Three quick-hit thoughts from the Revolution’s 2-0 loss to D.C. United on Saturday at RFK Stadium:
1. So it was a trap game after all: The Revolution entered Saturday night’s contest better, on paper at least, than their hosts on the young season. On top of that, D.C. United was on a 15-game winless run since last season. But D.C. managed to make the most of the Revolution, who couldn’t establish a rhythm and relied too often on the long ball. United were no doubt helped by the Jose Goncalves own goal just before halftime, but they should certainly be credited for stellar defending and clogging up the midfield. The Revolution should leave Our Nation’s Capital scratching their heads. Their play in the second half especially looked nothing like the fast-paced, creative passing style that they usually display. All streaks come to an end eventually. But D.C. was certainly helped by the Revolution’s poor play.
2. The uninspiring play of Jose Goncalves: All players make mistakes– even the reigning Defender of the Year. Last night’s own goal was no different. But aside from the Vancouver game where he looked very solid, Jose Goncalves hasn’t been the brick wall the Revolution relied on in 2013. In the season opener he was beat for timing and positioning and in San Jose his gaffe allowed Chris Wondolowski to equalize. Own goal aside, Goncalves’ passing out of the back on Saturday was mediocre. Last season Goncalves scored an own goal but bounced back to score a goal of his own and clinch a shutout the next weekend. He has the veteran savvy and mentality to do it again this year. But his inconsistent play is certainly something to monitor.
3. No Eastern Conference points yet: So far, every conference foe has downed the Revolution. That’s not good, considering the tightness of this conference and dogfight we can expect for playoff position come August, September, and October. Winning on the road is difficult anywhere in the league, though the Revolution should have put together better performances in all their Eastern Conference away games, especially Saturday nights. New England may need a few more weeks to get rolling much like in 2013. But last season they barely squeaked into the playoffs. It’s games like Saturday’s that get looked back on at the end of the season with regret. The Revolution need to start collecting conference points in the very near future. Some momentum could arrive next weekend in their second home game of the year against the Houston Dynamo.