Sunday, June 03, 2007

Nil To Nil

Going by last night's box score, it would have appeared the Revs put on a stunning offensive performance the way Manchester United dominated inferior opponents during the past EPL season. You would be led to believe Real Salt Lake's keeper made a plethora of world class saves and the woodwork played an important role in robbing the Revs of all three points.

That wasn't the case.(click title to read more)

Although the Revs were clearly the better team, they didn't produce many (if any) clearcut chances resulting in the team being held scoreless for the first time since the opener. Sure, the Revs outshot RSL 23-8 (13-2 on goal). However, most of those shots had little chance of finding the back of the net. In fact, the shots stat was padded by numerous scuffed balls and even some poor passes. The Revs even played a man up for over ten minutes and couldn't produce a game winner. (click title to read more)

There were some positives from the game. The Revs did dominate the midfield. Salt Lake had no answer for Shalrie Joseph who muscled around his adversaries all night. It was also very satisfying watching Steve Ralston strip the ball away from Freddy Adu on numerous occasions. Micheal Parkhurst had another classy performance anchoring the defense and rookie Bryan Byrne didn't embarrass himself during his first MLS game. In fact, after he was wrongfully given a yellow card 17 seconds into his debut, he drew a red card from Ritchie Kotschau who had just made his RSL debut. I got a chuckle, which is always positive.

The Revolution moved the ball forward much better than last week, but they still seemed rather lethargic at times. Andy Dorman wasn't invisible like in previous weeks, but he clearly suffers from a lack of confidence as he failed to take the ball at the RSL players. He touched the ball off to teammates with decent efficiency, but that took him out of the attack far too often. Andy has the potential to be that spark the team needs, but he's just not playing up to last year's form.

Khano Smith embarrassed 2005 #1 draft pick folly Nick Besagno twice down the left wing which seemed to scar him for life with the way he was defending afterwards. However, Khano's success rate was hovering around the Mendoza line. By success, I mean the plays resulting in an offensive threat or a safe pass back to a teammate versus him getting the ball, stopping, sizing up his defender, and proceeding to look remarkably foolish on way to losing the ball. Twenty percent ain't going to cut it. I also take issue with the fact that the game stands still when he gets the ball. The opposing team has a chance to get back, mark the forwards, compare Mormon law with blue laws, eat a sandwich, and determine what needs to be done to make Gillette feng shui compliant all while Khano is determining if he's going to try and beat Besagno down the sideline to the left or down the sideline to the left (I think he has another move which involves going left down the sideline). The stipulation the FO has put forward for getting a DP has been a player that will attract fans and win us a championship. If I were Steve Nicol, I'd get on the phone with Ryan Giggs's agent and Sir Alex figuring out what would need to be done to get him in New England. I'm guessing $1-2 million, a decent salary, and releasing him for a testimonial in Manchester during August. Get it done. Substitute Giggs for Smith last night and tell me the Revs don't easily win that game by three goals.

This was the second straight scoreless game on the road for RSL, which can be seen as encouraging. However, I have to ask RSL fans where the heck they are going to get goal production from? They traded away Jeff Cunningham who looked dangerous in Toronto's 2-1 win over Colorado. You can't mistake Salt Lake's attack for anything dangerous last night.

The Revs stumble into the bye week with only one point from their first two games of the home stand. What ever happened to the whole "Fortress Gillette" concept? Luckily, they are only one point back of Kansas City who beat a 10-man New York side last night. Things are really heating up in the east. Can New England stay in the kitchen? We'll see.

Other Recaps

Soccer New England
New England Soccer News
Fox Sports
The Olympian
RSLFM Report

1 Comment:

Scads said...

"However, I have to ask RSL fans where the heck they are going to get goal production from?"

We don't know. I was at the Chicago game and watched the game agaisnt the Revs and can't even begin to guess who is going to start scoring for us so that we can take advantage of holding the opponent scoreless (if that continues I'd be suprised actually). Hopefully we will use some of our extra money and maybe that DP slot in the upcoming transfer period, but RSL doesn't exactly have a good history with getting the right 11 on the pitch.
You guys are going to continue to have a a good season and should finish first in the East. You have the most balanced (and mentally stable (Mathis))team. As for us I hope we can just win that first one.