Starved for goals against Colorado on Wednesday, the Revolution turned once again to their cast of new faces.
And in Saer Sene and Fernando Cardenas, they have found two very promising signings.
Add in players like Jose Moreno, Kelyn Rowe and Lee Nguyen, and the Revolution have found a strategy to overhaul their struggling attack: strength in numbers.
So far, only flashes of potential have risen to the surface (since New England still sits with two more losses than wins at 3-5), but last night’s 2-1 win against the Rapids was particularly representative of what this team is capable of when they're firing on all cylinders.
That they were down 1-0 early was also significant. Gauging a team’s capability is best done when they’re losing.
And watching Jay Heaps’ squad respond was heartening for New England fans.
Rather than panicking, players like Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph and Clyde Simms simply settled down. They began grinding down Colorado’s passing game and winning the ball higher and higher up the field.
And when possession was regained, almost every Revs player on the field avoided the panicky, rushed passes straight up field that soccer teams so often resort to when they’re trailing.
Instead, they calmly worked good passing moves. This slowly sucked in Colorado’s defense, who grew frustrated at constantly having to chase down the Revs.
And accordingly, long balls resulted in both goals.
The two Revolution goals also had excellent finishes. Sene’s no-doubter into the heart of the goal was clinical. Cardenas’ lob over Matt Pickens was a masterful showing of skill and creativity.
That said, the win stemmed less from free-flowing soccer and more from timely defense and solid goalkeeping from Matt Reis. The Rapids actually had nearly 60% possession and out-shot the Revolution (19-16).
With a solid win under their belts, the team moves back towards an even record. They have a short turnaround with only two days to travel to Salt Lake City and prepare for one of the league’s best teams.
It will be a stiff test, yet if the Revolution can finally achieve a measure of consistency, there’s no reason why they can’t come away with a good result.
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