Let’s make this quick. Positives, a few. Meaningful results, none yet. Team trajectories, quite a contrast. The Revs recognized that playing a fast and resilient FC Dallas team would be difficult and only more so in the Texas heat.
The Revolution seemed to execute most of their game plan. This is amazing, and a credit to the coaching staff’s abilities and the player’s commitment. The Revolution were patient in battling the heat and building up their possessions. Their best chance from build up passing came in the 27th minute. The game was relatively even, though it was apparent the Revs were not going to run with Dallas in the heat. Zak Boggs won a high ball, brought it down and immediately crossed the field to Tierney. Tierney quickly found Lekic just inside the 18 yard line. Lekic used a nifty right foot to drop a crisp back pass to Shalrie for a shot from 25 or so yards out. Easily the best run of combination play in weeks. It was great to see Lekic working combinations with his team mates instead of complaining about poor service or non-calls from the referee.
Despite that brief example of how New England would like to play, they didn’t score. They haven’t scored since the penalty kick goal in the May 14th win over Vancouver. They haven’t scored from the run of play since our last win (hmmm, coincidence?) against SKC way back on April 23rd. So the story remains that New England can play defense, can’t score, has more creative play on the injury list than on the field, and needs to add creativity during the next (few?) transfer window.
Dallas, in contrast, is a resilient team that has rebounded from league MVP David Ferriera’s injury absence strongly. Daniel Hernandez has helped coach Schellas Hyndman rally this team defensively. Brek Shea, speedy Columbian Castillo, and the Honduran Chavez all contribute creatively. Like last week for the Revolution when Beckham and Miguel Lopez combined for the lone goal, this week it was Martin Chavez. Breaking down the right wing he just edged out AJ Soares and turned inside along the end line and beat Matt Reis at the near post. After that, Dallas absolutely strangled the game to finish. Playing with a lead is definitely something to envy from a New England perspective.
Not as ugly a scoreline as the USA v Spain result, but even in that comparison the Revs suffer. Dallas is not an equivalent world champion opponent. The Revs are not going to have an improved starting lineup against weaker competition next time out like the US will on Tuesday against Canada. Let’s see what happens Friday June, 10th against NY Red Bull who can score, but have struggled to win lately.
(image courtesy of revolutionsoccer.net)