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Late Starts Becoming A Bad Habit For Revolution
“We have a habit of starting off slow, that was basically it. We were late to second balls, and just a little bit behind the pace."
On Saturday evening against the Chicago Fire, the New England Revolution once again struggled at the start of the match.
Whether it be general sloppy play and committing turnovers or not generating chances on the attack, New England can just look lost to start games. While injuries to key players such as Carles Gil, Dylan Borrero, or Gustavo Bou may play a role in the rough starts, the Revolution simply need to be better.
While Bruce Arena’s side was able to salvage a point against Chicago, if the rough starts continue, New England will start dropping points and dropping down the Eastern Conference standings.
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After the game, Arena was asked about why Chicago was able to get off to such a good start by WPRO’s Tom Quinlan and outside of praising [Xherdan] Shaqiri, the head coach and sporting director couldn’t pinpoint why the Revs struggled early on.
“I don’t know how you answer that question. Good play on the first goal,” he said.
While Arena was unable to pinpoint the Revs issues to start the match, 18-year-old Noel Buck was able to offer some insight into what has been causing New England’s struggles early on in matches.
“We have a habit of starting off slow, that was basically it,” the midfielder said. “We were late to second balls, and just a little bit behind the pace. It shows what these teams can do: put us down quickly at the beginning of the game.”
MLS veteran Latif Blessing went into further detail, saying that New England needs better communication along with crisper passing and shooting.
“I think we have to do a better job,” Blessing said in the locker room after the match. “Game by game, we have to do what we have to do, because three games right now we [haven’t won]. We don't want it to happen that way, but it happened. So, I think we have to do a better job and we have to keep going. If we want to win the championship, every game you have to play your best. I think we need to work on our passes and better shooting and talking to each other, and I think we are going to be better.”
With a mid-week matchup against Atlanta United next on the docket, New England will need to have a much more complete effort if they wish to get any points down in Georgia. With newcomer Giorgos Giakoumakis lighting up MLS (when healthy) and World Cup winner Thiago Almada controlling the midfield, Wednesday night could be a long one if the Revolution once again fail to play well right from the first whistle.