New England was coming off a disappointing loss to the New York Red Bulls that drastically impacted their chance to make the MLS Cup Playoffs. It was a homecoming of sorts as former Dynamo player Tommy McNamara got yet another start. McNamara spent parts of two seasons with the Dynamo
Up top, Gustavo Bou got yet another start. He was flanked by Carles Gil who returned to the lineup after the birth of his first child over the weekend. Wilfrid Kaptoum also returned to the starting XI after dealing with an injury.
The back line switched things up slightly with the Revolution utilizing a back four after having a five man back line against New York. Henry Kessler and Andrew Farrell were the center backs with Brandon Bye and DeJuan Jones on the wings.
So what do you need to know about the mid-week matchup? Here are three thoughts.
1 - Andrew Farrell wasn’t happy with Wilfrid Kaptoum
With how much New England has struggled, frustration can seep its way out onto the field. In the 26th minute, after a quick restart, Houston had a chance on net but luckily nothing came of it.
Wilfrid Kaptoum was lagging back and apparently that upset Farrell as he sprinted 20 yards to call out and scream at Kaptoum. While Farrell is the one who should be motivating and calling out underperforming players, maybe his pep talk would have been better served in the safe confines of the away locker room.
Farrell wasn’t the only player to show some emotion. Carles Gil showed some poor body language after some missed passes and nearly got a yellow card after booting a ball after a whistle.
Overall this looked like a team that was frustrated and fed up with the position that they have put themselves in.
2 - Horrid defending
The Revolution were once again let down by poor defending. In the 37th minute Houston capitalized.
DeJuan Jones was toasted as Corey Baird sent a ball into the box. Things got worse as Brandon Bye was caught ball watching as Carlos Quintero found the back of the net.
There’s no reason for any excuses. New England’s back line was completely healthy and it now seems like some starters might be under some pressure. At half time Brandon Bye was subbed off with Jones shifting to right back while Jon bell came on as a left back. Questions also deserved to be asked about the Revs starting center back pairing.
Even with such a talented goalkeeper such as Djordje Petrovic, New England can’t rely on him to bail them out each and every game. The goal that he let up was a product of poor defending, not poor goaltending. There’s nothing Petrovic could have done to make a save.
The poor defending continued after the goal. With New England committing numbers forward, Houston found plenty of space in the midfield and nearly struck multiple times on the counter.
It will be interesting to see what happens this offseason, but the Revs might need to spend some money on improving their back line in the winter transfer window.
3 - The Revs aren’t making the playoffs
New England might not be mathematically eliminated, but this team isn’t seeing the playoffs. Currently the Revolution are four points out of a playoff position. Hopefully I’m wrong but things aren’t looking great for the Revs.
Ahead of New England are the Columbus Crew who finish off their season against Portland, the Red Bulls, Charlotte FC and Orlando. With Cucho Hernandez on fire and Lucas Zelarayan being one of the best 10’s in MLS, they likely won’t drop too many points.
Tuesday’s game was a must win and the Revolution didn’t show up. They will only face more difficult competition moving forward starting with CF Montreal on Saturday. If the Revs can’t be Houston, there’s no reason to have faith they will win out to end the season.