Three Thoughts: #MTLvNE

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

1. The Revolution were as sloppy as we’ve seen them in a while- The defending especially was not up to par with the type of soccer the Revolution have been playing over their recent seven-game unbeaten run. Montreal may have entered the game with the league’s worst record, but their players aren’t incapable; the Impact’s midfielders in particularly took advantage of some ill-advised, errant plays at that back. Look at the highlights again, there was nothing pretty about either of Montreal’s goals. Jose Goncalves, the reigning league Defender of the Year, allowed Revolution-killer Jack McInerney plenty of time and space to pummel Montreal’s second goal into the back of the net. Andrew Farrell and A.J. Soares gave Marco DiVaio far too much time on the ball as well (though Soares’ block on DiVaio late in the first half was pure class). Suffice to say, the Revolution won’t win games playing the way they did in that first half.

2. Montreal figured out how the Revolution’s midfield works- The Revolution’s attack comes from its robust and dynamic midfield. All the cylinders have to be clicking for it to work properly. To stall the engine, Montreal took Andy Dorman, Lee Nguyen, and Kelyn Rowe out of the game. They forced Dorman to stay back and defend so he couldn’t help in transitions, repeatedly tackled and hacked at Nguyen, and constantly double or triple-teamed Rowe. It’s no wonder that in the first half, when they were playing sloppy and were getting overrun in midfield by Montreal, that they only managed one shot on target. Bringing on Daigo Kobayashi in the second half helped, but by then, Montreal abandoned their strategy to mark tightly on the Revolution’s midfielders. When a team drops back the way Montreal did, the chances will come. Dorman, Nguyen, and Rowe got more of the ball, they were just unable to breakthrough a sea of blue once the Impact parked the bus.

3. All streaks end, but how good are the Revolution?- Today was MLS’ official (unofficial?) day to end streaks. Real Salt Lake’s impressive season-long unbeaten run came to a screeching halt as they were outclassed and outplayed by the Seattle Sounders. The Revolution didn’t suffer as badly as RSL, but ultimately had their positive run snapped. One takeaway is that this game was clearly a trap game. It took nearly two months, but someone finally figured out the Revolution. Make no mistake, they didn’t only lose because they weren’t sharp; au contraire, Montreal had the class and experience on the field to really challenge the Revolution. The outlook, however, is that the Revolution will either push this result aside and focus on the next match or that this is the start of a crash. Hot streaks happen. Good teams are relatively consistent. Mediocre teams have hot streaks, fizzle out, and that’s it. The near future, especially the month of July, will be a good barometer for what kind of team the 2014 New England Revolution actually are.

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About Julian Cardillo

Julian Cardillo is an American sports journalist who has contributed to New England Soccer Today since its inception. He has also written for The Boston Globe, Boston.com, The Advocate, Soccerly, and a number of other outlets. He was a foreign correspondent for Boston.com in 2012, covering AS Roma from Italy. He has contributed to Roma Radio and Yahoo Sports Radio. Julian speaks English, Italian, and French. He has a Politics degree from Brandeis University, where he is currently taking graduate classes. Follow him on twitter @juliancardillo