2010 in Review: Best & worst
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – For the first time since 2002, the New England Revolution missed out on a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Injuries and poor form conspired to submarine the Revs’ hopes in 2010 as Steve Nicol's side conceded the most goals in the league and struggled to score with any regularity.
While there were a few bright spots to punctuate an otherwise dreary campaign, New England enter the offseason with one goal in mind: Improve the squad enough to return to the postseason in 2011.
Best moment of the year
New England may not have enjoyed much success in league play this season, but SuperLiga once again provided a bright spot. A trio of 1-0 wins in group play carried the Revs through to the semifinals, while a shootout victory over Puebla in the semifinals set the stage for a narrow 2-1 defeat to Monarcas Morelia in the final.
There were more than a few contenders, but the lowest point probably occurred in Utah for the second consecutive year. Real Salt Lake followed up their 6-0 thrashing of the Revolution in 2009 with a 5-0 thumping at Rio Tinto Stadium on July 2.
In a season pockmarked by a lack of coherent buildup play, Zak Boggs' second MLS goal in a 3-2 defeat at Columbus on May 8 represented a refreshing change of pace. Boggs started and completed a deft move around the Crew penalty area that included a clever diagonal ball from Pat Phelan and a neat square pass from Kheli Dube.
WATCH: Boggs finishes pretty buildup
Revolution No. 1 Matt Reis spent most of the season trying to find his groove after offseason shoulder and knee surgery, but the veteran goalkeeper pulled out a vintage stop in a 3-0 defeat at Colorado on Sept. 18. Conor Casey felt certain he had scored after poking Omar Cummings' low cross toward the seemingly vacant far side of the net, but Reis dove quickly to his right to somehow push Casey's effort around the post.
WATCH: Reis' spectacular save on Casey
Goals were at a premium for the Revs this season after persistent injury problems felled Edgaras Jankauskas and Taylor Twellman, but Marko Perovic always gave his side a chance to find the score sheet after joining from Swiss side FC Basel. The Serbian midfielder adapted well to a more central role and notched a team-high six goals in league play.
Perovic collects this gong as well for injecting the Revs with an added dose of creativity, though fellow countryman Ilija Stolica deserves some credit for stepping into the gaping hole up front to provide an earnest and forthright target option during the second half of the season.