It may have been exciting to watch, but the first 25 minutes of Saturday’s Fire-Revolution game was a defender’s nightmare.
So much for digging in and making an early defensive stand.
“It’s always tough when it goes back and forth like that,” Revolution center back Stephen McCarthy said after the game. “You’re really happy when you score and it comes back, (but when) you get scored on like that, it’s real tough mentally.”
Then again, no one said it would be easy. For a team that hadn’t won at Toyota Park since its opening season (2006), the Revolution had to expect a considerable challenge going into Saturday’s game.
Not only were they playing on the road -- where they’ve only collected a single win so far this season -- but the Revolution had to contend with a resurgent Chicago squad with playoff ambitions.
Yet even after the Fire put the Revolution in a familiar spot -- down a goal -- the guests didn’t fold. Rather than crying about their latest misfortunes, they carried on and continued to press the issue.
“I think it’s one of those times where you say, ‘You know what, we (have) to get on with it,’” Revolution midfielder Ryan Guy said. “These things are happening to us (so) instead of getting down on ourselves, it’s more like, ‘You know what, let’s test ourselves here and come back and really show something of ourselves.’”
While the Revolution may have adopted the right attitude, they struggled to parlay it into tangible results. In fact, the bulk of the chances after MacDonald’s strike fell in the favor of the Fire.
In the 42nd minute, the hosts played keep-away inside the final third for an extended spell before Chris Tierney cleared out of danger. But the pressure continued on the subsequent corner kick, which gave MacDonald an opportunity to score before his header went wide of the near post.
Deep into stoppage time, Dominic Oduro fought the ball away from McCarthy before racing toward Reis. But Guy arrived late to provide some interference before the shot went wide of the frame.
“I think we got stretched a couple times,” Guy said. “They got a couple counterattacks, but that’s always going to happen when you’re trying to win, when you’re trying to push forward.”
Although the loss may have pushed the Revolution’s winless streak to seven, McCarthy advised that no one’s ready to throw in the towel, even with the playoffs out of sight.
“We aren’t going to give up,” McCarthy said. “I know that much. We have 10 more games. We have to give everything we have.”