KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The New England Revolution emphasized getting off to a strong start in Saturday night’s visit to Sporting Kansas City, particularly after conceding early goals in each of the past two matches.
Although the Revs limited Sporting KC to just one shot on target in the first half – incidentally, Kei Kamara’s 27th-minute goal – Revolution head coach Jay Heaps still wasn’t happy with how his side started the game in what eventually turned into a 3-0 loss at Sporting Park.
Heaps was particularly frustrated with what he considered needless giveaways as the Revs kept just 36 percent of the possession and registered 74 percent passing accuracy through the first 45 minutes.
“We didn’t start well,” he said. “It’s disappointing. They had three shots on goal and all three went in. That’s a tough stat to look at because we pride ourselves on closing people down and trying to defend. Tonight, I thought we defended – at times – okay, but the problem is when you give the ball away aimlessly against a team like that, you play into their hands, and we did.”
Kamara’s second goal shortly after the halftime break and a pair of red cards to Dimitry Imbongo (65th minute) and Andy Dorman (86th minute) effectively killed off the Revolution’s comeback hopes, but the visitors actually had a golden chance to pull level just before halftime when Imbongo’s breakaway opportunity was denied by Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.
“That’s the key on the road; try to defend hard and then take your chances when you create them,” said Chris Tierney, who started at left midfield with Kevin Alston – making his first start since his chronic myelogenous leukemia diagnosis – at left back. “We created a really good one in the first half and unfortunately it didn’t go in for us. But we kept playing and had a decent chance to start the second half, couldn’t score that one either. Then the second goal killed us off. Red cards killed us off. Third goal obviously killed us off.”
After suffering back-to-back losses for just the second time this season, the Revs now head back to the drawing board ahead of a critical two-game home-stand against the Chicago Fire and Philadelphia Union.
“Sometimes I say we can take some things from the game. I think you can’t really take anything from this game,” said Andrew Farrell. “We’ve got to find a way to get results. It’s not good enough right now.”