FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- If there were any doubts about the Revolution's offense going into their high-profile clash against the Galaxy, they were effectively put to rest when referee Fotis Bazakos chirped his whistle thrice on Sunday.
Granted, it wasn’t all that long ago when putting a shot on frame, let alone scoring, seemed like a tall task for the Revolution. Their first six games of the season yielded only two goals -- not to mention a pair of performances that failed to feature a single shot on target. And even though the offense had looked lively in recent weeks, some skepticism remained.
Then came Sunday’s 5-0 rout of the defending champions and a scoreline that signaled that the Revolution attack is, in fact, for real.
“We have so many good attacking players on this squad now,” Revolution defender Chris Tierney said after the game. “Bringing guys into the game late, that can change a game. Like Chad (Barrett) did and Kelyn Rowe, as well. The depth of this squad is such a bonus this year.”
While the acquisition of Juan Agudelo from Chivas USA in early May certainly bolstered the team’s attack, the truth is that the offense has finally come into its own now that its goalscorers are healthy.
Case in point: The return of Saer Sene. Although last year’s leading scorer earned his first minutes of the season back on April 13, it was evident in the weeks that followed that the French forward’s fitness wasn’t quite 100 percent after suffering a torn ACL last August.
But on Sunday, Sene was fit enough to get his first start since last summer and rewarded the coaching staff’s patience by scoring the opening goal -- his first of the season -- in the 33rd minute.
“We wanted to get him a start,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said after Sunday’s game. “It was a conversation we had early in the year and he was coming back from injury. We circled a date to have a start and if it seemed rushed, it’s because we wanted to get him on field. I thought he did a nice job in the first half and obviously scored the goal.”
Sene wasn’t the only dinged-up striker who had to battle through an injury before grabbing his first goal of 2013.
Barrett, who was hampered by a left hamstring strain during the past two months, also made a triumphant return to the pitch on Sunday. In his first taste of league action since a March 23 start against Sporting K.C. (0-0), the ex-Galaxy forward delivered a strong dose of payback when he came on in the 88th minute to collect a 90+1 minute goal and an assist on Rowe’s 90+4 minute strike.
“There are so many players that can hurt you, especially coming on fresh like that,” Tierney said. “I am not surprised that we scored five.”
Although Agudelo didn’t factor in the scoring on Sunday, Heaps was quick to praise the talented 20-year-old’s efforts, which helped smooth over some of the rough edges in the second half.
“I thought Juan Agudelo had a heck of a night, just working hard and creating a lot of stuff,” Heaps said. “When we’re free flowing and can open a game up, as long as we have proper balance, we feel OK.”
Given the way the newly healthy duo of Sene and Barrett played on Sunday, it’s probably safe to say they feel more than OK.