FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Although his side has struggled to generate scoring chances at times in the 2011 season, New England Revolution head coach Steve Nicol could have few complaints with the Revs’ attacking play in last weekend’s 3-2 loss to Chivas USA.
The Revs outshot the Rojiblancos by a margin of 17-9 and consistently threatened goalkeeper Dan Kennedy in the Chivas USA net, forcing the 29-year-old to make six stops, including a world-class reaction save to push a potential game-tying Shalrie Joseph drive onto the post in second-half stoppage time.
Unfortunately, the Revs were only able to convert their offensive superiority into two goals – one of which was a penalty kick – while conceding three times en route to a frustrating loss.
“We could’ve scored seven ourselves,” Nicol opined during his postgame press conference. “I could’ve been standing here with a 6- or 7-3 victory. Instead we lose 3-2. We go in at halftime one down and we should’ve been two up. And again we come in at the end 3-2 down and we could’ve been up 5 or 6-3.”
“It was a weird game,” admitted goalkeeper Matt Reis. “I thought we probably played one of our better games soccer-wise. It was one of those games and it was kind of a microcosm of our whole season. The chances that they had, they scored, and we had probably two or three times as many chances as they did and we didn’t score.”
While the Revs were twice able to haul themselves back into contention following the insertion of 16-year-old debutant Diego Fagundez in the 66th minute, it was too little, too late, as the hosts weren’t able to overcome the two-goal hole they’d dug for themselves in the opening hour.
A pair of early chances went begging as Ryan Cochrane and Chris Tierney both went close inside 25 minutes, but Chivas USA took hold of the game when Alejandro Moreno’s opportunistic finish opened the scoring in the 31st minute and Nick LaBrocca doubled the visitors’ lead in the 59th minute.
“I think if I take that chance and score that goal, maybe it’s a different game right off the bat,” said Cochrane, referring to his sixth-minute header which flashed wide of the right post. “It kind of set the tempo for the rest of the game.”
“Any time you can get any early goal, it changes the whole dynamic of the game,” said Reis. “Especially teams that travel cross country and especially when you go coast to coast, it’s always difficult. If you can get an early goal, it changes the whole look of the game.”
With that in mind, the Revs will be looking to capitalize on their chances when they head to Columbus this weekend to face the Eastern Conference-leading Crew.
“Every game, we need three points at this point,” said Cochrane. “We’re more than halfway through the season. We’re in kind of the final stretch right now, really. Those teams on the bubble or looking from the outside in really have to get points and scrap their way up the standings if possible. So regardless if you’re home or away, you have to get the points.”