HARRISON, NJ - APRIL 28: Thierry Henry #14 of the New York Red Bulls plays the ball against Shalrie Joseph #21 of the New England Revolution during the game at Red Bull Arena on April 28, 2012 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images)
The New England Revolution, coming off two weeks with no game, had a very sloppy opening 20 minutes. In that time Thierry Henry scored the game-winner in the 7th minute, and was subsequently injured and subbed out in the 25th minute.
The opening of the game was highly favorable for the Red Bulls and in the seventh minute Henry muscled Stephen McCarthy off the ball and as Matt Reis came off his line he chipped it high over his head and into the goal. There were many more opportunities for New York early on, but from the time Henry was taken out, until the very end, New England seemed to be knocking for an equalizer.
New York's Tyler Ruthven received a yellow card for pulling down Jose Moreno on what would have essentially been a one-on-one with Meara in the 18th minute. This was followed by Shalrie Joseph also receiving a yellow for dissent upon arguing that Ruthven should have received a straight red. Perhaps if Ruthven had been subbed off the game would have played out differently, but the Revs still have no excuse as the backline - and Meara - had a combined 11 MLS starts between them.
The futility of the Revs continued through the first half. After some great one-touch football with Moreno, Saer Sene found himself knocking on the door only to have rookie goalie Ryan Meara come off his line to make a fantastic save. During one of New York's few attacking chances towards the end of the first half, a dangerous, but ultimately great, tackle from Steven McCarthy cleanly stopped a clear scoring opportunity from the Red Bulls leading to only a corner. Then, with just 8 minutes remaining until the half, Sene dribbled through the New York backline only to rattle the near post leaving New England headed into the half down a goal.
Once the second half began, New York conceded possesion (the final tally had New England with 58.9% of possession), but New England continued to have trouble making anything of it.Jose Moreno sent a wide cross that sailed over the box despite Lee Nguyen and Sene making runs in the box. Meanwhile, a bit later Benny Feilhaber, who subbed on for Kelyn Rowe at halftime, found himself wide open only to have his header saved by Meara; however, he was caught looking exasperated as a rebound that he probably could have collected bounced about a yard away from Meara on the save. This was fairly symbolic of New England's futile possession and frustration in finishing on the day.
Ultimately, this is the second straight loss for the Revolution against an I95 rival. What makes the situation worse is that the Red Bulls were short handed due to injury to begin with, and Henry's injury made the game seem that much more winnable for New England. In addition, this is the third 1-0 loss the Revolution have had on the season bringing into question not their attacking - which they did do throughout the game - but their ability to actually finish those attacks with goals.
The Revs will face another squad struggling to find its identity, the Colorado Rapids, May 2nd in Gillette.
Who was the Man of the Match?
Matt Reis (1 vote)
Saer Sene (7 votes)
Lee Nguyen (7 votes)
Benny Feilhaber (0 votes)
A.J. Soares (5 votes)
Other (explain in comments) (2 votes)
22 total votes