This was the perfect trap game for New England. They came into the game flying high after putting five past the LA Galaxy last weekend. Expectations were high that New England would extend its winning streak against the MLS’s worst side.
New England certainly created enough chances to win. Last week the Revolution had five shots on goal and scored five goals against the Galaxy. This week they had four shots on goal, but could not score, mainly because of DCU goalkeeper Bill Hamid who made some terrific saves, the pick of the bunch being a flying save to deny in-form Diego Fagundez in the 66th minute.
DC coach Ben Olsen turned the clock back on the Revolution tonight, employing a high pressure, physical style of play, that frustrated New England a year ago, and it still does.
Diego was on the receiving end of several hard tackles, while the Revs midfield seem unable to handle the high pressure, often preferring to run with ball rather than advance it faster through quick passes.
I cannot understand Jay Heaps infatuation for Juan Toja instead of Kelyn Rowe. Toja consistently turns the ball over, or takes to long and gives the defence time to regroup and reestablish its shape. New England looks more threatening going forward when Rowe is playing, rather than Toja.
Another strange tactical move by Jay Heaps was his decision to play Juan Agudelo in a more central role with Saer Sene playing wide on the right. It did not work. New England’s recent success has been built on Fagundez and Agudelo out wide, where their speed allows New England to attack with speed. That is not Saer Sene’s game, and as a result, he and the Revolution’s offense was not as prolific as it has been recently.
But the bottom line is that New England would have found a way to lose this game 1-0 a year ago. Everything was set up for a United upset, and while New England is not at the level where they can win without playing well, they are getting better at getting a point from these types of games.
What did you think of the Rev’s performance tonight?