When you’re staring down the barrel of a five-game losing streak and watching as the playoffs start to look less and less likely, the draws start to feel as welcome as wins. Especially on the road, for that matter.
The New England Revolution were able to get that, putting together a tenacious if not-altogether great performance against the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday night to earn a scoreless draw.
New England was missing Jose Goncalves and London Woodberry in defense, forcing an interesting lineup shuffle for Jay Heaps. He trotted out a diamond 4-4-2, moving Andrew Farrell to center-back next to Je-Vaughn Watson, with Kelyn Rowe at right-back and Scott Caldwell functioning as a slightly more attacking “shuttler.”
The switch paid some dividends, but the same issues that have plagued the club for weeks - defense notwithstanding - were still apparent. Good stretches of possession and incisive counter-attacks fizzled as the final ball and/or the finish was simply lacking.
Kei Kamara had the visitors’ best chance, taking a deft feed from Lee Nguyen to split the Earthquakes defense and get around David Bingham in goal. His shot, though, smacked off the base of the goalkeeper’s left post and spilled clear.
The Revs’ defense played much better despite being shorthanded, but the Quakes still managed a couple of scares. Chris Wondolowski stunningly missed a close-range header in the first half when he really ought to have converted, and Chad Barrett missed the top corner by mere inches in the second half when given a yard of space on his left foot.
New England is back in action on Sunday against the Red Bulls.