I think we can all agree that this was a game to forget. There are no excuses this time. No narrow pitch or early red card to blame. This one was a winnable game, for the most part, but I do not think that the Revs deserved to win it. To be fair, I don’t think Dallas did either; a point a piece would have been a just end to this match. But the Revs fell back to their old ways, as we saw far too often last season, of dropping points in the waning minutes.
What surely all Revs fans will be hoping after this one is that points is all that was dropped, and not the confidence or momentum that we saw in Los Angeles last week. 9 days at home in Foxboro will hopefully be just what the doctor ordered for this team. And Jay Heaps will surely have his work cut out for him in training.
It’s tough to really point to anyone in particular and extend plaudits for their performance on Thursday, with the exception of A.J. Soares. Soares played with the dominance and leadership that we have come to expect from him. But, as games go sometimes, frustration got the better of him at the end, leading to the Revs’ inevitable undoing. I can only hope that this punch in the gut will provide a poignant lesson to be learned—one that Soares and every other player will keep in the back of their mind through the rest of this still young season. If we are going to make anything out of this season, we need to play smarter soccer.
Florian Lechner was a disappointment, for me at least. Not a huge disappointment, but a disappointment nonetheless. I think that my expectations of him were too high. This was, after all, only his second MLS match of his career. And he did have his hands full with the likes of Brek Shea, arguably one of the greatest players in MLS today, as well as a slew of other speedy attackers like Fabian Castillo and Blas Perez. I still think that it is too soon to judge Lechner, but I still expect more from him. I’d like to see him get another shot against DC United and put in a better game.
Kelyn Rowe and Lee Nguyen were let downs as well. The bar was set pretty high for both of them, and they fell short of it. Both players gave it their all against the Galaxy, and a 5 day break from action, on the road, is certainly not an easy task, but the season is still early and, well, they are young guys without much of an injury history. I just felt that their usual quickness wasn’t there, and their vision seemed out of focus, metaphorically speaking. They certainly didn’t put in bad performances, but they didn’t put in their best either. After this one, I'm hoping we see Benny Feilhaber back soon.
I don’t want to say too much about Shalrie Joseph, so I won’t. All I’ll say is that games like this one are games where a team will need to turn to their captain and lean on him to get them through with a result, especially when it’s within reach. Mistakes and mental lapses can be contagious on the pitch. Shalrie should be the one settling everyone down, not exacerbating the situation.
I was surprised by what I saw from Jose Moreno, as I think probably everyone was. Surely we can’t expect him to be fully game fit for still some time, but I will look forward to seeing what he can do when he is. His shot on goal was a good start.
Speaking of match fit, what is going on with Saer Sene? I’m hoping that all the early season travelling is just taking a minor toll on his lingering injury situation. But he has showed so much progression in the past few games, and then this one felt like he took a big step back. A healthy Saer Sene should make a big difference for this squad. We just might need to wait longer than expected to see it. I imagine that Bjorn Runstrom will be joining the Revs in camp this week. It will be very interesting to see how the forward situation ends up shaking out as we make our way into the season.
In the end, this match should serve as a pivotal learning experience, as I said before. Certainly it can be considered one for the Revs. But it’s one for the fans, too. Or maybe not so much a learning experience as a reminder—a reminder that it can all go wrong just as easily as it goes right. It’s going to be a long season.