With a streak that includes one win in 12 outings, it can be easy for players to turn on each other. That isn’t the case for the New England Revolution, who held a players-only meeting this week as a way of refocusing.
The Revs have gone over a month since their last win on Jun. 13. It’s a run that has produced no points, causing the team to slide from second to sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Revolution’s most recent games—a 3-0 loss to FC Dallas and a 4-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls—proved to be particularly deflating.
One measure that could provoke change was a players meeting that took place earlier this week. While players were mum about specific talking points, the overall message was clear: the streak ends now.
"We met as a group and everybody had the chance to get some stuff off their chest and talk to each other about what’s going on," Chris Tierney told media on Wednesday. "We’re not putting blame on anyone but ourselves. It’s going to be up to us to dig ourselves out of this hole that we’ve put ourselves in and that’s what we’re looking to do this week."
According to those involved, the goal of the meeting was to get everyone on the same page as the team heads into the final months of the season. Individuals were given the opportunity speak with veterans providing especially useful advice. One such veteran was Jermaine Jones, who was the instigator for the chat.
"His experience is valuable to this team," Charlie Davies explained. "He’s a guy that everyone respects so much and he’s obviously played at the highest of levels. He’s a guy that you value his opinion and what he has to say. So, a guy like that, when he says something, everybody listens."
The players meeting appears to have had an effect on the locker room as Davies noted that "the reaction this week has been so positive." Training sessions have been intense as everyone is focused on ending the streak.
The true test comes on Saturday when the Revs welcome Eastern Conference foe New York City FC. It's a game that Davies and his teammates believe could be a turning point.
"You got to have the meeting then get on with it," Tierney said. "It’s not going to help us to dwell on games that we’ve lost or won in the past. We’re looking forward. There’s nothing we can do about the game this past weekend or the week before that. We have a chance to play an in-conference team at home and three points puts us in a better position than we’re in right now."