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Post-Game Hangover: Reflections on SSFC @ Revs

FOXBORO, MA - JUNE 30:  Alex Caskey #27 of the Seattle Sounders FC battles Saer Sene #39 of the New England Revolution for control of the ball at Gillette Stadium on June 30, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - JUNE 30: Alex Caskey #27 of the Seattle Sounders FC battles Saer Sene #39 of the New England Revolution for control of the ball at Gillette Stadium on June 30, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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It's one thing to pat the Revs on the back for their last second, point-saving effort, but it can also be easy to overlook the fact that this game was the second in a row where they needed to throw everything they had at their opponent to make up for earlier mistakes. The mistakes are what the Revolution will want to focus on--both defensive and offensive--rather than the fortune they've been able to muster to ultimately just save face.

That being said, it also speak volumes that this squad is able do what they did Saturday night. As a fan and general observer, it seems pretty apparent that this team does not give up, at least not like the team we've seen the past couple years under Steve Nicol. Heaps himself even said post-game, "Credit our guys – they keep believing we can get back in games. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the win, but it’s better than zero points. We’ll take the one." And I have to say that I agree; this team really does play like it believes it can still get back in games when they are down, which is so relieving to see after the past couple seasons. And one point, after all, is better than nothing. Still though, this one feels like it should have been three.

The scoreline, I feel, did not properly represent this match the way it actually played out. Firstly, Saer Sene's goal was absolutely, 100% off-side. However, he also totally whiffed two perfect opportunities before the goal. Now, far be it from me to say what exactly is going on with Sene lately, but I am prepared to label this one as his worst match yet. Realistically, this game should have probably been more like 3-2 or 4-2 (Revs win). But Sene's inconsistency and inexplicable lack of finish in the box--even when he's got a shot with his left foot--is concerning at best. Perhaps Heaps' 4-2-3-1 isn't the best option for Sene, or maybe it's something more.

But I do feel it needs to be said that Blake Brettschneider had a better game than most may give him credit for. Brettschneider's biggest issue, in my opinion, is that he disappears late in games. Now, that may largely be circumstantial, but nevertheless, he has the talent and the workrate to fit into this system effectively. The problem is that he is still a little rough around the edges and needs more time, more grooming. But as I said in my player ratings, Brettschneider is a project that will one day pay off, so long as we can keep him in the rotation effectively. I, for one, prefer him over Moreno at this point (call me crazy). The potential signing of Jerry Bengtson would of course relocate Brettschneider to the bench (which I am more than okay with), but hanging on to the kid for a few seasons would be wise, I feel. Hell, we may even see a top two of Brettschneider and Diego Fagundez in a few years, who knows!

Defensively, the Revs had a rough game, and there are a couple reasons why. Firstly, Clyde Simms was not at 100%. His passing was off at times, leading to turnovers (very unlike him). And, in general, he looked far less commanding in his role, which was likely due to the fact that he had to share the position with Shalrie Joseph. Can they make it work if Heaps decides to stick with the 4-2-3-1? Yeah, probably. But being that this formation is still so new for the team (one assumes), then it will perhaps take some time.

Florian Lechner was also all alone on the right side of the pitch. Saer Sene barely helped out defensively on the right, which Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid even commented on post-game saying, "We felt (Marc Burch) could get forward on that side because Sene doesn't defend as much on that side, so we felt we could get a little forward on the left hand side." This meant that Flo had to not only worry about Seattle's left-sided attack, but he also had to involve himself in the Revs attack when Sene would pinch in towards goal. That is a lot to ask of any right-back. I think he deserves more minutes, and even more starts. But at the same time, I don't believe that Lechner is the answer for us at right back.

A.J. Soares also had another below average game. We've come to expect so much from Soares, especially being that he has played so well thus far this season. So, one has to wonder, is his injury from last season creeping up again? Or is it just a couple off-games? I'm leaning towards the latter, but thankfully Stephen McCarthy has come up big time and shown exactly why he is the first option to pair with A.J. and why John Lozano was ultimately waived. Count me in as all-aboard the McCarthy bandwagon. And I hope I don't regret saying that.

All in all, this game was emotionally charged and damn near gave me an ulcer, but in the end I could hardly contain my delight at seeing the Revs pull it together and salvage a point. I don't think my health can take many more games like this one, but hey, that's soccer. Sometimes it's just straight up crazy like that. These Revs need a threat in front of goal; after that, the rest will fall into place. Right?