Revolution Continue To Implode
The New England Revolution were on the wrong side of a 1-0 scoreline against the Philadelphia Union. After having the Houston Dynamo run over them 4-0, they looked to rebound against the Union. While Philadelphia has made great strides over this past season, this game was certainly winnable.
For the second straight week everyone waited for New England to actually show up to the match. Philadelphia maintained a little over 70 percent of possession in the first half and took full advantage of it.
Sebastian Le Toux tapped in a low pass that goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth misjudged to put Philadelphia ahead. That goal in the 31st minute was all Philly needed to secure three points over a continuously anemic Revolution. Shuttleworth seemed to be the only player on the pitch, making numerous acrobatic saves. Philadelphia goalkeeper Zac MacMath only had to make three saves to earn a shut out.
Moments after twitter was buzzing with comments like, “Maybe they are trying to make a Shuttleworth highlight reel” and “Has anyone seen our midfield?” Twitter users also started complaining about the replacement refs, a continuing trend. Fans from both sides were confused and angered by “poor judgment”.
Poor officiating aside, New England has problems in all thee sections. Worst case might be the forwards and attacking midfielders. Between Teal Bunbury, Lee Nguyen and Donald Smith, MacMath only had to make three saves. Between the non-existent possession, poor attacking and sloppy defending, it's amazing Philadelphia didn't hang more goals on them.
To recap the past two matches, New England is goalless while their opposition has clocked up five goals. Next week doesn't get better as they face a Vancouver Whitecaps squad that hung four goals on the New York Red Bulls. It may be time the Revolution come back to the fundamentals.
Ball control is the major issue I'm seeing. A team can't expect to win with less than 35 percent total possession. Along with possession comes creating opportunities to score. New England has issues with these two key factors and unless they are rectified soon it may be a long year.