FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Jay Heaps didn’t mince words in the wake of the New England Revolution’s 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
Heaps was particularly displeased with the sequence that led to Teal Bunbury’s opportunistic goal in the 20th minute. Bunbury pounced on a loose ball after Clyde Simms attempted to play a header back to Stephen McCarthy and the Sporting KC forward capitalized by notching the game-winning goal with a calm finish.
“It was a poor throw-in to a poor touch to a poor pass to a poor defensive play to nothing (goalkeeper) Matt Reis could do,” Heaps said. “It was just one of those plays where it was a bad decision to where the throw-in was made, to where it went, and unfortunately we’ve been punished all year for our mistakes and that’s exactly what happened tonight.”
Bunbury’s goal was one of only a handful of quality chances Sporting KC managed to create, but the Revs generated little at the attacking end and were subsequently shut out for the third time in their last five games. Dimitry Imbongo – making his first MLS start – had two chances of note for the Revolution but sent his efforts high on both occasions.
“We’re all disappointed,” said Chris Tierney. “There’s nothing really to say at this point. It was a sub-par performance all around. We didn’t create too many chances and the few that we did we couldn’t put away. So it’s disappointing. At home we expect three points and we didn’t get it.”
The Revs suffered 21 fouls compared to just 12 for Sporting and the visitors’ tactics seemed to focus on frequent fouls to disrupt New England’s rhythm and force the home side to rely on set pieces, an area in which the Revs have struggled this season.
It’s not the first time the Revs have faced such tactics this year and it likely won’t be the last, leaving the club searching for a way to overcome the physical approach.
“Their game plan, for sure, was to disrupt the play,” said Tierney. “I think if you look at the fouls, there were a lot. They were clearly trying to slow our play through the midfield and break things up and they did a good job of that. That’s a road tactic and a tactic that teams have used against us all year. We’ve got to be better at breaking pressure and playing through it.”