New England Soccer Today

Drab Defeat

The New England Revolution suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday, falling 1-0 in Philadelphia to the Union in a lifeless match. The defeat dropped the Revolution to 1-1-0 (3 points) on the season.

Jack McInerney’s 76th minute strike was all the Union (2-1-0, 6 points) would need to grab victory. McInerney headed a Sebastien Le Toux corner kick on frame that was saved by Revolution ‘keeper Booby Shuttleworth. Shuttleworth, however, gave up a rebound that fell right back to McInerney, who easily finished his second chance to give the Union a 1-0 lead.

The Revolution made three changes to the line-up that won 1-0 in Chicago last week. Goalkeeper Matt Reis and midfielder Kaliffa Cisse didn’t make the trip due to injury and were replaced by Shuttleworth and rookie Scott Caldwell, respectively. Kelyn Rowe also replaced rookie Donnie Smith in the line-up.

The early going was devoid of many chances, but two Lee Nguyen free kicks perhaps came closest to threatening the net. Four minutes in a Nguyen free kick from the just outside the box looked headed for goal, but was bravely blocked by Danny Cruz in the wall. Cruz was hit in the head with the shot and was subbed out of the game for Michael Lahoud immediately after.

Nguyen’s next free kick effort came from about 35 yards out and caused Union ‘keeper Zac MacMath some problems on the wet surface, but he was eventually able to corral the shot.

Both teams failed to convert their best chance of the half in a quick one minute span. First the Revolution failed to clear a cross from the right flank and the ball fell to Lahoud about 15 yards from goal. The 26-year-old midfielder had space, but blasted his shot wide of the target.

A minute later Nguyen played Jerry Bengtson behind the defense, but the Honduran International hit his shot too close to an onrushing McMath, who easily made the save.

With the Revolution struggling to create chances in the opening period, head coach Jay Heaps opted to bring on Andy Dorman for Clyde Simms, adding a bit more offensive punch to the center of the midfield. Still the match was bogged down in midfield and lacked any chances of note for the next half hour.

The Union would finally spring to life in the 74th minute when Keon Daniel broke into the box. Daniel powered a low shot on frame, but Shuttleworth managed to get just enough on it to tip it high of the net.

Two minutes later McInerney would put the Union in the lead with his second chance goal off a corner kick.

The Revolution nearly found an equalizer in the 78th minute, but Toja wasted a great chance, sending a shot wide, after Nguyen played him behind the defense.

New England then brought in Chad Barrett and Chris Tierney for Toja and Kevin Alston, switching to a 3-5-2 to give the team more attacking options.  Despite added pressure, the Revolution didn’t get a chance until deep into stoppage time when Nguyen earned a free kick just outside the box. Tierney attempted to curl a shot on frame, but it was blocked by the wall.

Soon after Bengtson had the Revolution’s last chance of the match, but couldn’t direct his shot off a cross on frame.

The Revolution return to action on Saturday with their home opener, facing Sporting Kansas City at 4 p.m. on March 23 at Gillette Stadium.

6 Comments

  1. w

    March 16, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    I think the referee should have handed out more cards to the UNION he seemed to be one sided towards the UNION?? there where a lot of fouls on the Revs players

  2. Demetrios Tsillas

    March 17, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Reis and Cisse were much missed in this match which lacked flair on both sides. I thought the Revs looked more likely to score through most of the match until the Union subbed to bring in Hoppenot who always seems able to create opportunities late in game or at least win them set pieces. The Revs attack still lacks some element to make them really effective. They don’t seem
    to get much from their fullbacks in the attack, despite their speed. Set pieces
    from just outside the 18 yard box seemed wasted. The defense was mostly
    there except for that costly free header: would Reis have come out to deal
    with that? Shuttleworth’s stupid caution kind of summed up his game. Bringing Tierney in to replace Alston says much about Alston, although Tierney looked
    only a little more effective on the attack. What other options are there in left back and when are we going to see Soffner start for Reis?

    • Jim

      March 18, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      100% agree about the lack of attack. I don’t know if the group needs more time to “gel” or whatever, but with arguably the most highly proven international forward in the history of this franchise up top and a wealth of CAMs one has to wonder why this team can’t create more chances.

      We def. miss Sene’s pace and confidence. He will certainly help, but Rowe needs to develop into the go-through supportive piece (or someone does) in this midfield to continually churn out chances for the forwards.

      • Demetrios Tsillas

        March 19, 2013 at 9:42 am

        I think part of what’s missing is the ability to get deep crosses away. Most of the attack was through the middle which, when defended, usually turns the ball over or results in free kicks. Good crosses from deep in the corners would tend to get more corner kicks and would give the attack a chance to regain possession.

        Also since the Revs are so poor in set pieces it takes the pressure off the defense when they can just bring down the attacker and risk a a free kick which would normally be dangerous. I was hoping they would improve on this but I haven’t seen anything in the first two games.

  3. rick sewall

    March 17, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Keeping your poise and self control for a whole game sometimes makes the difference between winning and losing. I didn’t see this with the Revs, including the coach. Embarrassingly bad yellow card for Shuttleworth. Terrible defense on the goal . McInerney has burned the Revs more than once in the past. He should never been allowed to head he ball. Hard to forgive bad marking, especially so close to the goal. A 1-1 tie would not have been an unfair result. The Revs were good at times. Nguyen has a strong leg. If he learned to follow through properly he’d be dynamite. As things stand I don’t see this happening.

  4. PaulQ

    March 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    – Soares ‘s awful and he marked no one. He looked lost in the 6 at 75″ that allowed McInerney’ goal. I think Barnes deserves to play next game.
    – The Revs fullback players ‘re awful and Alston and Farrel contributed Nothing in term of offensively plays. No crossings/overlapings at all.
    – The CM (Simms+Dorman+Cadwell) players were lacked of speed/bite/creative plays. BTW, The Revs should not traded Benny if they don’t have his replacement. Dorman and Cadwell are for depth not starters.

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