New England Soccer Today

Five Things We Learned: #DCvNE

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

With the Revolution already in Columbus less than 24 hours after Sunday’s loss to D.C., we’ll tackle this set of observations in lightning-round fashion:

1. The Revolution haven’t put their late-spring struggles behind them. For the sixth time in their last eight games, the Revolution weren’t able to protect a lead when scoring first. The common theme: mental mistakes and wasted opportunities. The former isn’t just a player issue: it’s a coaching issue. It is the coaching staff’s job to motivate their players, so Jay Heaps and his staff must do better behind the scenes to get his players locked in for 90 minutes. The latter falls squarely on the shoulders of Lee Nguyen and Juan Agudelo, both of whom should have done better with their opportunities on Sunday.

2. Saturday’s match showcased the lack of depth on the Revolution bench. If the locals want to stay in the thick of the postseason race, they’ll need to bolster their bench. And for proof of that, one need only look at DC’s subs. Each one put more experience on the field while only one of the Revolution’s changes – Kevin Alston for London Woodberry – had the same effect. In essence, DC had the savvy to not only score, but to see the game out, which is exactly what the Revolution needed to do after scoring early.

3. Diego Fagundez reminded us why he’s a different player on the road. Eight days after a sterling performance against Chicago, Fagundez struggled off the bench in Sunday’s loss. He connected on only 55.6 percent of his passes, and failed to fire a single shot in his 13-minute cameo. Going up against a savvy DC side late, Fagundez was figured out by United defense late, and was limited to only 10 touches before the final whistle.

4. Lee Nguyen needs to bury his chances, pure and simple. If the Revolution are going to survive with Jones on the shelf, they’ll need to get much more out of Nguyen than the one goal – a penalty – he’s gotten on his team-high 35 shots. Nguyen thrives on getting space to operate, and he’s starting to get more and more of it in recent weeks thanks to the work of Charlie Davies. However, the goals simply haven’t come as a result of regularly lifting his shots over the bar. Now that we’re at the official midway point of the season, it’s time for Nguyen to turn it on, especially with a tough schedule on tap.

5. It’s going to be a long summer unless leadership improves. We’ve mentioned before that Jermaine Jones’ absence has been felt in recent weeks, but on Sunday, it wasn’t just because of his attacking qualities. When Davies opened the scoring early, the team’s leaders should’ve impressed upon the rest of the team the need to stay mentally locked in.  To get everyone on the same page. But as we’ve seen all too often in weeks past, the Revolution simply wilted in the face of adversity, and as a result, watched another early goal go to waste. And some of that is due to a lack of leadership when the storm clouds build.

What else did we learn from Sunday’s match? Let us know in the comments section!


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