When a team is caught in a slump like the New England Revolution currently are, its easy to get wrapped up in all that is going wrong. Early leads have been blown, the Revs home unbeaten streak was snapped on Saturday night, the team crashed out of the U.S. Open Cup to a lower division side, and the absence of depth on the defensive side is readily apparent.
In spite of all of that, Carl Robinson, head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps, offered plenty of praise and respect to the collection of players inside of Jay Heaps' locker room. When speaking to the media post-game, Robinson not only described Gillette Stadium as a "very difficult place" to play, but also lauded the Revs ability to keep on fighting.
"Good team, they’re always going to put you under pressure and they did that, they got their goal and deserved their goal," he said. "It was a bit scrappy from our point of view but we just couldn’t get the third goal we had numerous chances for the third goal and we just made it probably too close and more interesting than we needed to but we’ll learn."
In particular, Robinson went out of his way to point out that the Revs attack caused them fits, even when playing down to 10 men as a result of Andrew Farrell's controversial red card. Robinson, who said he was uncomfortable with the 2-0 lead all night long, knew that the Revs offered plenty of danger going forward.
"They’re well coached by Jay [Heaps] and they put balls in the box," he said. "They got strong, powerful forwards, and Charlie [Davies], [Juan Agudelo] coming on, obviously Teal [Bunbury] we knew they were going to be pretty direct, especially when they went down to 10, and that’s what they did and credit to them."
So while moral victories don't get you very far when you're in the middle of a rut, it's still important to recognize that opposing teams have loads of respect for what Heaps, Mike Burns, and Brian Bilello have put together over the last couple of years.
Do the Revs have defensive issues? No doubt about it, as they've allowed 26 goals, which is good for second worst in the league. Is the loss of Jermaine Jones a big issue? Yes, this team is far better when the U.S. international is a part of the fold. Is the attack struggling to put teams away? Of course it is. They could have been up 2-0 or 3-0 in many of their recent games.
Yet, the fact of the matter is the Revolution still are a good team and have the ability to get out of this slump. Carl Robinson is well aware of it, and if you had to ask him the Revs will be back to their winning ways sooner rather than later.
"I’ll give them a lot of credit today because they’re a good team," he said. "They’re in a tricky patch at the moment but they’ll be fine."