When you have the worst offense in MLS, you cannot afford to concede early goals, because you leave gaps defensively as you try and get a rare goal.
That is what happened to the New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night as the Rev were thumped 4-1 by New York.
New England entered the game with the best defense in MLS and the worst offense. So when New York scored after only four minutes you sensed this would a long night for the Revs. The New York goal came when Tim Cahill laid off a short pass to Dax McCarty, who took one touch to settle before lashing a low, left-footed shot inside the right post from 20 yards past Bobby Shuttleworth.
New England had gone 394 minutes without scoring, but that club record streak ended in the sixth minute when Brandon Barklage could only help Lee Nguyen’s in-swinging free kick into his own net.
But before New England fans could get over the shock of seeing their team score, the Red Bulls were ahead again within 2 minutes,
Barklage’s long ball out of the back sent Fabian Espindola streaking into the box, where he cut back onto his left foot and finished past goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. It was the sort of goal that will give Jay Heaps nightmares. To concede so soon after getting back on level terms is bad enough, but AJ Soares was caught ball watching and Espindola did the rest.
Unlike it most of its games this season, New England create chances, they just could not finish them off. The worst miss was probably came in the 31st minute when Jerry Bengtson was put through on goal by Kelyn Rowe, but was pushed too wide as he tried to round Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles and ended up firing the ball over the bar. A DP has to take those chances.
The Revs pressed for an equalizer throughout the second half but were ultimately twice hit on the counter as Thierry Henry and Jonny Steele scored late goals to put the result beyond doubt.
For most of the game New England pressed the pace as they searched for that equalizer. That left them open to the counter-attack and eventually New York made them pay in the 81st minute when Thierry Henry welcomed Andrew Farrell to MLS by running in behind him and slotting home from Steele’s through ball.
New York added a fourth in the 89th minute when Steele providing the finishing touch on a well-worked move which had Andre Akpan and Eric Alexander combine down the right side.
The scoreline flattered New York but that is little consolation to Jay Heaps and the Revolution who return to Gillette Stadium for their first home game in almost a month next weekend, when they’ll host the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, April 27.
With only one win in six games this season, New England need to start winning some games or Jay Heaps job will be in jeopardy.
Photo Credit: http://www.empireofsoccer.com/