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New England Revolution 1 - Colorado Rapids 2: 3 Thoughts
Clint Peay has a rough birthday
After going through multiple changes to their coaching staff, the New England Revolution took to the field for the first time since the departures of Bruce Arena, Shalrie Joseph, and Dave van den Bergh.
While undergoing many coaching changes, the Revolution starting XI remained widely unchanged from the club’s last match against Minnesota United. Andrew Farrell returned to the starting XI opposite DeJuan Jones. Dave Romney and Omar Gonzalez were once again the center back pairing.
In the midfield, Ian Harkes and Mark-Anthony Kaye were paired once again with captain Carles Gil playing in his usual No. 10 role. Lastly, Tomas Chancalay and Nacho Gil were on the wings with Giacomo Vrioni as a lone striker.
But what do you need to know about the match? Here are three thoughts.
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1 - Set pieces, set pieces, set pieces
Set pieces once again did New England in against Colorado. The Rapids broke a five-game scoreless streak with a Cole Bassett header off of a free kick.
Set pieces have been a problem for the Revolution for quite some time. Whether it be corners or free kicks, taking them or defending them, this area of the game has caused issues for New England.
It’s not like the Revolution don’t work on fixing their problems. They work on set-piece defending in training and I was even impressed with the work that Clint Peay did when The Blazing Musket was at training on Thursday.
But once again, set pieces have cost the Revs points. Considering the events of the last week, a loss to a team like the Rapids couldn’t have come at a worse time.
2 - Late night snoozefest
A 9:30 P.M. kick off time already had fans requiring a boost of energy to stay awake, the pace of play didn’t make things easier.
While dominating possession, the Revs struggled in the final third. A lof of their best chances came from range and New England struggled at times to provide Vrioni with service.
The Rapids deserve some credit as they bunkered down and walked away with some points but the Revs attack needs to be better. If they are unable to score until the 92nd minute against the likes of Colorado, New England will struggle against the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
It seems like Vrioni would be better served if he had a striker partner by his side. Gustavo Bou’s eventual return could help Peay reach that decision but Bobby Wood failing to make the starting XI has been interesting to see,
The Revolution simply need to be better in the attack. If they don’t improve, it will continue to cost them points.
3 - Panic button
A loss to a team like Colorado can’t be understated. Even considering the events of the past week, New England should be beating this team.
Carles Gil was basically carrying the Revolution attack on his back. They struggled to create any sort of attacking chances as Vrioni continued to struggle as a lone striker. When New England got chances they were unable to convert.
As captain, Gil takes on a lot of responsibility to perform but he can’t do it by himself. The likes of Vrioni and Chancalay need to be better.
In its own third, New England definitely needs a healthy back line as the patchwork options haven’t performed well. Omar Gonzalez had a good run of games but it seems like this team will be counting the days until they get Henry Kessler back. The lack of options at outside back have also proven costly for the Revs.
So just as if the situation around the Revoultion couldn’t get worst it did. A loss to a bottom of the barrel team such as the Rapids could see the season go into a downwards spiral. While it will be hard for New England to miss the playoffs, don’t expect them to be contending for an MLS Cup trophy for long.