For the past few years, New England Revolution fans shared the familiar experiences of throwing the remote through the TV after blowing an early lead, followed by long sleepless nights and immeasurable levels of frustration. All we could do as fans was drown our sorrows in $2.99 cups of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and take solace in the knowledge that other teams like the Patriots or Red Sox weren't all that bad.
However, last year there was a glimmer of hope. Young talent propelled the typically-lackluster Revs into the playoffs for the first time in a few years. This year, the upward trajectory has continued as the Revs seem to be firmly establishing their own style and playing with an air of confidence. Sitting at the top of the Eastern Conference, the New England Revolution are one of the hottest teams in the league and, following offensive explosions against Seattle and Philadelphia, the Revs extended their unbeaten streak against D.C. United with a gritty 2-1 victory.
Despite the fact that we stand at about the one-third mark of the 2014 season, this most recent win showed the doubters and critics that this team is the real deal. It is important to recognize that every team in MLS has quality and, on the right day, even the worst team can topple the very best.
However, what separates the teams from first to last is a certain mindset that enables a team to grind out tough games and come away on top. Call it luck, call it talent, call it whatever you want, but the Revs were able to dig deep in the torrential downpour against a very dangerous D.C. team (a team who had beaten them last month) and utilize every fiber of each player that stepped on the field. From a creative attack-minded passing game to Steve Neumann's last-minute goal-line clearance, the Revs refused to go down. If this was last year, that ball would not have been cleared off the line and the Revs might have walked off the field dejected and soaked to the bone.
Indeed, their mindset has changed and the results are exciting. The rookie Patrick Mullins has found the net four times in his last four games, Diego Fagundez is on fire, Lee Nguyen is finally getting the credit he deserves, the defense is solid, and the midfield is dominating. The late night Ben & Jerry's tastes a heck of a lot better when the Revs win, and by the look of things, it's going to stay that way for a while.
- Breakers vs. Portland Thorns 2014: NWSL Match Preview
- United States 2, Azerbaijan 0 - Diskerud, Substitutes, Rescue Slow Start to Send Off Series
- United States vs. Azerbaijan: Lineups and Live Thread
- United States-Azerbaijain Preview: Yanks Begin Send Off Series To Brazil
- Revolution 2-1 United: Player Ratings and Man of the Match