Add a lack of communication to the growing list of problems that the Revs are having in this second half of the season. Tonight's match was perhaps most indicative of that, as the Revolution strayed and mist-timed pass after pass, ultimately leading to their own demise at the hands of the visiting Montreal Impact.
Although, had it not been for two shots off the woodwork and a handball in the box that wasn't called, New England may have been the victors yet.
"This is a difficult part of the season because must-win games are upon us," said Ryan Guy after the game. "And at this point as well, so many people are fighting for that spot-it's a call this way, a call that way-and unfortunately we're not getting those calls." As is so often the case lately, the Revs once again fell victim to the various elements of the game, forcing their ineffective finishing to be exposed.
The Revolution had their chances in the first half, despite losing the possession battle 40.5% to 59.5%. In the 30th minute, lee Nguyen found himself with room in the attacking third and unleashed a shot that curled up and over the post. Then, seven minutes later, Chris Tierney tried a shot of his own, from the top of the box, which made its way past several players in the box and bounced off the far post with no one there to follow-up on it, allowing Troy Perkins to cover it with ease.
"I think unless all of us are 110 percent committed, we're not going to win, so I don't know if enough of that fight was there for us," said Tierney. "I thought there were some other factors too, a couple calls that didn't go our way and a couple bounces, we hit the post a couple of times. So it's bad luck but you make your own luck."
In the second half, Montreal subbed on Sanna Nyassi, who was the catalyst behind the Impact's previous win over the Revs, and it wasn't long before he played the very same role against the Revs once again. In the 61st minute Nyassi managed to dispossess Benny Feilhaber in the Montreal defensive half and sprint across the field, nutmegging A.J. Soares along the way, to blast the game-winning shot past Matt Reis.
The Revs responded as best they could, tallying up 10 second half shots on goal, including a few scrambles in the box, but were unable to put any away. "Just that final ball is lacking," said Chris Tierney. "I think we're getting into decent spots, we have good spells of possession, but when we get into that advanced third of the field it's just about putting the ball on the money and committing to getting runs in the box and we haven't been doing that lately. We just have to have that full commitment to lay our bodies on the line, make those runs, and do what it takes to score goals."
Jay Heaps will undoubtedly have his work cut out for him ahead of the Revs' next two games, both on the road against Eastern Conference opponents (Chicago and Columbus). In his post-game press conference, Heaps summed up the loss as: "Heartbreaking. Disappointing. Not good enough." And I don't think anyone will disagree with him there.
It's unclear just what exactly needs to change for New England right now, but whatever it is, it can't come soon enough.