Saturday, April 13, 2013
Revs' drought at 388 minutes after 0-0 draw
By Brian O'Connell
The New England Revolution's goal drought extended to 388 minutes in Saturday's 0-0 draw to Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field.
The Revs, whose last goal came in the first game of the season against Chicago on Mar. 9, were blanked for the fourth straight game. On the other hand, the defensive shutout kept the Revolution's goals conceded total to two -- the fewest in MLS.
Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth made four saves to avoid his third straight loss. His counterpart, Michael Gspurning, wasn't called upon to make a single save on the afternoon.
The draw puts the Revolution at 1-2-2 (5 points), while the Sounders continue to search for their first win of the year (0-3-2, 2 points).
What it means: Even with an additional week to tweak and fine-tune the offense, the Revolution looked very much like a team that doesn't quite know how to find its rhythm going forward. Lee Nguyen was dangerous at times, but his abysmal finishing only contributed to the attacking woes. Jay Heaps inserted last year's leading scorer Saer Sene in the 74th minute, yet the Frenchman was visibly rusty in his first action since suffering a devastating ACL injury last August.
Stat of the game: The Revolution spent all but the final five minutes under siege, as the Sounders consistently won first and second balls to give them a whopping possession rate of 68.6 percent.
Shuttleworth between the sticks: Shuttleworth earned his second straight start of the season in light of Matt Reis' lingering knee injury. Three years ago, Shuttleworth made his first MLS start (June 5, 2010) in Seattle, but suffered a 3-0 loss in a game dominated by the hosts from start to finish.
Tierney takes Alston's spot: Veteran left back Chris Tierney manned the left back spot in place of Kevin Alston, who was diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia earlier in the week. In addition to his defensive responsibilities, Tierney was the point person on his team's free kicks.
A show of solidarity: Showing that the ailing Alston wasn't far from their minds, Revolution players and coaches wore orange wristbands, a symbol of support and awareness for those afflicted by leukemia. Ex-Rev Shalrie Joseph, who got his first league start with the Sounders, also wore orange in honor of his friend.
Sene's back: Saer Sene, who scored a team-high 11 goals last season, made his first appearance of the season when he came on for Juan Toja in the 74th minute. Sene, who hasn't played since suffering an ACL injury against Chivas USA on Aug. 29, completed only 3 of 7 passes, and failed to get a shot off before the final whistle.
Cisse returns, too: After missing the last three games, Kalifa Cisse returned to the pitch, and partnered with Clyde Simms in the middle of the park. The Malian International completed 16 of his 27 passes (59.2 percent) in 64 minutes of action before coming off for Andy Dorman.
Next up: The Revolution will remain on the road next weekend when they play the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on April 20. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. ET and will be televised on Comcast SportsNet New England.