FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Despite maintaining a majority of the possession and registering 18 shots – including 15 in a frantic second half – the New England Revolution struggled to find its rhythm in Saturday night’s frustrating 1-0 loss to Toronto FC.
The Revolution’s flow was disrupted almost from the outset due in large part to an injury to center back Stephen McCarthy, who suffered from concussion-like symptoms following an early collision and was replaced by Shalrie Joseph in just the sixth minute. With Joseph coming in cold off the bench in a totally unexpected situation, Toronto took advantage and capitalized with Luis Silva’s eventual game winner two minutes after Joseph’s introduction.
“I think the injury (to McCarthy) hurt us,” admitted Clyde Simms. “We are never ready for a substitution that early in the game and we have had a lot of continuity with our back four. So I think that threw us off a little bit and there was a little bit of an adjustment period switching things around. Unfortunately they got the goal in that adjustment period. We were fighting back from there.”
The Revs did fight back, holding more than 67 percent of the possession in the second half and firing 15 shots in the direction of Toronto’s goal, but only three found the target and on each occasion TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic was up to the task.
Many of the Revolution’s chances came from dead-ball situations – the Revs created a season-high 13 corner kicks and suffered numerous fouls around the penalty area – but they failed to convert on the night, leaving head coach Jay Heaps frustrated with both the set-piece service and the frequent disruptions in play.
“The game never found rhythm,” he said. “It was shameful, to be honest. The game just got stopped and stopped and stopped and stopped, and we just felt like we could never get a rhythm. In the second half we had I don’t know how many corner kicks, but enough corner kicks to score and we didn’t.
“The set pieces were not good enough all the way around,” Heaps added. “It was very disappointing. Corner kicks I thought were OK, but when we’re talking about free kicks, the chances we had were short, they were over. That to me is disappointing.”
With their five-game unbeaten run snapped, the Revs will now look to rebound and start a new streak on Wednesday night when they visit the expansion Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo. If necessary, they’ll use Saturday night’s home loss to Toronto FC as motivation.
“We come away (from this game) angry and hopefully use it as fuel to get us three points when we play on Wednesday,” said Chris Tierney.