New England Soccer Today


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – There is no longer time for moral victories for the New England Revolution. On Saturday, the Revs (3-7-5, 14 points) can ill afford to settle for anything less than the full three points against the Chicago Fire (2-4-8, 14 points).

Revs Captain Shalrie Joseph knows getting the full three points is vital on Saturday night. (Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/

“[These are] games that you’ve got to pick up three points if you want to compete, if you want to be one of the elite teams in the league,” said captain Shalrie Joseph after Wednesday’s 0-0 draw with Toronto. “There is no doubt about it. Games like these being at home you’ve got to pick up three points.”

The Revs have undoubtedly shown improvement in their play over the past two matches, but the results still haven’t been there. New England came up short in a comeback effort in a 2-1 loss at New York last Friday and then settled for a scoreless draw with a struggling Toronto FC despite 19 shots in a home game on Wednesday.

“We were just a little bit unfortunate [on Wednesday],” said Darrius Barnes. “It’s the story of these last few games for us. We can’t finish and if we don’t put balls in the back of the net, we’re not going to win. We’re just going to put this one behind us and continue to work and continue to look forward because we have a big game on Saturday against Chicago.”

And scoring certainly has been the problem for the Revs this season. While the team has allowed a respectable 1.29 goals per game, including a 1.00 goals against average in games starting goalkeeper Matt Reis has played, the Revs have only managed to score an abysmal 11 goals in 14 matches and are on pace for their lowest goal total in team history.

Of course the Revs set that record last season with just 32 goals in 32 matches beating a disappointing total of 33 goals in 30 matches in 2009, so the scoring woes are nothing new. And it hasn’t helped that the Revs are without their two most creative players in Benny Feilhaber and Marko Perovic.

While Feilhaber is getting closer to his return from a right ankle sprain, Perovic is out for the season after left knee surgery. Adding to the Revs injury woes is Zak Boggs who has been the Revs regular starting right midfielder, but is suffering from a right MCL strain. He’ll likely be sidelined alongside Frenchmen Didier Domi (right Achilles tendonitis) and Ousmane Dabo (right quadriceps strain), as well as Kheli Dube (whiplash) and recent addition to the injury report Ryan Cochrane (left hamstring strain).

All those injuries may have given the Revs an excuse for lackluster performances this season, but excuses won’t get the team into the playoffs and the Revs aren’t in a position to wait for reinforcements to turn their season around. A poor Toronto side on Wednesday provided an opportunity for the Revs to get three points, but they didn’t take it. A similarly struggling Chicago on Saturday should present New England another chance to grab a victory; one they need to take.

“Toronto and Chicago are two teams that are within our reach to catch them and to move up in the standings,” said Reis. “That’s the biggest thing. The biggest disappointment is that the points have been out there for us to take and we haven’t taken advantage of it.

“The Eastern Conference isn’t as strong and a couple of bounces, a couple goals and we could be second or first place in the Eastern Conference,” he continued. “But it hasn’t been that way this year. We still have to keep fighting and we can’t really put our heads down. We just gotta keep going.”

The Revs are set to kick off against the Chicago Fire at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The match can been seen live on Comcast Sportsnet New England.

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