On Friday night the New England Revolution behind first-half goals from Adam Cristman and Steve Ralston beat F.C. Dallas 2-1. Cristman scored his third goal of the season in the fifth minute, sending a diving header into the left corner off Sainey Nyassi’s cross from the right wing.
Ralston scored his second goal of the season in the 22nd minute on a penalty kick to help the Eastern Conference-leading New England (7-3-2) extend its unbeaten streak to five matches. New England midfielder Jeff Larentowicz was flagrantly fouled by Dallas defender Drew Moor in the penalty box area and Ralston converted the free shot to the lower right corner past goalkeeper Ray Burse.
I was at the game which preceded the international friendly between Brazil and Venezuela. As the picture shows, most of the crowd in the first half came dressed as empty seats.
It was a game of two half’s as New England totally dominated the first half and as bad as Dallas were in the first half, they were that good in the second. Sainey Nyassi for the Revolution was really impressive in the first half and he had the beating of the Dallas fill back whenever he got the ball. You would think that with such an offensive weapon that NE would have kept feeding Nyassi the ball. But no. Revs coach Steve Nichol is way to conservative for that.
Instead of feeding Nyassi and going for the third goal that would have killed the game off, New England reverted to its rope-a-dope strategy, just like they did in the MLS Cup last year against Houston. Instead of pushing men forward to attack, NE plays held back and let Dallas get back into the game. If it wasn’t for the brilliance of Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis, this game would have ended up like the MLS Cup with New England losing.
Nichols must think that the Revolution can shut up shop and protect a one goal lead. But this is not Liverpool that we are talking about Steve. Your New England Revolution has more holes in it that Swiss cheese. This is three games in a row that Reis has bailed out the Revs. He won the game in Columbus against the Crew, earned them a draw against DC United and then won last nights game. The Revolution might be in the first place in the East but they are dong it with smoke and mirrors and unless something dramatic happens to tighten up that Revolution defense it is gong to be a long season in Foxboro.