This was by far the worst New England performance of the season as they lost 1-0 to Sporting Kansas in front of 17,592 fans at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night.
The loss extended New England’s (6-11-5, 23 pts.) winless run to five games (0-4-1), while Sporting KC (12-7-4, 40 pts.) snapped a three-game winless streak and vaulted back into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference.
Revolution coach Jay Heaps made two changes on the Revolution’s backline as Kevin Alston and A.J. Soares were sidelined by injury and forward Dimitry Imbongo made his first MLS start one week after making his MLS debut against the Philadelphia Union. None of the moves worked!
The Revs backline was breached in the 24th minute when a poor throw-in and a bad touch resulted in a bad pass, a defensive error and Teal Bunbury racing through on Matt Reis to make it 1-0. Just a series of schoolboy errors. You have to think that if Alston or Soares was playing, Bunbury does not score.
As for Imbongo, he missed two great chances. The first came in the first half when Benny Feilhaber’s cutback pass found him open in the box, but Imbongo sent his first-time effort probably 50 feet over the bar.
But the worst miss came minutes into the second half when Chris Tierney to set up Imbongo for a free header from six yards out but he put it over the bar. You have to take those chances, and once again the Revolution are left kicking themselves for missing sitters. Heaps and Mike Burns have been bringing in center forward after center forward, but they have yet to find someone with a clinical touch in front of goal.
Both Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe were brought on in the final 20 minutes as the Revs pushed forward in search of an equalizer, but their best chance – a long-distance drive from Tierney in the 86th minute – was easily handled by Nielsen.
It was a frustrated Jay Heaps after the game who was not impressed with the the performance of referee Geoff Gamble tonight. Heaps felt that Kansas City had kicked them up and down the pitch citing that Kansas City committed 21 fouls to New England’s 12, but both teams had two yellow cards.
“We’re one of the most fouled teams in the league, played against the team that fouls the most, and the referee allowed it,” Heaps said. “It’s a little bizarre. For me, it’s bizarre that I come in here and both teams had two yellow cards and it was 21-12 in fouls. I’m going to go look at the tape, but I find it extremely bizarre.”
The Revs will be home again next weekend when they host the expansion Montreal Impact for the first time at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 12. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., while the game will be followed by the first-ever boxing match at Gillette Stadium, headlined by local boxer and Revolution fan Danny O’Connor.