The New England Revolution played the Seattle Sounders to a scoreless draw on Saturday. Here are three thoughts from the mundane affair.
- You didn’t miss much if you didn’t watch this game. All you need to know about this match happened in the 73rd minute when Nicolas Lodeiro attempted a half-field shot as a way of testing Matt Turner. That ambitious wish was the game’s first shot on goal. Seattle came to Gillette Stadium looking for a point, which frustrated the Revs, who love to exploit space by hitting team’s on the counter. The Revs did alter their play, but it wasn’t good enough.
- The Revs need to figure out a way to break down defensive teams. With Seattle clogging up the middle of the park, Brad Friedel asked his players to use the wide areas more often. This is a solid strategy, except that the Revs aren’t great at crossing. Gabriel Somi and Andrew Farrell had opportunities to provide service, but what they offered did little to trouble Settle’s back line. This service needs to get better. The Revs also have to do a better job of moving the ball quicker. When a team is defensive, quick east-to-west passes can open up gaps. These passes have to happen at a rapid rate or else the opposition has the chance to shift. Furthermore, the higher players have to get into half spaces and be ready to receive the ball. Think about Spain’s game against Russia. Spain completed a lot of passes, but they struggled to penetrate, which was a problem.
- This result puts more pressure on the Revs. I still believe that the Revs will make the playoffs (especially if they bring in a player or two during the transfer window). That said, the path becomes harder when they drops points at home. In his post-game press conference, Friedel said he isn’t worried about his team’s home record because they “have a good enough team to win home or away.” This is a good mindset to have, but I do believe that away games, especially in MLS, are tough. With every home draw or loss, the Revs are increasing the importance of their road schedule.