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Bruce Arena: Brandon Bye needs to be better

The right back has struggled for the Revolution as of late

MLS: Chicago Fire at New England Revolution Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Bye was having another quality season for the New England Revolution but as of late his performances have left a lot to be desired.

Early on in the season, Bye was impressing with his curling crosses that he sent into the box. The service he was providing into the area was optimal as he was connecting with teammates and helping the Revolution win games.

So far this season Bye has two goals and two assists. Besides his play in the final third, the 25-year-old also was doing well defending.

But as of lately that has changed and Saturday’s 2-2 draw against the Chicago Fire proved just that. After New England had found the back of the net courtesy of a Wilfrid Kaproum goal it seemed like the start of what could be a dominant win for the Revs.

Those thoughts would quickly dwindle as moments later the Fire found the back of the net and evened the score at one goal apiece. All the momentum that New England had gained was gone.

While Matt Turner could have done a better job in net, the main culprit of the collapse was Bye. Revolution fans saw something that they were all too familiar with, Bye was caught watching the ball while his man was left wide open in the box with a golden opportunity to score.

Revolution head coach was asked about Bye’s performance and he admitted that it hasn’t been what he has expected.

“Yeah, he continues to have some of those issues,” Arena said when asked about Bye’s ball watching. “He should be at this point in his career, with the number of games he’s had, be better in those situations. So, it’s got to get better, for sure.”

Ema Boateng also touched upon the first goal and how it has been a reoccurring issue for New England.

“Yeah, just fell asleep a little bit there right after the first goal to give up a goal like that,” said Boateng. “The same thing happened in Montreal, which we’ve been talking about just having the mentality right. We have to be switched on and not let them score. That was a little disappointing.”

Bye and the Revolution defense needs to improve as the playoffs near. One goal could be the difference between New England lifting a trophy or having an early exit that leaves the fanbase in shambles.

The Revolution have a mid-week matchup against DC United on Wednesday and giving Bye a great opportunity to bounce back and build his confidence heading into the postseason.