Post-Game Hangover: Reflections On Revs @ Rapids

COMMERCE CITY, CO - JULY 23: Shalrie Joseph #21 of the New England Revolution celebrates with Benny Feilhaber #22 of the New England Revolution after Joseph scored on a penalty kick as Sanna Nyassi #23 of the Colorado Rapids looks on in the 90th minute at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on July 23, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. The Rapids and the Revolution played to a 2-2 tie. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Well, that was interesting. I'm a bit at a loss for words after this one. It's hard to really hold much against Matt Reis for the goal that he gave away, considering how stellar he was on Wednesday at DC, but it's still a tough pill to swallow. Even with Benny back, the midfield still looks just as shaky. The passing still ain't there, and thus the goals are hard to come by. It's quite disappointing that this team still is having the same rudimentary issues week in and week out. But, it's just to be expected now, I suppose. I've come to accept that nothing is really going to change.

I'll give the Revs this though: they are capitalizing on goal scoring opportunities from set pieces; whether that is a conscious game-plan as a result of our baffling inability to score from the ordinary run of play or not, I cant really say of course. But, I'm glad to at least see goals. Beggars can't be choosers, I guess.

Honestly, I felt that this game should have been a 1-1 draw instead. I didn't really agree with the red card and accompanying PK from the Chris Tierney call, and I think that the PK awarded after to Mansally was a bit of a make-up call. Now, before anyone jumps down my throat about the Tierney call, obviously I'm no refereeing professional and I'm pretty sure not many of you are either. But, the call on Tierney's tackle seemed questionable. After the replays, I'm not confident that he deserved the red, at the very least, even if the ref had to award the PK from where he was at the time of the foul. Truth be told, despite disagreeing with the call, I felt that maybe it was karma from the PK we were given at Rio Tinto as I was watching, so I kind of just shrugged it off. Glad that we managed to get one of our own in the last remaining minutes.

Schilawski got a well-deserved start. I still think that he has some better decision-making to work on, but, then again, so does everyone else in a Revs jersey. Even Shalrie Joseph disappointed me with a few ill-advised passes and sloppy ball work. But, Schilawski works hard and I applaud him for it. It's my hope that he'll eventually be able to adapt to playing on the wing if Nicol insists on sticking him there in the 4-3-3.

For me, this game also offered a little justice: Rajko Lekic was subbed out. Truthfully, I'd like to see him on the bench. But I'll take this as maybe a start of something. With Mansally on for Lekic, this team just looked like a different team. Kenny offers not only speed (something that one would be pretty hard-pressed to attribute to Mr. Lekic) but also determination (as opposed to, say, giving up too early on through balls or not fighting for a ball back after a mistaken giveaway). While Kenny Mansally obviously isn't a top-shelf forward, you've got to admit that he possesses and demonstrates more useful and venerable qualities than Rajko. But, Kenny also seems to be most effective as a substitute. So where does that leave us moving forward? Well, since Kheli Dube continues to be haunted by his whiplash injury, I suppose Rajko needs to continue to start. But, I am a proponent of bringing on Mansally by at least 60', unless of course Rajko is having a stellar game (maybe if we qualify for the Bizarro-World Champions League this could be a feasible scenario).

I'm disappointed that we will be without Chris Tierney, unabashedly my favorite Rev, for our next match against Sporting Kansas City. And I can only imagine that we'll be desperate to find our once promising form against the same team that provoked an MLSsoccer.com front-page headline reading "Instant Contenders?" after our game against them on April 23rd. I'm not nearly as optimistic for this one. But, as is the case with the MLS Eastern Conference this season, anything can happen.

When it comes down to it, I tend to look at the lighter side of things, and 4 road points out of a possible 6 ain't too shabby. I cannot find much to argue about there, even if perhaps we had a little luck on our side. I'm just hoping lady luck will follow us out to the Midwest next weekend.

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