FRISCO, Texas – One moment of brilliance from Marvin Chavez was enough to send the New England Revolution to its third straight loss on Saturday night at Pizza Hut Park as FC Dallas claimed a 1-0 win to extend its unbeaten streak to nine games (6-0-3).
Chavez used a combination of skill and speed to round Revolution defender A.J. Soares before concluding the move with a precise finish inside the near post when it appeared there was no angle to shoot. The goal arrived in the 69th minute and was all FCD needed to claim victory as Kevin Hartman made two saves to become the first goalkeeper in MLS history to record 100 career shutouts.
While Steve Nicol called the method in which Chavez scored the goal “disappointing,” the Revolution’s head coach pointed to his side’s struggles in possession as the primary downfall.
“A lot of the problems we had tonight were giving the ball away,” Nicol said. “We either gave it away or didn’t give a good pass when we were not under any pressure. We turned it over too many times and away from home, that’s always going to lead to the opposition scoring.”
Dallas’ dominance in possession tilted the scales in terms of attacking chances, as FCD outshot the Revolution by a margin of 16-3. It was the sixth time the Revs have been shut out this season and the fourth time in the last six games.
“They were in our half most of the game,” said midfielder Zak Boggs. “We didn’t get much possession and when we did, we didn’t keep it long. We didn’t get that many chances because they were coming at us the whole time.”
With the hosts pouring forward in waves for much of the game, the Revs spent long periods chasing to close down their opponents and win back possession. Taxed by the Texas heat – the official game-time temperature was reported at 97 degrees – New England eventually ran out of gas as FCD controlled the tempo and pace of the game.
Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis matched his season-high with six saves as he did what he could to keep his side in the game, but the veteran netminder could see the constant pursuit take its toll on his teammates as the minutes wore on.
“It wasn’t as bad as it can be here, but it’s a little bit of a change for us,” Reis said of the climate. “We aren’t used to the hot and humid weather. It’s taxing on your body. If you don’t have the ball a lot and you’re chasing all night, it makes it that much harder.”
With another road trip to Red Bull Arena on tap next weekend for a meeting with the rival New York Red Bulls – who currently occupy second place in the Eastern Conference standings – the Revs have a clear objective if they hope to snap their recent slide.
“Scoring goals,” said Reis when asked what could turn the tide. “We haven’t scored a goal in a couple games and with us if we make one mistake, it usually comes back to haunt us.”