New England Soccer Today

Five Things We Learned: Revolution vs. Dynamo

It was like the first seven seconds of that Revolution TV spot.

Black and white clips of frustrated players. Mistakes. A shot of Kevin Alson shouting something in disgust. Distorted audio effects. Clearly, nothing went right for the Revolution in those sequences from the 2011 season.

Although the Revolution followed the philosophy Jay Heaps drove home in the second half of that spot – “We’re going to attack” – they  couldn’t help but conjure up their 2011 form when Luiz Camargo equalized in the 87th minute.

So what else did we learn from Saturday’s 2-2 draw?

1. Despite the fact that Stephen McCarthy was covering his eyes after Camargo slipped by and scored, the apprentice center back had a decent night. It’s easy to scapegoat McCarthy. A slight hesitation allowed Camargo to walk in and grab the equalizer. But it shouldn’t overshadow the work he put in to effectively cancel out Brian Ching. OK, so maybe Ching’s best years are behind him. Yet, McCarthy worked well with A.J. Soares and Kevin Alston for the most part to contain the Dynamo from the run of play. It was a costly goal, no doubt. But growing pains are part of the process.

2. Speaking of Camargo’s goal, you have to wonder whether Clyde Simms would have snuffed out the opportunity at its genesis. Check out the tape. Off a weak Chris Tierney clearance, the ball floats toward Ryan Guy – the man who took Simms’ spot. But Guy slightly hesitates, opening the door for Colin Clark to step to it and send it to Camargo. Two passes and a prompt shot later, 2-2 scoreline. Granted, Guy – an attack-minded player – performed admirably in a defensive role. So it’s hard to criticize him too much. Yet, it’s easy to imagine that Simms snuffs it out before you can say “here we go again.”

3. Jay Heaps has often said that what we’ve seen from Saer Sene is only a fraction of what the French forward is capable of. Guess what? Sene’s doing nothing to disprove that notion. It was another Sene-sational performance for the man with the bright mohawk on Saturday. Two goals against one of the strongest defenses in the league? No problem. But it was the scenes that led to to the tallies that were intriguing. Although Shalrie Joseph has been the designated penalty taker in recent season, Sene asked for it knowing he would bury it. And he did just that, in confident fashion. Then, off a turnover in the Dynamo end, Sene streaked 60 yards toward Tally Hall and put the Dynamo defenders and his finishing woes behind him when he buried it in the 57th minute. That’s six goals in 11 games. It’s official: there’s a new #9 in town, and it’s not Jose Moreno.

4. Blake Brettschneider may not be keeping pace with Sene in the goalscoring category, but he’s quietly putting together some solid performances. It wasn’t that long ago that the former D.C. United was quickly fading into the background after his lackluster First Kick form. But when injuries struck Jose Moreno and Ryan Guy, Brettschneider stepped up. First, it was the superlative effort against Real Salt Lake. Then, against Vancouver, he put himself in dangerous position and wasn’t afraid to mix it up with the Whitecap defenders. Although he may have been at fault during the Will Bruin goal sequence, Brettschneider dug in against the Dynamo defense. He poked away the ball from Geoff Cameron, which allowed Sene to run at the Houston net before scoring his second goal. Small things, sure, but it nearly made the difference.

5. It may be easy to find fault with the Revolution’s man-marking on the two Dynamo goals, but Matt Reis didn’t do them any favors. On the first goal, Reis comes off his line, ready to time his leap to punch it away. But then something happened: he slightly backed off and let Bruin beat him to the ball, which eventually fell into the back of the net. On the equalizer, Camargo may have caught McCarthy off guard. But how did the substitute striker find a way to slip it inside the near post? Easy. Reis was too late to make it there. Matt Reis has saved his teammates’ collective keisters often this season, and that should not be overlooked. He’s been one of the most consistent players under Heaps’ watch this season. But Saturday night just wasn’t his night.

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