New England Soccer Today

Shuttleworth: We ‘Lost the Game in the First 10 Minutes’

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

The New England Revolution started off their current summer slump with a string of blown early leads leading to dropped points. Lately the losses have been becoming more comprehensive with the team falling behind early and never looking like making a comeback.

Saturday’s 4-1 loss at the New York Red Bulls was the latest crushing defeat as the Revolution were behind 3-0 within the first 12 minutes.

“Yeah I mean just not starting the game properly,” said Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to the media after the game. “We talked about it all week how they’re going to jump all over us in the first 10 minutes and that’s exactly what they did and we just weren’t ready to go and pretty much lost the game in the first 10 minutes.”

But talk is cheap. The Revolution have been saying the right things throughout their summer struggles, but have yet to execute on the field. The offense has struggled, but the defense has truly let the team down, now having conceded a league worst 33 goals. At times absences and lack of depth have played a role, but on Saturday the Revolution had their first choice defense on the field and still conceded four times with only a fantastic Shuttleworth save keeping them from conceding a fifth on a penalty kick.

“Just breakdowns,” said Shuttleworth explaining the most recent defensive drubbing. “[We] just gave away too many things in our own half and they played right through us and got good chances and finished them well. We knew they were going to come out like that in the first 10 minutes and we didn’t take care of business and it cost us three points.”

Even the opponent Red Bulls expressed shock at the Revolution defending in the opening minutes, with Lloyd Sam, who scored New York’s second goal in the ninth minute, commenting on how much space New England’s defense gave him.

“I was very surprised to get that much space,” Sam told the media. “I hope everyone gives me that much space, I was very surprised.“

On top of the marking and defending, the Revolution were exceptionally poor passing out of the back in the first half, with all four defenders passing with less than 65% accuracy going into the break. Andrew Farrell passed at just 52.9%, London Woodberry at 60%, Jose Goncalves at 61.5% and Chris Tierney at 64.7% in a dreadful first half performance.

“It was so disappointing, we have no one to blame but ourselves,” Tierney told the media after the match. “We trained hard this week, the coaches got us ready to play and we just didn’t execute so it’s on the players, which is not good enough from any of the 11 of us that started the game and there’s only one thing to do and that’s tie our boots back up, go to work this week and take three points next week at home.”

After falling 3-0 at the Seattle Sounders in the season opener, the Revolution didn’t lose another game by three goals until falling 3-0 at FC Dallas on July Fourth. The 4-1 loss at the Red Bulls made it back to back three goal defeats for New England.

Any thoughts that the Independence Day embarrassment would wake the Revolution out of its nosedive were eradicated in about four minutes on Saturday. Now in a five game MLS losing streak and a run of just one win in 11 games—with the lone win coming against the last place Chicago Fire—the team is still searching for answers and the last two games have offered few signs of hope.

“You just keep working hard,” said Tierney. “You get sick of saying this stuff, but it’s true. There’s nothing else to do but stay positive and work through it and hope that eventually things change. We just don’t have enough guys playing well at the same time right now. There’s too many of us to be honest, myself included, we’re playing not up to their full potential. When you do that, you just can’t win games in this league so everyone has to take a long look in the mirror, myself included, and us senior guys we have to be a better example for this squad and we’ll do that this week and we’ll be ready to play this weekend.”

The Revolution saw its 19 game home unbeaten run end with a loss to Vancouver two weeks ago. On Saturday, when they return to Gillette Stadium they’ll face a tough task as they look to start a new one when expansion side New York City FC heads to Foxboro, bolstered by big name Designated Player summer signings Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo. The task will be made even harder with the suspension of Revolution center back Jose Goncalves, who received a red card late against New York and will need to be replaced by the Revolution’s already paper-thin defensive corps.

But with the team on the edge of falling out of the playoff spots and New York City one of the sides on pace to overtake them, Saturday’s game is looking like a must win.

“We got to be tougher, everyone,” said Shuttleworth. “Every single player on the whole squad, we have to be mentally tougher, we got to be ready to start games for myself, all the way through. It just wasn’t good enough today and I think every other player in this locker room would say the same thing.”

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