BRONX, N.Y. – After building significant leads in both the Eastern Conference standings and Supporters’ Shield race, New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena said it was important for the Revs to have “points in the bank” for potential slip-ups down the stretch run. Case in point, Saturday night’s 2-0 loss to New York City FC saw the Revs’ nine-game unbeaten run come to an end, but their lead in the East remains 14 points with 11 games left on the schedule.
Still, that didn’t diminish the sting of their setback at Yankee Stadium, where Valentín Castellanos scored either side of halftime and the Revs registered just one shot on target while suffering just their fourth loss of the season in their 23rd game, and their first since July 7.
“We got outplayed in every situation,” said midfielder Arnór Traustason, who returned to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension last weekend. “Obviously, we need to step up our game. We need to learn from this, because this is not okay. We have to sit down and we have to go over this game and learn, and quick.”
Arena agreed that NYCFC were deserved winners, noting that the hosts were better at all 10 outfield positions on Saturday night, while also saying that he was outcoached. But he also cautioned against putting too much stock into the performance, noting the Revolution’s hectic schedule and the absences of key players like Carles Gil, Tajon Buchanan, and Brandon Bye.
“I don’t take a whole lot out of it,” Arena said. “I hate losing the game. We never prepare our team to lose a game. But given the circumstances, it was going to be difficult and leave it at that. Obviously the schedule that has been put together over the last couple of months is real difficult on teams and players. It’s challenging, and I think it all added up tonight on us.
“At the same time, give NYCFC credit. They played very well and outplayed us and deserved to win the game.”
The silver lining for New England is another opportunity to face NYCFC in short order, as they’ll visit Gillette Stadium in just two weeks, on September 11. Arena and the Revs will use Saturday night’s showdown as a lesson learned ahead of that rematch, and in the meantime, they’ll prepare to visit the Philadelphia Union next Friday night.
“It’s not one to toss away – we’re playing them in two weeks, so it’s important for us to watch what we did not well, which was a lot of things,” said Andrew Farrell, who set the Revolution’s all-time appearance record with his 262nd regular-season appearance on Saturday. “I don’t think we defended too well, we didn’t really press well, we could’ve communicated better. There’s a lot of things that we could’ve done better that we have been doing in the past games.
“We’re disappointed with the result. We’ve got another opportunity against them later in the year – in two weeks – and then we’ve got another big game against Philly.”