The good feeling that New England Revolution fans had heading into the new MLS season lasted all of 62 seconds. That is how long it took for Houston striker Will Bruin to capitalize on a mistake by Revs defender Jose Goncalves and make it 1-0 Houston.
Eleven minutes later it was game over when Bruin scored again. This time a sloppy Scott Caldwell pass was intercepted outside the Revs penalty box and Corey Ashe’s cross found an unmarked Bruin at the back post.
The nightmare for Revs fans continued when an unmarked Boniek Garcia made it 3-0 after 23 minutes as the Revs defense went missing again. streaking towards goal. Garcia took Bruin’s pass inside the 18-yard box, took one touch and slotted one to the near post. The Dynamo added a fourth goal in stoppage time when a Ricardo Clark shot deflected off Omar Cummings, changed direction and beat Bobby Shuttleworth.
So what went wrong for the Revs? New England were uncharacteristically poor defensively. They gave up 20 shots to Houston, nine of which were on target. If it was not for Revs goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth this could have been an embarrassing night for Jay Heaps side.
A.J. Soares partnered Goncalves in the heart of a Revs backline that was ripped apart time and time again. Goncalves is a mainstay of the New England defense, but Soares will have to be brilliant in training this week if he is going to avoid being dropped next week against Philadelphia.
In midfield Scott Caldwell struggled to protect his back four while rookie Patrick Mullins lasted only 45 minutes in his MLS debut. Both players will probably be watching the game from the bench next week.
But Jay Heaps will take some solace from the game film in that New England did create a lot of offensive chances in the game. Soares hit the post from a corner in the first half, part of New England’s 18 attempts on goal.
Jerry Bengtson missed an absolute sitter from two yards out in the second half, while Diego Fagundez and Teal Bunbury both forced Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall into terrific saves.
The only bright spot for New England on what was a really poor performance was that only two Eastern Conference teams, Houston and the Columbus Crew won on opening weekend. The Revs were one of six Eastern conference teams that lost, meaning that with a win next week in Philadelphia they will be right back in the thick of the race in the East.