FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The point earned in Sunday night’s 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers could prove critical for the New England Revolution come October, but for now, perhaps more important is the boost that result offers the club ahead of their return home this weekend.
Lee Nguyen’s late equalizer at Providence Park provided an emotional lift for the Revs, and it gives them back-to-back positive results following their 5-2 romp over Minnesota United FC in their home opener.
Four points from two games does not a winning streak make, but the players and coaches can certainly feel the pendulum swinging in their favor after opening the season with a pair of losses.
“That point at Portland is huge. Not a lot of teams go there and get anything,” said goalkeeper Cody Cropper. “I think we just take that momentum from the Minnesota game and the Portland game, take it into training this week and focus on the things we’ve been doing the last couple weeks.”
Neither the Minnesota win nor the Portland draw were perfect performances, but there have been elements of both the Revolution’s attack and defense that have shone the past two weekends.
New England’s attacking chemistry was stellar against MNUFC, putting up five goals on the expansion side, while their defense was resolute in Portland, where they held the Timbers’ league-leading attack to just a single goal and two shots on target.
The key now will be combining all of those elements into a single 90-minute performance.
“I think we just put the games together,” said Kelyn Rowe. “We scored a lot of goals against Minnesota at home. We want to make sure we do that again. I thought our attack was great.
“Then you see just a hard-fought battle in Portland to get that point. We didn’t stop … It’s a positive going in that we can hold a team down to 1-0.”
The Revs will need to be solid once again on Saturday against a Houston Dynamo side that’s racked up 11 goals in four games, six of which have been bagged by the league’s leading scorer, Erick “Cubo” Torres, who registered a hat trick last weekend against the New York Red Bulls.
It’s a significant challenge, but one the Revs will need to rise to if they want to continue building momentum through the early part of the campaign.
“It’s putting these games together,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “It’s something we talk about all the time – if you do get that point on the road and you’re able to solidify a good result, and you have that opportunity to come home, you have to solidify it with three points.”