It’s a good job that the World Cup is diverting the attention of the soccer fans in New England as otherwise the alarm bells would be going off after the New England Revolution suffered their third straight MLS defeat on Saturday in front of 16,483 fans at Gillette.
The defeat leaves New England with a 7-6-2 record, and their 23 points is good for third place in the east.
Once again it was problems at both ends of the pitch that undid New England. MLS defender of the year Jose Goncalves is having a miserable year and once again was at fault for the Union’s first goal.
The game was heading to halt-time goalless when Goncalves’s header back to goalkeeper Brad Knighton was to soft giving Philadelphia attacker Sebastien Le Toux a perfect set-up to open the scoring. No wonder that New England coach Jay Heaps called it an
“awful goal to give away before half.”
New England played its best soccer of the season when Goncalves’was injured and Andrew Farrell moved in the middle. It is time for Jay Heaps to go back to that as Goncalves is just not effective.
At the other end of the pitch, the lack of a proven goalscorer continues to hurt the Revs. New England have went with a scoring by committee philosophy and it is not working . As Heaps pointed out afterwards:
“I think we had chances to score goals and I think that one of the first chances with Patrick Mullins getting a good shot on frame, wasn’t all of it though, it was ok. And then Teal (Bunbury) had a shot that was blocked and then Diego (Fagundez) missed and three of our best finishers all had cracks at a shot that I would’ve liked to see one of them put their foot on it.”
The Rev attacking philosophy is good when everyone is playing well and the goals can be shared. You don’t need a goalscorer when you are scoring goals for fun as the Revs were doing earlier this season. But when the goals are not coming, every good team in world football has a striker that they can rely on to get that crucial goal. The Revs don’t have that, and the Union was just the latest example. If New England is to win something this season, either GM Mike Burns has to find a goalscorer somewhere, or Heaps has to develop one from within the squad.