Because they’re pissing me off, and i don’t write enough here, i’m going to start writing up match reports of the Revolution matches. The number one rule of this site is to write about whatever you please, after all.
So yet again, the Revolution found a way to lose a game in which they had all of the attacking possession, and all but one of the actual serious chances. Never mind crossbars, posts, or penalties not given, the promise of the earlier part of the season has well and truly slipped away. Players who were having palpable fun on the field are now frustrated and sulking, and the crankiness in the stands is well and truly back.
What’s the problem as far as my inexpert opinion is concerned? 1. The shortcomings against physical sides like Kansas City and Toronto were obvious; the skill players such as Nguyen and Feilhaber were getting clobbered, the refs didn’t call it often enough, and even when they did… 2. They can’t score a set piece to save their lives. McCarthy got his head to a couple late tonight, but he’s really the only big body you can throw in the mixer, and is not who you’d want to rely on anyway. 3. Their patience is gone. For all the talk of playing the game the right way, of passing the ball, playing possession and building from the back, they resort to blasting it far too often. Finally, 4. the personnel is not right anymore; earlier in the season, it seemed Heaps could do no wrong with his substitutes, and the 11 were more up to the task. Now, we’re back to seeing useless, clanking mismatched parts out there, waiting for them to be belatedly subbed out. Seeing players get pushed around with no steel to strengthen the formation, and others being asked to do things they’re just not suited for.
If they put away one or two chances tonight, then we’re probably talking about a good performance, but they didn’t, so we’re not. It’s not fair, but perhaps it’s more useful to not have continued shortcomings sugar-coated.
Player Ratings (per the typical 1-10 scale with its glorious shortcomings; 10 is perfect, 1 is dreadful, 5 is average):
Reis: 5. Only save he had to make was one he really couldn’t be expected to. Still nearly got a palm to it. Calm as ever with the ball at his feet, but the long distribution still mediocre at best.
Tierney: 4. Burned for speed only once, still tenacious going forward. Even if you look at him as the offensive outside back and Alston as the defensive one, it’s not a good enough trade. He dribbles the ball well, but the quality of his passes has been inadequate this year; he’s left Soares, Benny, Simms, Nguyen, amongst others way, way too short too many times and rolled too many balls to the opposition too often. Time to give the rookie a shot.
Soares: 5.5. ‘Megged on the goal, which i suppose should count against him, but it’s awfully unfair considering he’s running full stride to match a much faster player. Calm and collected as always, with the usual well-timed steps to nip attacks in the bud. The yellow card was the product of an excellent dive, not any sort of foul.
McCarthy: 6. An excellent offensive header across goal from the post on a corner probably would have been put away if a certain dreadlocked guy was still around. Good positioning all night. Both center-backs were very steady tonight.
Alston: 6. Made good runs, was constantly open out wide, put in one excellent cross, one lousy up-the-line ball. Completely untroubled on defense except when Felipe tried to win a penalty against him the same way Philadelphia did two weeks ago.
Nguyen: 5.5. His work is very commendable, and for a good ten minutes, he’d actually taken control of the middle of the field, which the Revs seemingly hadn’t done for weeks. Having said that, his effectiveness is less than what it once was; he can’t dribble around everyone all the time, and now he’s double-teamed and roughed-up constantly. Couple this with the loss of the close-quarters triangle passing and lack of off-the-ball movement, and he’s having to reach too deep into his bag of tricks too often.
Feilhaber: 4. Simply needs to do more. It doesn’t help that he’s being asked to sit really far back. The problem with this is that when he makes a loose pass or tries something opportunistic (read:reckless), there are fewer people behind him. Maybe it’s harsh to hold his (terrible) giveaway accountable for the goal, considering it was in the offensive half of the field, but the trouble was, it put a fast runner right on your two centerbacks. Never mind the fact that for every nifty play that comes off, for every impeccably slotted through ball, there are five failed ones that end with him dribbling at people, leaving it for no one, or passing optimistically into traffic. Not effective.
Simms: 5. Better tonight than he has been lately, more active. But the Revs were at their best when he, Benny, and Nguyen were constantly running off the ball and completing triangles. It’s not happening anymore, and since Simms seems to have so many fewer touches of late, and the skill players are getting whacked, i feel like there’s some causation here.
Guy: 5.5. It’s unfair to give him less than this, because he did everything he was asked to do. The fact of the matter is, he’s a tiny player without the speed or the skills to compensate. No idea why he keeps having to do so much work with his back to net.
Sène: 6.5. Maybe it’s a bit fashionable to bag on Saer Sène right now. While he has missed some chances of late that would have changed results, you simply can’t ignore the fact that the dude is doing pretty much everything right now. He drops back, he shepherds the ball through the midfield, he is distributor, provider, and finisher all in one. There’s no way i fault him for having not everything work, considering that at least he’s trying. He’s trying everything.
Bengtson: 5. Sorta on an island up there, unfortunately. Was badly offside one time when it’d have been nice if he wasn’t.
Subs: Cardenas: 5.5. Very bright start, good enthusiasm and fresh legs, but petered out after the first five minutes in. Rowe: 5.5. Same thing i said about Cardenas. Fagundez: No rating.