New England Soccer Today

Record Futility

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution’s disastrous season hit a new low on Saturday in their home finale with the team’s 3-0 loss to the Columbus Crew guaranteeing the Revs would fail to reach seven wins for the first time in team history.

Despite a good game from Bobby Shuttleworth, the Revs were soundly beaten by the Crew. (Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/aduama.com)

With nothing to play for but pride, the Revolution (5-16-12, 27 points) looked to take the early initiative to give the crowd of 16,285 something to cheer about in the last home match of the season. Despite the Revs holding the majority of the possession, it was Columbus (13-12-8, 47 points) who would get the better of the opportunities, slicing through the Revolution defense on the counter attack and getting the win needed to clinch their spot in the playoffs.

“At least in previous occasions we’ve made some chances and played some decent stuff, but it just wasn’t good tonight,” said head coach Steve Nicol.

Andres Mendoza grabbed the game winner for the Crew in the 31st minute. A header from Emilio Renteria found Mendoza, who beat Darrius Barnes and slotted it around the center back to beat Bobby Shuttleworth at the near post.

The Crew would double their lead in the 60th minute when a mishit Barnes clearance found Dilly Duka. Duka got a step on Kevin Alston then slotted a shot off the far post that beat Shuttleworth to make it 2-0.

Just three minutes later the Crew would add a third when Renteria got some space on the right flank and sent a cross to a wide open Mendoza inside the box. Mendoza blasted a shot past Shuttleworth from close range to make it 3-0 with his second goal of the night.

“Unfortunately, it’s another terrible result for us,” said Shuttleworth. “Obviously it’s the last game of the year; we want to go out winning these games, especially with the fans that come out week in and week out. It’s another bad result for us at home. It’s frustrating.”

The Revs, losers of four in a row heading into the match, made just one change to the line-up that lost 2-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes, inserting Franco Coria for Ryan Cochrane.

The Revs started the game fairly brightly and Diego Fagundez threatened in the 7th minute after a curling pass from Chris Tierney found the 16-year-old on the left flank. The Leominster, Mass. native ran into the box, but couldn’t beat goalkeeper Will Hesmer from a tight angle.

The home team’s backline caught some breaks early with the Crew constantly being caught offside. In fact, the Crew was ruled offside 14 times, just one shy of the league record. But some of the early close calls showed the Revs were flittering with disaster.

Constantly threatening on the counter attack, the Crew had two dangerous chances in the 26th minute. First Renteria got free down the left flank after a giveaway from Shalrie Joseph and sent a low driven cross in front of goal. Bobby Shuttleworth managed to get a touch on it and Chris Tierney cleared with Mendoza lurking on the doorstep.

“They’re a good team all around, they’ve got some solid players,” said Joseph. “Their strike force is fast and you just can’t give them that kind of space and time. Story of our season, just mental mistakes, little mistakes and they were able to pounce on it.”

About a minute later Mendoza got on the ball in the box and turned on Coria, but sent his shot just wide of the net.

The Revs nearly equalized a minute after the Crew took the lead in the 31st minute. A long shot by Milton Caraglio was deflected, catching William Hesmer off guard, but the Crew ‘keeper managed to make the save with his feet.

Shuttleworth came up big in the 34th minute when Renteria was played behind the defense. The third year goalkeeper rushed off his line to grab the ball off the feet of Renteria before the speedy striker could get off a shot.

Despite bringing on strikers Zack Schilawski, Rajko Lekic and Kheli Dube, the Revs struggled to truly threaten Hesmer’s net after halftime and only some smart stops from Shuttleworth kept the score line from getting even worse.

“[Shuttleworth] was solid,” said Nicol. “Everything he was asked to do he did well. He came and got some balls, made a couple of saves, and swept up behind the back four. Obviously he’s a positive.”

New England finishes up their season next Saturday in Canada against Toronto F.C. That match kicks off at 12:30 P.M.

“Our team has plenty of faults as we’ve shown throughout the year,” said midfielder Benny Feilhaber. “That’s no mystery. Plenty of teams in the MLS have found us out. We need to look within ourselves, within our team, organization and see where the places that we could improve for next season [are]. I think that’s the most important thing right now.”

One Comment

  1. Harry Klein

    October 16, 2011 at 7:45 am

    It’s clear that current team management is not getting the job done. The GM has to go. Mike Burns has done a terrible job identifying players in part because I don’t believe the Revolution have a style of play they aspire to. Sadly, Steve Nicol probably needs to go as a result as well. Bottom line for me is that as long as Burns is in charge of player personnel this team is going nowhere.

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