SAN JOSE, Calif. – Wednesday night’s 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes stretched the New England Revolution’s unbeaten run to five games and solidified their place amongst the Eastern Conference leaders ahead of an extended break during the FIFA World Cup™.
But the mood was far from joyous when the final whistle blew at Avaya Stadium as the Revs once again felt as if they’d left points on the table in a winnable match away from home.
“It really feels like a loss, to be honest with you,” said head coach Brad Friedel. “I don’t think we started mentally in the correct manner. I thought we were a little bit sloppy, but we were still creating many chances.
“We created enough chances to score more than two goals. I thought we gave away two very sloppy goals, the first one especially.”
Friedel expressed a similar sentiment after the Revolution’s recent draws in Vancouver and Chicago, two matches in which the Revs were disappointed to take only a point from their travels.
That’s a far cry from last year’s Revolution squad, which finished 1-13-3 on the road and only secured a win away from home with quite literally the last kick of the season.
With seven points from their first seven road games in 2018 the Revs have already exceeded last year’s road point total (six), and their frustration at drawing games instead of winning them away from home is perhaps a positive sign for an improved mentality within the group.
“As far as mentality is concerned on the road, that’s something we’ve been really harping on lately,” said Jalil Anibaba, who played in front of more than 30 friends and family members on Wednesday night just 90 minutes from his hometown of Davis, Calif. “Whatever happens during a game, we always make sure we’re in a position to win and get a result.”
Muted disappointment at Wednesday night’s draw aside the Revs do now head into a 17-day break from league action on a five-game unbeaten run, and when they return in late June they’ll have three consecutive home games against teams currently below the playoff line in their respective conferences.
“We really would’ve liked the three points this evening; I would’ve liked them in Chicago, as well,” Friedel said as the Revs wrapped up a two-game road swing. “But we’re in a decent spot. The players are applying themselves very, very well.
“One more game until the halfway point and it’s up to us to keep focused on the task at hand and keep trying to pile up as many points as possible.”