The New England Revolution wastes a terrific first half performance as they lost 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday. The defeat laves the Revs remain winless at Red Bull Arena, going 0-5-1 since the it opened.
But the traveling Rev Army must have thought that Saturday was the night the streak ended when Charlie Davies put them ahead in the 20th minute with first MLS goal since 2011.
But two minutes into the second half all that good work vanished when this happened:
A horrible goal to concede and something New England never recovered from, despite New York playing the whole of the second half when Matt Miazga was sent off went down for a foul on Lee Nguyen.
New England have the pieces needed in order to be competitive in MLS, but one glaring weakness they have is in goal where Bobby Shuttleworth is average at best. I have been watching Shuttleworth for two seasons now and I have yet to be impressed. One reason I am not a big Shuttleworth fan is that I don’t think he saves enough shots. His save percentage this season is 67.4%, down slightly from last season’s 68.1%. That is simply not good enough. Consider that the Bill Hamid at D.C. United’s save percentage is over 10 points higher at 77.6%. It is not just the number of saves that marks a good goalkeeper it is when they happen in the game. Shuttleworth is great at making saves in the last minutes when the Revs are already losing by a couple of goals. But when was the last time his heroics earned New England an undeserved point? Something that New England used to get from Matt Reis all the time.
But it is not just Shuttleworth’s shot blocking that is hurting New England, his passing accuracy was 44%. So more than half the time when Shuttleworth touched the ball he handed it back to New York. You cannot be successful in any league at any level if your goalkeeper is turning the ball over to the opposition six times out of every the times he touches it.
If New England are to get back into the playoff position and compete with the better teams in the east, they need to make a change at goalkeeper. The big question is will Jay Heaps be willing to do that?