New England Soccer Today

Men Who Stare at Goats

CARSON, Calif. – Coming off a pair of encouraging 3-2 victories, the Revolution were quickly humbled Saturday night at the Home Depot Center, where they suffered a 3-0 thumping to Chivas USA.

Nick LaBrocca (22′), Marcos Mondaini (45′) and Alejandro Moreno (57′) scored while Dan Kennedy kept the Revs off the board to give New England its worst defeat of the season.

“We were definitely confident coming in here, we tried to get after it tonight and get the three points,” said Revolution skipper Shalrie Joseph. “Unfortunately, we started off really slow and we didn’t keep possession of the ball.”

Possession was certainly an area of concern for manager Steve Nicol, who used a 4-4-2 formation for the first time this season. The gaffer had hoped to find some measure of success with a Shalrie Joseph-Benny Feilhaber pairing in the central midfield. 

But the Revolution’s makeshift formation did little to produce quality opportunities throughout the game.  A header by Zack Schilawski off a Didier Domi cross was tipped over the crossbar by Dan Kennedy in the 7th minute for the first and only attempt the Revolution had at goal in the first half.

While the Revs struggled to assert themselves, Chivas had no problem finding their attacking rhythm. After knocking on the doorstep for the first twenty minutes, Chivas finally bursted through when Mondaini’s cross at the endline found LaBrocca, who managed to head the ball in past Bobby Shuttleworth.

With their form severely lacking, the Revs hoped to limit the damage and head into the interval with a single goal separating them from Chivas. But that hope was dashed when Mondaini doubled the Chivas advantage in the 45th minute, heading in a cross from Moreno and putting the Revs down two goals moments before the halftime whistle.

“To give up two goals in the first half, especially the one that comes basically in stoppage time before the half is a back breaker for us,” said Shuttleworth.  “Then we’re chasing the game from there, which is tough.”

Moreno continued to terrorize the Revs in the second half.  In the 55th minute, Mark Kadlecik initially awarded Chivas a penalty kick after it appeared that he handled the ball inside the area while marking Moreno.

But Kadlecik overturned his decision after consulting with the fourth official and determining that it was actually Moreno who had handled the ball.  But, Moreno refused to relent minutes later when he corraled a poorly-delivered Didier Domi clearance inside the area and banged it into the back of the net to make it 3-0 Goats.

“You have to take care of each of other with the ball,” said Nicol. “You’re trying to lead the ball onto to where you want them to go.”

From there, the Revs watched the Goats continue their fluid form while Shuttleworth, who came up with a pair of spectacular saves in the waning minutes, prevented any further damage.

But, once the final whistle sounded, the Revs walked off the pitch thoroughly beaten, with little to be happy about in locker room. 

“Tonight, all around we were second best in every department,” said Nicol. “The goals were predictable, bad defending all around. Tonight was poor, very poor.”

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  1. Tom

    May 1, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    OK, everyone says that the Revs were ‘poor’ in this game. But it seems to me that that explanation explains nothing and gives too little credit to Chivas’ coach and team, their strategy and execution of that strategy that somehow limited the Revs and led them into such poornitude.

    So ye soccer analysts: what exactly did Chivas do and how did they do it (please don’t just say they showed ‘quality’ — that also explains nothing). It looked to me like they had the Revolution completely figured out, how to counter every threat, how to hem them in at every point, where to be to pick up those forced errant passes, how to fool the defense, etc. What was the strategy, what was the trick? What’s the inside scoop on how to beat the Revs and what’s to keep every other MLS team from doing the same thing that Chivas and RSL did?

    • Brian O'Connell

      May 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

      It certainly was a poor game, and credit Chivas for coming up with the perfect gameplan against the Revs. I think they were especially effective in space – which there was a ton of thanks to their short passing style. That seems to undo the Revs every time (see: L.A. and RSL games). Combine that with the Revs four-man midfield (which Chivas effectively stretched all night), and boom, look at all the room to pass the ball around. Look at all their runs down the flank, and then look at all the green around them. Look at how they got separation from their marks. Look at how little breathing room they gave the Revs in the middle and attacking thirds. Chivas played well, but they looked like worldbeaters because the Revs, who’s made numerous mistakes, played right into their hands.

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