FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – If there’s a silver lining to be found in the Revolution’s 4-0 loss to Chivas USA on Wednesday night, it’s that the club was given absolutely no time to dwell on the defeat.
A little more than 12 hours after the players left Gillette Stadium following the final whistle, they were back in Foxborough for an 11 a.m. training session on Thursday morning as they prepare for a weekend meeting with the unbeaten Columbus Crew. The workout consisted simply of a light regeneration session for those players who played significant minutes against Chivas USA, but it was still a welcome method of focusing on the next game instead of the last.
“It’s hard to forget about these games, but you’ve got to have a short memory – especially with ones like this,” said Chris Tierney, who filled in as a defensive midfielder against Chivas USA. “It doesn’t matter if we lose 2-0 or we lose 20-0 – if we put ourselves out there and have a little bit of pride, then you can look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and move on to the next one.”
The next one will be in just two days, on Saturday, May 8, when the Revs will visit the Columbus Crew for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Fox Soccer Channel.
According to central defender Darrius Barnes, forgetting about the Chivas USA result will be vital considering the circumstances of this weekend’s match. Attacking midfielder Marko Perovic – who has been the main thrust in the Revolution’s attack in recent weeks – will be suspended following his ejection on Wednesday night. Not only that, but the Crew is one of only two remaining unbeaten teams in the league.
Add in the fact that Columbus didn’t have a midweek game and will enter the weekend with full rest, and it becomes apparent that concentration and a maximum effort will be of paramount importance for the Revolution.
“We just have to throw [the Chivas USA game] to the back of our heads, throw it to the back burner and regroup,” said Barnes. “This is going to be [our third game] in seven days, so that within itself is going to be a tough task.
“Columbus has a great team and we’re playing at their place, so this is going to be another task that we’re going to have to conquer and defeat,” he continued. “Hopefully we can get this team together and get back on track somehow.”
While the Revs won’t have the services of Perovic, there is help on the way in the form of Kheli Dube and Joseph Niouky, who will both be eligible to return after serving one-game suspensions against Chivas USA. Both Dube and Niouky were ejected from the Revolution’s 1-1 draw with FC Dallas last weekend.
Even with that pair returning, Barnes knows that it’s going to take a gritty performance for the Revs to snap their four-game winless streak (0-3-1) and keep pace in the Eastern Conference.
“Columbus is going to be a test this weekend,” he said. “We’re going to be without Marko, but fortunately we get Kheli and Joseph back.
“[Still], we’re going to have to dig deep, look into ourselves and pull out a great performance, because we can’t go 2-5-1 to start the season,” Barnes continued. “We’re already 2-4-1 and that’s not acceptable for this team.”
Head coach Steve Nicol admitted that there weren’t too many positives to take from the Chivas USA result, but he was satisfied with the character his team showed while playing the second half a man down.
A similar display of courage will be necessary if the Revolution hopes to grind out a result this weekend in Columbus.
“At least we take that out of the (Chivas USA) game: as much as everything was against us, we showed some spirit,” Nicol said. “The guys were out there laying it on the line and giving everything they’ve got, and that’s about all we could’ve asked for in the second half. That’s why the second half was important that we showed some spirit, because when you have that, you have a chance. So, we’ll dust ourselves down and get going for Saturday.”