New England Soccer Today

Seattle’s Best Too Much for Revs

Photo credit: Brandon Bleek/Prost Amerika

Photo credit: Brandon Bleek/Prost Amerika

Jay Heaps’ initial thoughts on the Revolution’s 3-0 loss to the Sounders were short and straight to the point about Sunday. And with good reason.

After watching the two-headed beast of Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins take control and never let go, there was little doubt on how the match would play out against the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners.

“Tough game,” the Revolution coach told the media.

It wasn’t going to be an easy match for the Revolution. They entered the contest without the services of Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen, who were both nursing injuries. And having to open in one of the most hostile environments for a road side didn’t make matters any better.

To their credit, the Revolution showed some promise up front early. Diego Fagundez looked comfortable on the dribble, and Juan Agudelo agitated the Sounders center backs during the first 10 minutes. Getting those first glimpses was made easier due to the absence of Sounders’ midfield enforcer Ozzie Alonso, who was recovering from a groin injury.

“I actually thought we started the game okay,” Revolution left back Chris Tierney. “We had some decent spells of possession. You just can’t play a team like Seattle from behind.”

Despite the early flashes, the Revolution fell into a deficit in the 25th minute after Dempsey was tripped up by Agudelo in the box. Though the contact appeared to be minimal on replay, referee Juan Guzman pointed to the spot, where the ex-Revolution midfielder slotted it through.

“I got kicked in my heel and the ref called a penalty,” Dempsey told the media after the match. “Anytime you can go up 1-0 early at home it always gets the crowd behind even more so, and I thought we continued to try and press and try to play our game.”

Playing their game – an approach that included quick, incisive passing and sharp runs – forced the Revolution to pin their ears back while they contemplated a response.

Their best chance at tipping the match back in their favor came in the 40th minute. Kelyn Rowe pounced on a Sounders giveaway, ran at goal, and uncorked a long-distance rocket destined for the back of the net before Stefan Frei made a sensational diving save to deny him.

“He had more than a good save,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid told the media after the match. “That was a world-class save that he made going down to his right at a key point in the game.”

What made Frei’s stop all the more crucial was that, less than a minute later, Martins essentially sealed the result when he got front of Andrew Farrell and snapped powerful header through on a Tyrone Mears cross in the 41st minute.

“He crossed the ball real well, I made my own movement and I scored,” Martins told the media after the match. “This is what we’ve been doing since started preseason.”

The two-goal deficit going into the half all the spelled doom for the Revolution. Digging out of it at place like CenturyLink Field is a difficult prospect for any opponent. But having to do it without two of their best playmakers – Jones and Nguyen – made any chance at a comeback the stuff of fantasy.

But Heaps – who watched Dempsey score again in the 67th minute on a sensational sequence involving Martins and Marco Pappa – refused to cite their absences as the reason for the humbling defeat, the second-straight season-opening shutout loss.

“No excuses,” Heaps said. “We have players on the field that can step up and play and we didn’t do well enough tonight.”


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