Losses such as the Revs 3-2 disaster against Real Salt Lake can make or break a season for a club. They can doom a club to the bottom of the standings or help them learn a lesson that can lead a team to a run for a championship.
So far, New England is taking the better of the two roads.
“That game was one of the craziest things that’s ever happened to me on the field,” said Sebastian Lletget. “Being up 2-0 then going down 3-2 in 10 minutes. It’s like the soccer gods are talking to us and preparing us for this Pumas game, because that’s something that can happen. That’s just the reality of this game. You lose focus for a couple minutes, let alone over 90 minutes, and things can change really fast.”
Left back DeJuan Jones believes the team learned a similar lesson about how to close out games.
“It’s going to be the same in Mexico, where we have an advantage and we have to finish out games, limit set-pieces, and just be cleaner and sharper in the last 15 minutes,” Jones said.
With a 3-0 aggregate lead, New England has plenty of cushion on Wednesday evening. Pumas will be pushing for a goal.
“Common sense would tell you our approach is certainly different,” said Bruce Arena. “We don’t need to score goals. They do.”
While Lletget and Jones were willing to comment on the disaster, Arena was looking to put the game behind him.
“They’ll be fine,” Arena said about his team. “They’ll be ready to play. The Salt Lake game is over with, and we move forward.”
One characteristic of this New England Revolution squad is their ability to stay composed. Whether they are up two goals or down two goals, the mentality is the same. No matter the result, the team is able to maintain their emotions.
“The mood’s been okay,” said Lletget. “We’re always at a six or seven around here. We’re never too high, never too low. I think that’s another strength of ours, our mindset that we bring. I think it’s another great lesson. I think it came at a perfect time in a weird way, so it’s going to help us.”
So Wednesday night will for sure be an interesting match for the Revs. The regular attacking side will take a more defensive approach as they hope to close out Pumas. Advancing to the next round of the CCL is the perfect cure to get over the loss against RSL.