorado. Saturday we visit RSL in Utah. From the nine points on the table this week in all three games there are still six points we could take with wins. All six would be great. If we ended with zero but we successfully figure out how to score, that would certainly be more palatable. I believe Heaps possession passing game will bring us results, we have to attack to succeed. Last year our offensive futility drained away so much energy and initiative from our team I am wary as we rush ahead in the schedule stringing a three game losing streak behind us AND three games shut out. Honestly, I would rather three points from Colorado than “managing” that game to try to show well against Real Salt Lake. Defend our home field first.
Coming up this week watch for a Rebel Alliance Podcast with commentary recorded halftime and after the Colorado game. Here on Total-MLS.com I plan to recap the week as we head for RSL our Saturday match. I’ll be watching for Revolution goals, and hoping to stop this losing streak at three.
(image courtesy of revolutionsoccer.net)