clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Revs Defense Probably Better Than We Thought

New, 1 comment

Early season woes had people writing off the Revolution's defense as a lost cause, but since the first two matches of the season, they've only gone out and played like the best defensive unit in the league.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

After eight games this season, the New England Revolution stand at more-than-respectable seven goals conceded, having scored ten. Neither number puts them tops in the league, or even the conference - four Eastern teams have conceded the same number, though in less games, and Seattle has actually only given up five. Nevertheless, a goals-against average of under a goal per game is nothing to sneeze at. Teams can't beat you if they aren't scoring.

It's much more remarkable to remember that the Revs started the season by conceding five goals in the first two games. That means in their last six, New England has only given up two goals. In fact, as has been mentioned before, the Revs haven't even given up a run-of-play goal since that last 2-0 loss to New York City on March 15th.

The only tallies against them since have been a penalty and a peach of a direct free kick. This from a defense that fans worried would be the weakest link in a squad expected to make another MLS Cup run.

All of this is to say that the Revs have probably been the best defense in the league since mid-March. Two goals given up in six games puts them at a ridiculous 0.33 goals-against average. Their nearest competitors are Seattle, who have also conceded twice but in only five games, for a 0.4 average.

Team

Games since 3/15

Conceded

GAA

New England Revolution

6

2

0.33

Seattle Sounders

5

2

0.4

New York Red Bulls

6

5

0.83

Vancouver Whitecaps

7

6

0.86

Chicago Fire

4

4

1.0

Colorado Rapids

7

7

1.0

Columbus Crew

5

5

1.0

Los Angeles Galaxy

6

6

1.0

New York City FC

6

6

1.0

Portland Timbers

6

6

1.0

Houston Dynamo

6

7

1.17

D.C. United

5

6

1.2

Real Salt Lake

5

6

1.2

San Jose Earthquakes

5

6

1.2

Orlando City SC

6

9

1.5

FC Dallas

6

10

1.66

Montreal Impact

3

5

1.66

Sporting Kansas City

6

8

1.66

Philadelphia Union

7

14

2.0

Toronto FC

4

8

2.0

As you can see above, most of the rest of the league isn't even close. The New England defense is out-performing many of its closest rivals in the East as well as much of the West, quickly overcoming a poor start to establish themselves as a defensive powerhouse.

Remarkably, the Revs have trotted out five different back line groups in those six matches. Only Andrew Farrell has started every one of those six matches, playing with a revolving door of center-backs and fullbacks around him. Despite these inconsistent lineups, they've found consistent results.

Saturday's match against the Red Bulls represents a stern test for this unit. New York has scored 11 goals in seven games, making them one of the higher-scoring teams in the young MLS season. Even with mid-week match fatigue, the Red Bulls will serve as a benchmark of exactly how good this Revolution defense might be going forward.

Best defense in MLS? Leave your thoughts below.