Mistakes are an unfortunate reality in soccer. While you hope they don’t happen often, the possibility is always looming. To New England Revolution defender Antonio Delamea, it’s important to accept blame when a mistake occurs and work hard to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
On Saturday, Delamea made a major blunder when he committed a 75th-minute handling offense in the box. The ensuing kick resulted in the game-winning goal, as the Revs ultimately lost 3-2.
Delamea’s frustration could be seen right away, as the defender booted the ball up field. He knew he made a mistake that could—and would—cost his team points. This is something he quickly recognized when talking to media after the game.
“I feel really bad right now,” Delamea said. “Today, this game is on me. I can only say sorry to everyone. I think in a situation like this, you need to take the responsibility, to put your head down and work even harder.”
Of course, the final result doesn’t fall squarely on the Slovenian. The Revs conceded two first half goals, both on set pieces, with neither having much to do with Delamea.
Still, he knows he made a mistake during a critical time, which is why he feels the need to accept blame. In fact, this is something he would like to see more of from his teammates.
“I just feel like we’re a bunch of guys that don’t take responsibility when it’s necessary,” Delamea said. “I think today can start with me. I messed it up. It’s my fault that we lost this game. I think everyone can be mad at me.”
The most frustrating thing about conceding two set piece goals is that it was a focus throughout the week. The team discussed where they would hold their line, how to block runs, and who would mark who. This prep all fell apart on game day.
Reflecting on this, Delamea would like players to step up and take responsibility.
“Our morale on defending set pieces is so low at the moment,” Delamea noted. “We’re thinking about more how not to get scored on than who we should mark. I think this is all connected with what I was talking about before. We just don’t take the blame for bad decisions and things like this happen.”
For Delamea, taking ownership is a vital part of eradicating future mistakes. Once done, players can move on and develop a plan for the future. This is something that could help the Revolution going forward and might be a way to end the team’s set piece woes.
“I don’t really have an answer about (conceding on set pieces),” Delamea said. “Like I said before, we need to start to take the responsibility and I think maybe it’s time to point a finger.”