Over the weekend, most Americans turned their clocks an hour forward in observance of daylight savings time. The Revolution, on the other hand, had their clocks cranked in the opposite direction by the Houston Dynamo.
Following Saturday’s 4-0 season-opening shellacking, Revolution coach Jay Heaps made no bones about the way a potent Dynamo side ostensibly erased any measure of success the New England aimed to achieve in Week 1 of the regular season.
“I think they reset it for us,” Heaps told the media after the game. “These are games where we get tested and find out what guys are made of. We’ve got to find out what we’re made of.”
Whatever the Revolution were made of through the first 23 minutes of the game simply wasn’t up to snuff by anyone’s standards. And it wasn’t even close, for that matter.
Inside of two minutes, Will Bruin was given plenty of room inside the area to collect a Kofi Sarkodie pass before volleying it past the dive of Bobby Shuttleworth for the opening goal. While the camera focused on Shuttleworth, the guilty party appeared to be Jose Goncalves, who not only failed to intercept the pass from Sarkodie, but also fell victim to ballwatching as Bruin plotted his shot.
But Goncalves wasn’t the only Revolution defender who’d get burned by Bruin. Eleven minutes after his first strike, the fourth-year forward slipped the watch of Chris Tierney before slotting a Corey Ashe cross uncontested at the far post in the 13th minute. Making matters worse, lax defending by Patrick Mullins allowed Ashe the space and time to guide his cross to Bruin.
“One team that started great, and one team that started poorly,” Revolution center back A.J. Soares told the media after the game. “They punished us, and we couldn’t recover from there.”
The punishment continued in the 23rd minute when, this time, Bruin tried his hand as the distributor. After shaking off Goncalves and Scott Caldwell, he slipped a pass central to Boniek Garcia, who escaped Tierney and sent another past Shuttleworth to make it a Dynamo rout only midway through the first half.
To their credit, the Revolution, once they snapped out of their defensive funk, nearly found a way to climb back into it. Minutes before the interval, Soares pounded the post on a Tierney corner kick, while Teal Bunbury pick-pocketed a Dynamo defender deep inside the area before his shot was pushed away by Tally Hall and the rebound was cleared by David Horst.
“We had flashes of good stuff that we can build on going forward—some good play going forward, some good defending,” Soares said. “But overall, (it was) just not a good enough team effort.”
As if their form in front of frame wasn’t deflating enough, the Revolution managed to concede a fourth goal in stoppage time when Omar Cummings redirected a Ricardo Clark ball into the back of the net. Moments later, referee Jorge Luna Hernandez blew the whistle thrice, as the Revolution’s clock had been officially been wound in the wrong direction by a relentless Dynamo XI.
“We have to do a better job as a staff,” Heaps said. “We’ve got to do a better job as players preparing. We have to get ourselves ready for another big game.”