The New England Revolution squandered a first-half lead on Sunday night, ultimately losing 3-1 to Orlando City SC. Kei Kamara collected the Revolution’s only tally while the home side got two goals from Kevin Molino and one from Cyle Larin. So, what did we learn from the loss? Let’s take a look.
1. The Revolution’s adjustments didn’t work, but Orlando’s did. Revs head coach Jay Heaps made his first change in the 62nd minute, replacing Chris Tierney with Gershon Koffie. The switch, which saw Koffie play defensive midfield while Je-Vaughn Watson moved to left back, made sense in theory as the Revs were conceding a lot of possession and weren’t connecting much in the midfield. Reality didn’t play out the way the Revs would’ve liked, however, as they allowed two goals after the adjustment. The Revolution would go on to make two more changes—replacing Teal Bunbury with Diego Fagundez in the 69th and Scott Caldwell with Charlie Davies in the 75th—but none of these would have the same impact as Orlando inserting Brek Shea for Hadji Barry at halftime. Shea was dangerous on the right flank, contributing three shots and one assist. More than that, his presence opened up more space in the middle.
2. It’s so good to see Charlie Davies back on the field. The news that Davies was in remission after being diagnosed with cancer this spring was a good reminder that some things are bigger than soccer. Davies’ life has been turbulent, to say the least, but amazingly he’s been able to maintain a smile throughout. It was good to see him back with the team and not only because it meant that he’s healthy. After all, the Revs are going to need Davies if they’re going to pull things together. In his brief 15-minute appearance, Davies was determined to score, recording three shots, all on target. After each miss, you could see that he was frustrated. Even in his post-game interview, Davies made it clear that he not only wanted to score but to collect points for his team.
3. This result puts things into perspective. Heading into Sunday’s match, the Revs were unbeaten in three straight league games, including two wins. It was a nice run that had fans feeling optimistic. The result against Orlando was a reminder that two of the Revolution’s recent wins came at home against Eastern Conference bottom dwellers, while the other result was a scoreless draw against Real Salt Lake, who still haven't figured out who they are.