WASHINGTON, D.C. – New England Revolution defender Je-Vaughn Watson said all the right words after Saturday night’s frustrating 1-0 loss to D.C. United kept the Revs winless (0-10-3) on the road.
But Watson knows that actions, not words, are what the Revolution need to close the seven-point gap that currently separates them from the playoff places with nine games left in the regular season.
“Talking won’t help; we have to go out there and fight,” Watson said. “If you’re going to give away three points, you have to give it away better than that. We didn’t fight as much. The desire was not there for us to continue. I hope everybody does a search of [themselves]. Come next game, we have to start winning games.”
Without key figures Lee Nguyen (hamstring), Kelyn Rowe (knee), and Krisztian Nemeth (fitness) the Revs never quite sparked to life in the attacking third, and they were thwarted by United goalkeeper Bill Hamid when they did find the inspiration to generate chances.
Defensively the visitors were once again solid for the opening 70 minutes, but a breakdown on a recycled set-piece left Luciano Acosta with acres of space six yards from goal after 71 minutes, and the diminutive Argentine made no mistake with his fifth goal of the season.
“It’s something that we spoke about during the week,” said goalkeeper Cody Cropper. “We have to close that out. From a defensive standpoint, that’s completely unacceptable to leave an attacking player in the box completely unmarked.”
Seven of the Revolution’s nine remaining regular-season games will be played in the next month, beginning next Saturday night when they’ll host Orlando City SC in a match that was originally scheduled for March but was postponed because of extreme weather.
Any potential playoff push would need to start there, and then continue through virtually the rest of the remaining regular-season schedule.
“We have to win every game at home, and we have to go away and start getting points,” Watson said. “We have good players, but we have to stop saying, ‘We’re good players,’ and go out there and show it every game.”
“It’s do or die at this point,” added Cropper. “Our season’s based on these next nine games and we have to win; probably take 21 points out of the next nine games. That’s tough, but we have to approach it with the right mentality and win.”