“They gave everything they had” | Fatigued Revs come up short in Seattle

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SEATTLE – It was a depleted New England Revolution squad that traveled west to face Seattle Sounders FC at the end of a jam-packed week, and fatigue got the best of them in the end, with the Revs falling 2-0 to the Sounders at Lumen Field. Promising moments in the first half simply gave way to dead legs in the second, but head coach Caleb Porter nonetheless praised his players for the shift they put in Saturday night.

“I was proud of the guys’ effort,” he said after the game. “I know we lost 2-0, but I thought there was a lot of good in the game, especially under the circumstances. I thought we played really well in terms of the build-up; I think they gave us no problems, you know, we played through them all day. I didn’t think in the final third we did enough, although in the first half we had some very good chances, then Stefan Frei makes a couple great saves. Second half, it kind of fizzled; I think a lot of that was just fatigue and then us not having much of a push off the bench.

“They gave everything they had,” he added. “They gave absolutely everything they had. It just wasn’t enough today.”

Porter pulled back the curtain on the situation he was facing in putting together a squad for the night, one that was complicated further when winger Dylan Borrero had to be scratched from the starting lineup at the last minute. Those squad challenges did open the door for Revolution II forward Marcos Dias to make his Major League Soccer debut as a substitute, however, and the young attacker came close to bagging his first MLS goal late in the game.

“We knew we didn’t have much depth,” Porter explained. “We knew Dylan was probably going to only play 45 [minutes] at most. It was an extremely complicated puzzle for us in this game. Normally I would have rotated more, but we had no one to rotate … [Dias] gave us a cover nine and a cover guy wide. So, that’s why we called him up. I think he’s done the best, probably, in terms of attacking guys production-wise with Revs II.”

With the state of fatigue being what it is, it will come as a welcome relief that the Revolution’s next game isn’t until Saturday, at home against Orlando City SC. Everyone around Foxborough will be hoping that captain Carles Gil will be ready to return to the lineup by then, and Porter provided some hope for exactly that as he closed his press conference, while also offering clarity on Borrero’s fitness.

“I think Carles is doing better,” he said. “I’m hoping he can start to work into training next week. Dylan, I don’t know; I’m shocked that he had to come out … I think a lot of it’s just coming back from being a year out of major, major surgery, injury. It’s just a bit difficult for him, and part of that, too, is again we don’t have depth so we’re trying to work him in.”

Before anyone can worry about Saturday’s starting XI, though, the Revolution will be focused on recovering from the week behind them and identifying the traits that made their four-game winning streak so successful last month. As this game showed, it only takes a moment for things to swing one way or the other in this league, and the Revs will surely be hoping after tonight that the next few swings will go in their favor.