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Revs need a new mentality when it comes to defending

Heading into the playoffs, the New England Revolution need to be better in the defensive third.

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

The New England Revolution is quite talented but recently they haven’t been up to par.

While it’s hard to pinpoint one player who needs to better one thing is clear, the back line needs to improve. Far too many times have fans seen the club give up goals early or even worse blow leads with poor defending.

This was evident in New England’s 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire. After going up a goal thanks to Wilfrid Kaptoum, the Revs almost immediately gave up a goal.

Bruce Arena was asked about giving up the goal so quickly after scoring and it doesn’t seem to be too much of a concern to him.

“No, not at all. I sleep well with that stuff,” he said.

While Arena isn’t concerned about that, the play of Brandon Bye has him worried. After the match, he said that the right back needs to be better.

But New England has also had struggles with its center backs. Andrew Farrell while being an ironman has had his own struggles and the position struggles with depth.

Matt Polster was asked about how the team can improve defensively and he thinks it’s more of a mental thing than anything physical on the field.

“Yeah, I think first and foremost we have really good defenders,” said the midfielder. “I think it’s a mentality. It’s you versus somebody else and it’s about pride in wanting to prevent the cross or block a shot. That’s what it comes down to at the end of the day, it’s you against somebody else and who’s going to come out on top. So for us, we have really good defenders, that’s not the problem, the problem is the mentality, I think, and once we can shift that a little bit, you’re going to see better results.”

That is exactly the mentality that the Revolution will need if they want to lift a trophy and finally bring an MLS Cup back to New England. They have to win every battle and not rely on Matt Turner to bail them out of trouble. Fans have seen in recent games that while he is the best goalkeeper in the United States, he is in fact mortal and can give up goals.

The Revs have a great chance to bounce back and have a solid defensive showing going up against D.C. United on Wednesday night. As Polster said they just need to have the right mentality from the first whistle of the match to the last.