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Bruce Arena sticks to tactical guns despite blowing 3-0 lead to Pumas UNAM

Parking the bus sent Arena and the Revolution back to the United States and out of the Concacaf Champions League

MLS: Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinal-Pumas UNAM at New England Revolution Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Arena and the New England Revolution had a 3-0 lead heading into Wednesday night yet the club will be returning to the Gillette Stadium knowing they are out of the Concacaf Champions League.

The Revolution allowed three goals on the second leg of the Quarterfinals and had no answer on the counterattack. It was a poor night in front of the net for Adam Buksa but credit to Alfredo Talavera for making some big stops at the end of the match.

With New England failing to find the back of the net after 90 minutes and the score being tied 3-3 0n aggregate, the game went straight to penalties. Just like against NYCFC in the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, things didn’t end well for the Revolution. New England was sent packing and once again fans were left disappointed.

Arena made it clear on Tuesday that the Revs weren’t exactly going to be looking to attack down in Mexico.

“Common sense would tell you our approach is certainly different,” he said. “We don’t need to score goals. They do.”

Arena was asked if this type of approach was the correct one after the loss and he only needed one word to answer that question.

“Yes,” said Arena.

This is the second straight loss in demoralizing fashion for New England. It seemed like things couldn’t get worse after blowing a 2-0 lead to Real Salt Lake, yet blowing a 3-0 lead is just that.

Bye was also asked about the tactics and he said that the decision to play so defensively is one that the Revs had to live with.

At the end of the day, that’s the decision we made, and we went through it,” said Bye. “We have to be together on that. Whatever the decision was whether it was go find a goal, defend, whatever it is, we made that decision as a team, as a coaching staff, as a unit, and that’s something that we have to live with.”

That is exactly what the Revs will have to do. Fans and members of the club will be wondering what could have been and about the chance that New England had to lift a trophy.

For now, all focus returns to MLS play. The Revolution have one more match before the international break as they head to Charlotte to play the league’s newest club on Saturday.

But with how New England has played these last two matches, fans will likely be nervous that the Revs will become the first club to lose to Charlotte FC, and continue to drop points in MLS.