The New England Revolution have had some exciting matches this season, but Saturday’s wasn’t one of them.
On their way to settling for a scoreless draw, the Revs and Sounders amassed 15 shots with two on target. The game produced very few exciting moments, which led to head coach Brad Friedel opening his press conference by asking reporters if they were still awake.
Once the laughs subsided, Friedel discussed why it was such a mundane 90 minutes.
“They only wanted a draw,” head coach Brad Friedel explained. “[Seattle coach] Brian Schmetzer said even after the game, ‘Sorry we played like that, but we had to.’ I don’t know why they had to.”
With Saturday’s game being their third in eight days, Seattle went with a defensive approach. The team seemed content with grabbing a point at Gillette Stadium, as they frequently placed a lot of bodies behind the ball.
This mindset forced the Revs to alter the way they were playing. The fast counters weren’t available because their opponent rarely pushed forward.
“You have to soften up teams,” Friedel stated. “There’s certain ways to do it. Three ways, really. There’s one, you can take shots from distance. Two, go around the outsides. Or three, try to attack that number ten space, which they were clogging up pretty well.”
The Revs often looked to wide play as a way of trying to break through. Andrew Farrell and substitute Gabriel Somi were called upon often to provide service from the flanks. The tactic was grounded in sound thinking, but didn’t produce much.
The Revs finished the night with one shot on target, which was particularly frustrating because they were playing at home.
“It’s always frustrating at home because we know how good we are at home,” Juan Agudelo said. “We know what quality we possess individually as players, so we definitely take this as a loss.”
This won’t be the last time that the Revs will face a team that bunkers. In fact, it’s something they want to get better at as the season progresses.
“Coach [Friedel] said it at halftime, if we want to be champs, you have to beat teams like this,” Diego Fagundez said. “I know I was getting frustrated when you don’t create chances to score goals.
“We just have to keep going now. Still a long ways [to go in the season]. At least we didn’t lose, so now we have to move to the next one to make sure we win.”