FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 8: Milton Caraglio #9 of the New England Revolution is stopped by Chris Leitch #3 of the San Jose Earthquakes during a game at Gillette Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
I must say (and, to reiterate from last week, I feel like I haven't much to say anymore these days) that I believe this was one of the better games we've played - at least in quite a while. The midfield looked calm and collected, we held possession pretty much throughout, and in general we looked to have a lot of spark and finesse.
A few things stood out for me from this game. Firstly, Chris Tierney's service into the box was impeccable. I was really impressed. Despite playing LB, he still had at least half a dozen crosses in that could have (read: should have) been capitalized on. A few were really close. And Tierney's defense was good (not great, I'll admit) as well.
The next thing that jumped out at me was the (by my count) three headers by Shalrie Joseph that missed the target. All had a lot of potential and all were results of great service from set pieces and/or smart possession.
Great hustle from Alston around 21', but, as we've seen all too much this season, it was wasted and ultimately amounted to not much. Again, a RB who can make something of his advances would really benefit this club.
And surely we'll be working with Zerka and Diego on their bicycle kicks in practice, right? I'll look forward to them nailing it next season.
Speaking of Diego, I think the youngster has a lot of potential as a forward. He plays harder and more aggressive than Lekic and, yeah, he's like half his size. There were moments when he looked like a real leader, someone who wants to see this team succeed against all odds. He's got a fire in his eyes that makes me think that we can mold him into the best thing that has ever happened to this club. My only hope is that we can keep him here in New England and put together a starting XI for next season not only to include him, but maybe build it around him. I personally see him and Caraglio as a more dynamic duo than Caraglio and Psycho. Depending on how the off-season shakes out, maybe we'll end up needing him in a more attacking midfield role, but regardless, I really think he is making his case.
Another player whom I think is making a case is Ryan Guy. Here is a guy (yeah, pun intended) who is making the most of his opportunities. If we're talking about playing for jobs, I think Ryan Guy should have one locked in at this point. The fact that Zerka can play the left wing as well as the right only benefits us. In my eyes, Guy is more effective as a starter where he is able to help keep possession and help dictate the pace of the game. Nyassi, when back from injury, would seem to be more effective as a sub at RM if we are down at the half and need some speed. That's how I see that situation playing out. But hey, clearly I'm not running the show.
I don't think I need to say anymore about our defensive disappointments, so I'll spare everyone the Ryan Cochrane rant. There's a handful of NCAA prospects who would be really clutch to get on that back line. I still think we need a veteran who can provide some experience and discipline to the defense, though.
Getting back to the jobs discussion briefly, our starting squad from this match looked pretty on task-our subs, however, left much to be desired. Food for thought, I suppose.
Although we played a pretty smart game, Wondo was just too much for our defense and that was the determining factor. I'm still proud of the match we played and I think there were a lot of highlights to take away. At this point, though, I just wanted to watch the postseason in peace and look forward to a (hopefully) eventful offseason for the Revs.
Any take-aways from this game you care to discuss? You know where to do so.