Monday, October 15, 2007

Revs Limping Into Playoffs

Some teams rise to the occasion only when they have to. Champions rise to the occasion because they are champions. Unfortunately, the Revs have been the former vice the latter in the Stevie Nicol era. Granted, they never had much to play for before the great Scot arrived at Foxboro. However, it's tough to argue that the Revs are finishing strong in the second best season in team history. The best, 2005, ended in similar fashion. At least this time around, the team is limping to the finish line, vice being carried to it on a stretcher.

The Revs have taken only one point in their last three MLS encounters, thus bowing out of Supporters Shield contention. That's OK by me. However, it would take a Revs win and a Houston loss on the last week to solidify third place overall. Meaningless this year, but we don't want to be the odd team out when MLS decides to give LA a Superliga seed "for the good of the competition". Unlikely, but you never know with the marketing gurus who run the league.

All of that is secondary to form, which the Revs haven't actually been atrocious. After all, they did achieve the greatest victory in team history by winning the US Open Cup two weeks back. A legitimate cup in the trophy case was much needed to put to rest any jinx talk. However, there's only one truly major cup in US soccer, MLS Cup. To win it, you have to get hot going into the playoffs.

The Revs can't exactly claim that they are on a tear. They are a team that has fourteen legitimate MLS starters. The problem is, they aren't all that interchangeable. Andy Dorman started Saturday's game on the bench, so Wells Thompson could start at right midfield. That meant Steve Ralston moving to attacking mid. The Revs have had only a few decent AM's in team history, and I only count the 2006 version of Dorman as one of them. You can tell the difference when he's not in there and performing well.

Another area the Revs are slipping is in defense. They haven't fielded a back line with Avery John in awhile and I'm curious as to why. The regular three of Riley, Parkhurst, and Heaps have looked week, allowing at least two goals in every game for a month. Reis has been fine, but not perfect in net. The game-winner against Columbus caught him sleeping.

The good thing is there is only one hot team in the East, Chicago Fire. The great thing about that is they will probably face DC United in the playoffs and I like their chances. If the Revs get by New York, they could host the Eastern Conference Finals. Red Bull is also ho-humming it, so our series is a toss up. If you haven't been planning to make the return leg on November 3rd, what the heck is wrong with you? The Midnight Riders are also planning a bus trip to Jersey for the first leg. If you are from the area and want to sit with the Revs fans, you need to get tickets through the Riders, also. If you can't do either, take TO's advice and get the popcorn ready. It's going to be fun.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Revolution Vortex finally launched