FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps rued his side’s inability to perform at “big moments” in Wednesday night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Red Bulls.
All three of New York’s goals came at unfortunate times for the hosts; Bradley Wright-Phillips equalized just two minutes after Teal Bunbury had opened the scoring, Daniel Royer converted from the penalty spot shortly after the halftime break, and Gonzalo Veron bagged the game winner in the 90th minute.
“We’ve got to be better in big moments,” Heaps said. “It comes right down to being in the moment and we don’t know how to make plays in the big moments.
“In the moments that we needed to be good, we weren’t. In the moments that they needed to be good, they were.”
The evening started brightly for the Revs, sparked by the return of Diego Fagundez, who set up Bunbury’s opener – his first of the season – and Lee Nguyen’s team-leading seventh of the year to give New England a deserved 2-1 lead at the break.
But the energy and ingenuity that the Revolution showed throughout the first half dissipated after the break, and although they created a handful of chances at 2-2, it was ultimately the visitors who found the late breakthrough to secure all three points.
“The way we were playing in the first half, suddenly something changed in the second half; it wasn’t the same team that stepped on (the field) in the first half,” said Fagundez. “We have to do better. We keep saying we have to do better, but we’re not showing it on the field yet.”
The loss was New England’s fourth straight in league play – including two defeats at home on the back of an 11-game unbeaten run in Foxborough – and it leaves the group with plenty of soul-searching to do during the CONCACAF Gold Cup break that will see them off from league action until July 22.
In the meantime, however, a rematch with the Red Bulls looms next Thursday night in a massive U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal at Jordan Field on the campus of Harvard University.
“I think everyone’s got to look in the mirror and figure out what they want for themselves, for the team,” said Bunbury. “It comes down to just wanting it; wanting to win. Whatever it takes to win. It doesn’t need to be the most beautiful soccer, we’ve just got to find wins.”