New England Soccer Today

The long road ahead

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After pulling off one of the their best performances of the season on Saturday night, the Revolution must quickly turn their attention to the daunting, three-match road stretch – their longest of the season – that could very well put an end to any lingering playoff hopes the team may harbor.

Knowing that each stop along the way is essentially a one-match playoff, the importance of this cross-country road trip isn’t lost on anyone in the locker room.

Rookie Seth Sinovic knows the Revs have a tough task ahead. (Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/

“It’s huge. It’s always tough to get wins on the road,” said Revolution defender Seth Sinovic. “But it’s something we have to do. Hopefully the Seattle win gives us some momentum going into the next few games.”

Momentum is precisely what Revs will need to pack before they start their trip with a west coast swing to Carson, CA, where they kick off against Chivas USA on Friday night. Although the Goats have struggled mightily this season, they massacred the local lads – who played short-handed much of the night due to Marko Perovic’s red card before the half-hour – by a body count of 4-0 back on May 5th.

Sinovic hopes that the 3-1 victory over Seattle – the same team that pounded the Revolution 3-0 back on June 5, 2010 – proves that the club can avenge an embarrassing loss.

“It’s the same thing with Seattle, where we lost 3-0 earlier and got beat pretty badly,” said Sinovic in reference to the upcoming game against the Goats. “Hopefully, we can keep 11 players out on the field against Chivas and get a win out of it.”

Keeping sufficient on-pitch personnel will certainly be crucial to attain success in SoCal, to say the least. It’s even more important because New England will be without the services of none other than Perovic, as the Revolution’s leading goal scorer is suspended for the match due to yellow card accumulation.

“It’ll be tough to replace Marko,” said Sinovic. “But there are always guys ready to step up.”

The Revolution will no doubt need others to step up, as the next leg of the trip commences in Commerce City, CO, where the Revolution have won exactly zero times and have struggled to find goals.

In order to overcome the thin, Rocky Mountain air that has suffocated the Revolution in Colorado, they must refocus their attention from the altitude to something far more important: attitude.

“This game is all about confidence,” said Revolution midfielder Chris Tierney. “Once we find it, we can keep playing hard and keep creating chances and I think the goals will come.”

They’ll need the goals to come in hordes in Frisco, TX, where the Revolution close out their extended excursion against the formidable FC Dallas on September 22nd. The Hoops, who’ve only dropped two games all season, will likely present New England with their toughest challenge of the trip

Even if the Revolution somehow succeeds in collecting maximum points from the three-match set, there will be little time to rest once they return. Less than 72 hours after the Dallas match, the gauntlet continues when the local lads welcome the cream of the conference Columbus Crew to Gillette Stadium on September 25th.

Regardless of the circumstances, Revolution striker Ilija Stolica has been impressed with his team’s newfound resolve and believes that more impressive performances are waiting in the wings.

“I think we’re improving with each game,” said Stolica. “Our teamwork and our passing are getting much better. It shows we have character and that’s very important going into the remainder of the season. We never give up. We keep fighting.”

Meanwhile, the players are very much aware of their predicament with only eight matches on fixture list not crossed off.

“We’re still in a hole, but we have to keep digging out,” said Sinovic. “We have to keep getting points and hopefully get back into the playoff race.”

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