New England Soccer Today

A Frustrating Affair

Photo credit: Jeff Bernstein

Photo credit: Jeff Bernstein

FOXBOROUGH, Mass.- It may not have been reflected in the scoreline, but Saturday’s 0-0 draw against DC United was hardly a dull affair for the Revolution offense.

Through two weeks of the season, the offense has showcased the potential to be one of the strongest offensive teams in the MLS – but only if they finish their chances, something they couldn’t do six days after a wild 3-3 draw against the Dynamo.

The Revolution dominated possession and had the visitors on their heels for the majority of the game, and despite the lack of a breakthrough goal, they generated 14 scoring chances against a United squad that regularly gives them fits.

Two of those chances essentially told the story for the offense on Saturday: Lee Nguyen hit the crossbar in the 55th minute, while Kelyn Rowe pulled a wide open shot past the far post in the 92nd minute.

“You train all week to prepare for this, and I thought we were good enough up until the final third and final ball,” said Revolution coach Jay Heaps. “But I still think we created enough – we hit the crossbar, the chance [by Rowe] at the end, Juan [Agudelo’s] chance- we had some things in there that if we were cleaner, it would have gone our way and we would have scored.”

Charlie Davies, who left the game with an injury in the first half, echoed the frustration in seeing so many chances go to waste. But Davies isn’t concerned that Saturday’s performance is sign of things to come.

“It’s only the beginning of the season,” Davies said. “We have high expectations and high hopes this season, so it’s good to see guys are frustrated and guys want to win. this is only the second game of the season, things are looking good for us. We’re confident. We know things will go our way.”

The confidence from the Revolution flows from a core led by Davies, Agudelo and Nguyen who return to the team hoping to improve on an offense that failed to live up to expectations in 2015.

While the departure of Jermaine Jones doesn’t help, the Revolution still have flexibility and depth, with a number of players able to play all over the field and in different attacking positions, which was exhibited when Davies left with an injury and Teal Bunbury was pushed to striker.

Whether it was Davies, Bunbury, or Agudelo, who also moved to striker at the end of the game, the Revolution created chance after chance throughout a game that DC wanted to grind out from the get go.

“Everyone’s comfortable playing at that top spot. You just have to know everyone’s tendencies but for me, they’re all comfortable in that striker position,” said Nguyen. “We created a lot of chances today, they just didn’t fall. Any other day, those chances fall.”

One person who’s well aware of the danger posed by the Revolution’s attack is DC coach Ben Olsen, who preached discipline and teamwork to his squad ahead of Saturday’s tilt.

“They’re a good group, they’re offensive. Their top 6, they’ve has been together now for some time. And you see their relationships on the ball is better than ours. It’s very hard to keep New England off the board in their house.”

Don’t expect the Revolution to be held scoreless often this campaign. Although Saturday’s showdown wasn’t quite a reprisal of last week’s three-goal outburst in Houston, Davies isn’t worried.

“We feel that the players that we have on the attacking side of the ball, everyone is dynamic, everyone can score goals in different ways and we expect to have a great season,” Davies said. “So we expect to put the pressure on ourselves to get the job done and help this team win games.”

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