Thursday, September 12, 2013
Revs show ability to dig deep
By Brian O'Connell
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Down a man, and stuck in a two-goal halftime deficit, the Revolution might have been tempted to play a tentative brand of soccer in the second half of Sunday’s contest against Montreal.
Not only had they lost Matt Reis to a fifth-minute red card, but two of the three goals they’d given up before the interval had come from the spot. Clearly, it was not their night.
But instead of rolling out a risk-avoidance game plan for the second half, the Revolution examined the situation and reached a different conclusion.
“I think something that was said in the locker room was that ‘it couldn’t get any worse than this,’ ” Revolution right back Andrew Farrell said. “We were down 3-1 at halftime, and down a man, so there’s not much else you can do but lace them up and go out there.”
Although Marco Di Vaio made it a 4-1 game not long after the interval, the Revolution were far from broken. They pressed on and found a Kelyn Rowe goal in the 77th minute, and even managed to outshoot their opponents 6-4 in the final 45.
“I think we did well,” Farrell said. “I think we moved the ball a lot better, surprisingly, with 10 men than 11. The effort and intensity were there, and if we can carry that over into the next game (at Chicago), I think we’ll be able to take care of business.”
With the benefit of 11 men, of course.
Familiar foe, different venue
Six days after battling the Impact for the first time this season, the Revolution will be facing a familiar foe in the Chicago Fire on Saturday.
Four weeks ago, the Revolution staked a 2-0 win over the Fire, and did so by keeping Mike Magee and Dilly Duka at bay. That, combined with a strong performance from Juan Agudelo, kept the Fire from salvaging a point on the road.
But with Agudelo likely out (hamstring), and the venue shifting back to Toyota Park -- where the Fire are 8-4-2 and unbeaten in their last four, the Revolution’s challenge will be that much more difficult.
“They play well at home,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “We have to be mindful of what they do well at home, what they do different at home than when they’re on the road.”
Translation: Expect a fiercer Fire attack, as Frank Klopas’ club has collected an average of four more shots per game at home (16) than they do on the road (12).
With the Fire (36 points) and Revolution (37 points) separated by a single point, Farrell believes that Saturday’s contest may yield a fascinating insight as to who wants a trip to the postseason more.
“They’re like us,” Farrell said. “They’re trying to make the playoffs, and we’re going to have to beat them. At the end of the day, it’s going to be [a battle] for the final playoff spot.”