Sunday, October 28, 2007

Revs Blank Themselves, New York

The Revs escaped New York Saturday night with a 0-0 draw. Surprisingly, they are in a better position heading into the 2nd leg than any other higher seeded team in the MLS Cup playoffs. Although the Revs hold a slight advantage going into next Saturday's return leg, it's hard to argue this series is anything but a toss up. I made the bus trip and joined some seventy fellow Revolution supporters in the Meadowland to cheer on the boys. A few things stood out while watching the game from high atop the away support quarantine zone. (click title to read more)

The first thing that should be obvious to everyone who watched the game is how much the right side of Red Bull New York, led by rookie midfielder/Arnold Drumman stand-in Dane Richards, dominated our left side. Khano Smith just couldn't get anything going, was run ragged, and was out of position far too often. Avery John had his worst game in a Revs kit in quite some time, compounding the situation. The local side was one bad field turf bounce away from being down in the series. Maybe that should read "one natural bounce" as the Red Bulls fell prey to the turf monster several times, ending more than a few attacking sequences. That new stadium can't come soon enough. Back on the original point, in the short term, our left side will cost us the series if it doesn't play better. In the long term, it needs a major overhaul. Hopefully, Amaechi Igwe's the answer next year, but I don't want to rely on a youngster curing our left-sided woes.

The second major thing I noticed was how much the Revs indeed bunkered down for the draw. It probably wasn't so apparent on TV, but during many attacks, Joseph and Larentowicz hung back around midfield leaving huge tracks of land in between them and the inevitable errant cross behind the single attacking wave. At least they didn't put ten men in the box like we've seen in the past. Actually, the New England defenders were very aggressive and physical with the Red Bull attack. One of the positives from last night was how much they frustrated Juan Pablo Angel. However, it's yet to be seen how they will handle him when the field is stretched in a game where the Revs are actually trying to score a goal.

We'll have more on this series later on in the week, as well as a recap of the road trip. It was a good time with a lot of new faces, which is damn good to see.


The Sports News Network
ESPN Soccernet
Fox Soccer
New England Soccer News
Soccer New England
Soccer Source Blog