Revolution can’t afford a loss this time of year

Chris Tierney and the Revs have been a step slow in the past few weeks and they're losing their grip on a playoff spot. Credit: Getty Images
Chris Tierney and the Revs have been a step slow in the past few weeks and they’re losing their grip on a playoff spot. Credit: Getty Images

Following a rout of Philadelphia on Aug. 25, the New England Revolution was a hard-charging unit in the Eastern Conference, nestled (precariously) into one of the East’s playoff spots and feeling pretty good about itself.

An 0-2-1 stretch, capped by a tough-to-take 3-2 setback last Saturday at Chicago, has caused a notable shift in the state of affairs. Entering this weekend’s contest at home against D.C. United, the Revolution sit in seventh place in the conference, two points out of a playoff spot, with six matches remaining.

Here is a quick look at some factors coming down the stretch.

1. Time to recover: The Revs led Chicago 2-1 at the half and appeared to take charge on one of the teams they were fending off in the East when Saer Sene booted one in early in the second half. However, he was whistled for a controversial offsides call and New England never recovered, giving up the next two goals in a crushing defeat.
The turn of events provided one of those punches in the gut that can derail a unit, unless it finds a way to move on. And quick.

“We’ll turn the page,” head coach Jay Heaps told reporters. “I think we’ll learn from our mistakes. We’ll take our medicine and get back after it.”

New England has chosen to develop its organization with an eye on youth. There may be a day when many members of the core group reach their peak around the same time and the club is a more formidable unit. Trying times such as this will help in that maturation process. The final six games are a great test for one of the league’s younger teams.

2. Must win: They are all important from here on out, but if the Revs are going to climb back into a playoff spot a victory this Saturday is nearly imperative. D.C. United is far and away the worst team in the league and is 0-11-3 on the road this season.

However, D.C. gained one of its three road ties in its only trip to Gillette Stadium earlier this year and did defeat New England at home in an Open Cup match in June.

Anything can happen on the pitch, but protecting its turf against an also-ran like is critical for the Revs.

3. Defense! Defense! Defense?: While throwing in the occasional high-octane attack, New England made its mark through most of the season on the strength of a stingy defense. It has now allowed goals in a season-high four straight games and has given up seven combined in its last two. And the club’s inability to protect the lead twice at Chicago was particular painful for a team that was used to being able to close the door.

“We aren’t a really happy group because we didn’t finish or play well in terms of when we got the lead or even at 2-2 at the end of the game,” Heaps said. “We need to be smarter and not give up the last goal.”

Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth returned last Saturday with veteran Matt Reis suspended. Shuttleworth had some nice moments early in the season when he took over the starting job before losing it to Reis, but has been in net for all seven goals against in the last two games.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…