FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Two weeks ago, the Revolution braved the heat and hostility at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park to pilfer a road point against a first-place Sporting K.C.
And yet, as encouraging as the 0-0 draw may have been for the guests, Revolution head coach Jay Heaps knows they’ll have to do more during Saturday’s rematch at Gillette Stadium.
“We need to finish our chances,” Heaps said after training on Wednesday. “We had chances in that game, we had chances last week and we’ve been a team that’s had chances.”
There’s no disputing the Revolution have earned their fair share of goal-scoring opportunities -- especially against the likes of Toronto, Montreal and Philadelphia in recent weeks. And Heaps, of course, has been pleased to see his players pressing the issue.
But the team’s inability to capitalize on those opportunities has kept the offense eerily quiet. With only two goals in their last four games, the Revolution have painted a vivid portrait of poor shots and bad passes. What’s worse, their inefficiency in the final third has kept them winless during in those four games.
In light of that, Revolution left back Chris Tierney -- whose crosses and corner kicks have largely gone unanswered during the past month -- knows they have to start burying their chances in order to turn their form around.
“We realize that if you don’t capitalize, and you make one or two mistakes, (then) it can cost you the game,” Revolution left back Chris Tierney said.
And that’s something the Revolution simply can’t afford to do against K.C. on Saturday. Not with strikers Kei Kamara and C.J. Sapong ready to pounce, nor with goalkeeper Jimmy Nielson -- who stopped every shot he saw two weeks ago -- ready to resume his All-Star form.
“They’ve got big, strong guys that’ll make you work the whole 90 minutes,” Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber said. “If you don’t, you’ll get punished.”
To avoid said punishment, Feilhaber admitted that the defensive stance employed in K.C. two weeks ago will likely make a return this week. Even though K.C. hasn’t won since July 14, there’s no doubt that the defense will have to deliver in order to quiet the likes of Kamara and Sapong.
“We’re going to try and do most of the same things we did over there,” Feilhaber said. “But (we’ll) try and sneak one in and hopefully get three points.”
But three points won’t come unless the Revolution seize their chances on Saturday. Although Heaps admits that it’s not easy to watch so many chances go in the wastebasket, he’s hoping that his squad keeps fighting for those chances against their conference rivals.
“You have to attack and that’s what we’re going to continue to do,” Heaps said. “Quite frankly, we have to finish. We have to score on these attacking opportunities.”