New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps
Chivas came in with a game plan to make it difficult for us and they did. We made a couple adjustments at halftime and we were able to open them up a little bit. Credit to them; they did a nice job. It was good game for us to get at least a goal.
I think tonight wasn’t dominating on the scoreboard, but if you go back you look at the stats, it was close to 70 percent possession. At halftime we were close to 86 percent passing. So, we had our way with the ball, it just wasn’t penetrating. That was our adjustment at halftime. One of the things we wanted to go was more penetration, more runs that were a little riskier and if we didn’t get that ball, we wanted to jump on them. I thought some of our best chances when we tried to hit a vertical ball that penetrated and we didn’t get it, we pounced on the second ball.
That’s how the goal came. Kelyn (Rowe) got wide, he did a nice job and pulled himself, which was another adjustment at halftime. Kelyn was pinching in early. We like Kelyn to pinch when he’s on the wing during the build-up and closer to midfield, but once we get into the final third, final quarter, we want Kelyn width and that’s exactly where the goal came from.
I thought Daigo (Kobayashi) was excellent. He brings an excellent calming presence, and it allows Lee (Nguyen) to have an outlet at all times. I thought that was a good combination. I thought Scottie (Caldwell) had a really good game, so the three of them worked well. Pulling Kelyn (Rowe) wide gives him some opportunities to go one on one, and we really like when he can get one-on-one. It gives us another look and we were happy with the way those three played in the middle.
The shots come out of a mistake or against the run of play, so it’s even harder for a goalkeeper to make those saves. I think the first one was a mis-clearance in the first half. He did a great job. He saw it the whole way. In the second half that save that he made looked a lot easier than he made it, but he positioned himself perfectly – we just looked at it on film – and that save gave us the spark to go for a little bit more. When you have your keeper, he makes two huge saves and you want to go forward.
It was a little bit more going east to west. When you say width, you want to go one side, then you want to open up the other side. So right away, Scottie (Caldwell) started to find Darrius (Barnes) a little bit, started to find (Andrew) Farrell a little bit and it was a little bit more advanced. It was really hard work for the outside backs because when you play a team that keeps two forwards high, locked on two center backs, you have to find a help defender. We were pivoting really well. Farrell would go high and Darrius would get in, and visa-versa, so it was a lot of hard work for those guys. That was part of our game plan and we just had to fine-tune it at halftime.
We worked on this all week and it wasn’t good enough in the first half. In front of our bench you could see … Darrius (Barnes) was wide open a bunch of times, as was Diego (Fagundez) in the first half. The ball was just going down the right side. I thought in the second half we did a much better job of making a conscious effort to really – even if was touch the sideline to get it out to the other side – to open up the width, open up the lanes to make passes, and they did a really good job at doing that.
To me (Lee Nguyen’s) just playing great. Tonight he found really good pockets, and he got kicked pretty hard a lot. When he gets it off his foot the first time and he finds the second ball – which is why I think he and Daigo (Kobayashi) work so well, a couple of times he played Daigo and got the ball back from him in a better pocket, and when he does that, the game is his. Tonight he could’ve had a couple of more chances if we started to shoot a little bit more.
New England Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth
Yeah, it’s been a tough stretch for us the past couple months. Those are the types of games where, especially at home, we got to grind it out, get three points. And you know, we did enough tonight. It definitely wasn’t our best stuff but, its three points in the bank and we can look forward to Toronto next week.
For me, I’m just trying to stay connected as much as possible talking to A.J. (Soares) and Jose (Goncalves) and the back four and Scottie (Caldwell). And that’s the kind of stuff I’m trying to do to keep myself in the game. So, I think that’s what makes a good goalkeeper, being able to come up with the big save in the right moment.
I’m not really sure how it kind of landed to him but he did well to turn his hips and take a shot. I think it was either A.J. (Soares) or Jose (Goncalves) was tight and kind of took away the right side so I knew he could only kind of throw his hips and shoot to the left. Lucky enough I was able to be in the right spot.
I think it’s been an up and down season for us and not just for myself but the whole team. It’s been very frustrating but we’re right in the thick of things and it’s going to be a fight till the end. But we’re going to give it everything and continue to try and take three points at home and make it difficult for other teams on the road.
We were on such a good stretch that I think we started taking some things for granted and not grinding as much as we were in those five to seven games. I think the performances we’ve put together recently have showed that we’re ready to get back to grinding and we know what we have to do. Come out and fight and then be able to play. I think the performances more recently have showed the kind of team we are and hopefully we continue to do that.
New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen
It was great to get three points, that’s the main thing. I think it’s going to boost us going into Toronto. Two results back to back, so now looking for a third.
The main thing (in the first half) was they were tying up the middle and making it hard for us to go through the middle, so Jay (Heaps) wanted us to play more east to west and keep them spread out and play quick so the space would open up eventually and that’s when we went through the middle a bunch.
