BRIDGEVIEW, IL -SEPTEMBER 25: Ryan Guy #13 of the New England Revolution celebrates his second goal against the Chicago Fire during an MLS match on September 25, 2011 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois.The Fire defeated the Revolution 3-2. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
These things are getting seriously tough to write, you guys. But here goes. Here's a double helping of hangover. Chicago Fire and Seattle Sounders. Two games that featured a Revolution team that played pretty decently, even if they really weren't playing for anything at all. I don't have much for you, because honestly I just don't want to beat a dead horse (and trust me, that horse has been flat out abused this season). But there were certainly some talking points that came out of these games.
One particular common thread that I liked was Ryan Guy getting the start in both games. I mean, besides the obvious (the 2 goals at the end of the Chicago game), Guy had some really great contributions to offer. In general, as Matty pointed out in his piece from Saturday, maybe what we're seeing here at the end of the season is that the youth movement of the club might just be heading in the right direction. Between Guy and of course the excellent play of Diego Fagundez (especially against the Sounders), these two games in particular seemed to have a different feel-a good kind of different feel. Even in the Chicago game I noted that the team seemed like they really wanted to get Diego the ball. It's like they know that he can do something with it and make something happen. It's good to see a team trust someone like that, especially when they are a fairly new addition. That trend continued against the Sounders as well. Will it continue next season? I guess we'll see.
Benny, however, seemed to play somewhat uninspired; at least for the Chicago game I thought. And I'll say this: it's really disappointing when the players that you believe in and count on the most are the very same players who are turning the ball over and directly leading to goals. That's right, I'm talking about you, Benny and Shalrie. I shake my head at you both. We need leadership if we expect to grow and to gel. That's where you come in. Please remember that.
Back to the game against the Fire. The Revs really didn't play that poorly, I must say. And they were essentially a skeleton crew out there. Ryan Guy, however, was pretty much the only thing we had on offense that afternoon. Our set pieces were pretty poorly executed, and that really hurt us. I counted at least three headers that should have been in the back of the net. Quite disappointing. Speaking of headers, you've got to think that Caraglio is going to figure out how bouncy the Gillette Stadium turf is by at least next season, right? Get it together.
Both games provided us with more sloppy defense. Sloppy play by Coria and Alston in particular versus the Fire and, well, do I even really need to say anything about Ryan Cochrane in the Sounders game? But here's a thought: Chris Tierney probably isn't a horrible option for us at Left Back. I thought he was totally serviceable. I mean, I know we like him in the midfield, but I don't think anyone would argue against the fact that Chris isn't really the fastest midfielder. And with Zerka, Nyassi, and Guy all able to play on the wings, coupled with our need for a better option at Left Back, maybe we should consider keeping Chris back there moving forward? I'm just saying, I thought he played pretty well.
I really thought that we'd be playing a Seattle Sounders B-team on Saturday night, but then I was reminded of just how much depth this team has. Just the same, the Sounders fielded Montero (obviously) as well as Roger Levesque, Alvaro Fernandez, and Erik Friberg. And as scary as that sounds on paper, overall I think the Revs did a pretty good job at keeping some of those big names quiet. Why we didn't start Darrius Barnes I don't think I'll ever know, but I was quite pleased to see Ryan Guy with another start. He seems to sync up really well with the likes of Benny and Shalrie in the midfield, and with Zerka being able to play on the left wing as well, this was a combo that seemed really comfortable out there. And clearly Diego was no slouch out there as a forward either. I wouldn't mind one bit seeing more of that.
With nothing left to play for, I guess all we've really got is a few matches left to try out some different combinations and get some more experience in. I'd like to see what Otto Loewy can add on defense. I don't think he's going to be able to patch up any of our big holes there, but it would be nice to change it up.
Well, I guess that's really all I've got to say. Two games over and in the books. Definitely some things to look forward to in the future, and certainly lots to think about this off-season. I just hope that we are active, in a number of areas, and not dormant. The sad reality is that the Revolution will probably just get pushed aside yet again, retreating to the tall shadow of the New England Patriots. But, maybe, just maybe, there will be some much needed change. Just maybe.