Friday, July 19, 2013
Revs look to snap skid in Columbus
By Brian O'Connell
The dog days of summer are here, and there’s little doubt that the Revolution (6-7-6, 24 points) are already feeling its effects as they embark on their third game in eight days.
On Wednesday, a lethargic Revolution XI trudged through a 2-1 loss in Colorado -- a loss that followed another 2-1 defeat to Houston only four days earlier.
With little time to rest ahead of Saturday’s contest against the Crew (6-8-5, 23 points) in Columbus, Revolution head coach Jay Heaps will find out just how sound the roster he and general manager Michael Burns constructed is from top to bottom.
“It’ll test our depth,” Heaps said. “We feel we’ve built a strong team and that our guys want opportunities, so I think we just have to rally around each other.”
Before they can do that, though, the name of the game is rest, as the Revolution get set to play their second road game of the week. And with good reason.
In Wednesday’s loss at Colorado, the Revolution were clearly running on fumes by the hour mark, likely due to the combination of the high altitude and heat they endured at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, not to mention the short turnaround from Saturday’s game against Houston.
“I think everyone feel(s) a little bit tired,” Revolution skipper Jose Goncalves told the media on Thursday. “We’ve played a lot games, and it’s very important that we rest and make (the most of) treatment and sleep well, get some food, and (hydrate) so we can be ready for the game.”
They’ll need to show up ready if they want to snap their two-game funk. New England’s last two losses featured slow starts, a sign that they’re not as focused as Heaps expects them to be right out of the gate.
While the short break in between Wednesday’s and Saturday’s contests won’t allow the players much time hone and refine their form ahead of Saturday’s contest, midfielder Scott Caldwell believes the Revolution will nevertheless address their deficiencies in the film room.
“We can’t really do a ton on the training field,” Caldwell told the media on Thursday. “But we know we can watch tape and we can see what we did wrong. We know we have to keep possession of the ball and do a lot better going forward and work on the things we see.”
Although their last two losses have done well to stall the Revolution’s playoff ambitions, Goncalves knows there’s no use in dwelling on what might have been.
“I think we must take it game (by) game,” Goncalves said. “We are only thinking about the next game and not about what we did in the past.”
The next game is, indeed, the sole focus at the moment. With another potential “six-pointer” on tap, and the seventh-place Crew nipping at the Revolution’s heels, Caldwell knows that he and his teammates can’t afford to squander more opportunities -- especially the one ahead of them this weekend in Columbus.
“It’s essential to get points in this game,” Caldwell said. “It’s an Eastern Conference opponent. We don’t want to slip any further down the table, so this game is very important for the rest of the season.”