Now winless in six, it looks as though the New England Revolution could be amidst their annual summer swoon. With this in mind, we explore whether or not Revs fans should panic. Let's take a look at the arguments.
The Revolution may sit near the top of the Eastern Conference standings, but the picture is not so positive right now for them. They haven't won a game since the May 2nd 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls and their last six results reads like this: four draws and two losses. For a team that aspires to win MLS Cup and make a run in the Open Cup, a stretch of form like that just isn't good enough. Late goals allowed, an inability to hold a lead, not fishing chances, and injuries/suspensions all may be offered up as excuses, but there really isn't room for them.
Add in the fact that Jay Heaps' teams tend to fall into a summer slump and a panicked reaction is all that more justified. Every Revs fan is crossing their fingers and praying that something like that doesn't play out this year, but things appear to be on the brink of spiraling in that direction. Most importantly of all, this team has the potential to own the Eastern Conference. It's time for them to start playing like it.
Anyone who’s ready to push the panic button needs perspective.
The Revolution are currently positioned second in the Eastern Conference with 21 points. Though most teams below them have games in hand, the Revs are still in the thick of things and could realistically finish atop the Eastern Conference or as the Supporters’ Shield winners. Philadelphia head coach Jim Curtin explained it best on this week’s edition of ExtraTime Radio when he said, "All you have to do is look at the table of the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference [to realize that] you’re always a two- to three-game win streak away from making some moves in there."
Besides, things really aren’t that bad for the Revolution. The team has a wealth of talented players that simply aren’t producing right now. Things will be fine if/when Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe or Diego Fagundez get going. Even without these attackers playing at their best, the Revs have consistently found goals as Saturday night was the first time since Apr. 11 that the club was shu tout. Defensively, it’s about cleaning up the mistakes. Besides the Sporting Kansas City debacle, the goals that the Revs have allowed recently have been due to mental lapses that should be erased with time.
The Revolution's current run is more disappointing than the Entourage Movie (I saw it this weekend), but this isn’t 2011. So, breath and have faith.
Jake: NO, at least wait until the Gold Cup
The Revolution are among the deepest teams in the East and it's not like anyone is running away with the Conference at the moment. Yes, Toronto has a lot of games in hand but D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls are in similar runs of form as New England. The Revs survived the first part of the season with Jermaine Jones filling in at center back for the injured Jose Goncalves and now have to get through the Gold Cup without Jones'' much needed presence in the midfield. Last year the Revs headed into August in a similar situation and vaulted up the standings with a terrific run to end the season and there's plenty of indications that they can do the same this year. We all expect Nguyen to find some of his MVP form and a few lights-out performances from Goncalves, Jones and Nguyen all in the same lineup would be a welcome sight in August.
Matty: NO, at least not yet
When wondering about whether or not you should have to panic, it all comes down to what your expectations were for this team at the start of the season. Personally, I fully believed this team had everything it needed to make another deep run into the playoffs.
That being said, they are still poised to do just that, even with the recent dip in form. We all remember that last year there was a rather lengthy winless drought in the middle of the season as well.
It's hard to completely panic without knowing the full extent of Jermaine Jones' injury. If the injury is anything considerably long-term, then achieving the goals this team set out to accomplish in pre-season will be made quite difficult.
When you add the more-than-probable loss of Juan Agudelo during the Gold Cup to the Jones injury, and mix it with an under-performing Lee Nguyen, you've got plenty of reasons to be alarmed going forward.
Everything this team wants to accomplish is still possible, but educated observers of the club know that the Revs are perilously close to letting it slip away.
So, what do you think Revs fans? Is it time to panic? Let us know by voting in the poll or commenting below.