SEATTLE – There are single road points that feel like victories, but for the New England Revolution, Saturday night’s 3-3 draw with Seattle Sounders FC didn’t fit the bill.
The Revs put together one hour of masterful soccer at CenturyLink Field, racing out to a 3-0 lead behind Daigo Kobayashi’s admittedly fortunate opener and a Juan Agudelo brace, only to see that advantage slip away in monumentally frustrating fashion by conceding three times in the final 15 minutes.
“Once they started throwing numbers into the box, we didn’t deal with it very well,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “We just have to be better to clear our lines, make sure we get the clearances, and not let them keep coming down at us. I just felt like the last 20 minutes we stopped playing, and it cost us.”
New England were cruising into the late stages and actually had chances to extend their lead to four, but Nicolas Lodeiro’s deflected goal in the 75th minute offered the hosts a lifeline and put the Revolution on the back foot at a time when they seemed destined for three points.
Seattle’s pressure continued to mount and the Revs ultimately fell victim to a pair of crosses, as Will Bruin and Osvaldo Alonso buried headers three minutes apart to seal New England’s fate.
“I don’t think we put our heads down too much, I don’t think our confidence went down,” said Kelyn Rowe, who started at left back and assisted on Agudelo’s first goal. “It was a combination of things. It was sitting back a little too far.
“There was definitely a little bit of tired legs, myself included, but it’s one of those mentally that on the road you’re up – let’s say two goals at that time with a 3-1 lead – and you’ve got to bunker down and do better. That’s on us mentally … It’s tough to swallow.”
Overall the performance leaves Heaps and the Revs with plenty to digest – some of the club’s best and worst wrapped into a 90-minute match – ahead of next weekend’s trip to Columbus Crew SC.
“We’re gutted in there in the sense that we had it in our hands and we let two points slip away,” said Heaps. “That said, it’s a good rallying. It’s tough to come here and get three goals. We focus on the positives, but we have to correct the negatives. This is one of those where I think we’re going to spend a lot of time reviewing it. It’s not going to be one of those we can just forget.”