It was going from left to right I believe and Kelyn (Rowe) and Daigo (Kobayashi) did a good little combination and Kelyn put in a great effort to get a little poke in to get the ball through his legs to me. I just took a touch and was able to get a good enough shot on it to make it tough for (Dan) Kennedy.
I love playing with (Daigo Kobayashi), we’re on the same wavelength. He doesn’t speak much English, but I feel we’ve been playing together for a long time. He’s very smart, very composed and can keep possession in tight spaces so I think that help us out. I think it helps out Scottie (Caldwell) and the defense, as well. It helps when you can keep the ball and catch a little breath between plays.
I think that’s what makes it tough for teams to play against us. We’ve got a lot of guys who can create things on their own. At the same time, we can all play well together in tight, little spaces. It’s good, we’re really dynamic in that way and if we can keep it consistent, it’s going to be tough for teams to play against us.
I think you’ve just got to stay positive, got to know it’s going to keep coming. Chivas played a tight game by holding, bunkering in and keeping two up high and trying to play on the counter attack. So we knew we were going to have a little bit more possession of the ball. We were going to have chances, it was just being patient, trying to create those chances and then making the most of it.
We went through a tough little stretch but we knew we had the quality here to turn it around. We had that little spell last season but it was more towards earlier in the season. We did well at the beginning to give us a little cushion and now I think we know it’s getting a little tight, close to playoffs. Every game’s going to count going here on forward. Every point matters.
Chivas USA assistant coach Paul Caffrey
I would say that in a lot of ways we matched them. Tactically and defensively, I think that we kept up with them for a lot of the game. I would say that the end product was separated by the quality of players such as (Lee) Nguyen. They had the quality to score the one goal; when we had three chances and we lacked the ability to finish.”
It worked for the four games that we won in a row, and it hasn’t worked since. (Erick) Torres scored 14 goals at the beginning of the season, and none after. We can’t just rely on one player to score, and we need other players to step up and score some goals as well. Tonight other players had chances, but couldn’t finish. In the future, if we continue to have chances such as the ones we had tonight, we can put some of them away. This could also help Torres because it will lift some of the pressure off his back and could play more relaxed.
Anytime you make these types of changes, you make them to improve the team. (Nigel Reo-Coker and Jhon Kennedy Hurado) are two quality players that are going to help us tremendously going forward. Hopefully, they will improve other players around them, as well. Not only will these players improve our play, but they will also make the team better altogether.
Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy
I thought we really worked hard and we put in a real good shift. I thought we did enough to maybe get a tie out of this game. I think they ended up with two real good opportunities and we ended up with maybe two real good opportunities and the difference was Lee (Nguyen) was able to put it in.
We have to make sure we’re compact and we know coming here with a team like New England, they can be explosive – particularly at home – so I thought we did really well managing the game. We stuck to our game plan. Unfortunately, we were just maybe one or two plays away from getting a result.
We had a real good stretch in July and through that stretch, we were staying compact and netting goals, which is what we were focused on doing. With 10 games left, we need to make sure every game is close and we’re in it and have that opportunity to win. If we played like we did tonight, we’ll have those opportunities.
We’ll accept (the new players) with open arms and hopefully they’ll have their feet under them and they’re ready to go.
I thought we could have possessed the ball a little bit more, but with that being said, I felt good with where we were at. I thought we hit our game plan on the head; we really executed it well. I guess that’s what hurts about the result: when you do the things that you’re supposed to do and it literally came down to one or two plays.
The ball squeaked out, loose ball, Lee (Nguyen) was just quicker to react I think, maybe a favorable bounce to him as well, and it was a tidy finish … I got a little touch on the ball but I was a bit blocked so I didn’t really see the ball too clean. If I would have, I definitely would have had a better chance.
Chivas USA defender Tony Lochhead
Obviously disappointing that we gave away three points. You know, I thought they dominated position but I thought we kept their chances to a minimum and then obviously they scored theirs. I thought we had a couple good looks, as well. It would have been nice if we could have put something away. It would have been nice to come away with some points from this trip. I thought we played well enough to do that but again not quite good enough and we got punished for letting them get that chance.
It seemed like we gave the ball away a little bit too much and they had all the position which made it hard on us. We had to work really hard just to win the ball back and then we sort of gave it away a little bit too easily, not winning second balls and that kind of stuff. So that made it kind of difficult. We had to put on a bigger shift. You’re working hard to win it back and we gave it back pretty easily so we’re under pressure for a lot of the game. It would have been nice if we could have kept the ball a bit more and put them under a little bit more pressure.
They had some good chances today. Félix (Borja) had a good look in the first half and then obviously (Erick) Torres had that good hitter in the second half. It’s their second game together I think, so it’s going to take a little bit of time but hopefully they’ll start banging some balls into the back of the net.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been here. There’s a few things changed around the place, but nice to come back. Would have been nice if we could have gotten three points, but that’s the way it goes. Yeah, it’s always nice to come back here.