Defensive missteps trip up Revs

April, 22, 2013
4/22/13
5:32
PM ET
Going into their first game since the Boston Marathon bombings, the Revolution knew they couldn’t allow themselves to get caught up in the moment. To avoid that, they’d have to hold their focus, step on the gas, and never look back.

With emotions running high in front of a supportive Red Bulls crowd -- some of which marched to the Red Bull Arena entrance together with a band of traveling Revolution supporters -- the Revolution got on the board early, but a pair of New York goals inside of eight minutes allowed the hosts to cruise to a 4-1 win.

“It was a wild start,” Revolution left back Chris Tierney told the media after the game. “Not what we had planned on. We knew they were going to come out strong as they usually do at home. Unfortunately, they caught us with that early goal and that really hurt us.”

New York wasted no time pulling the rug out from under the Revolution. Only four minutes into the game, an unmarked Dax McCarthy fired a shot from just outside the box to score the first goal of the game.

Although the Revolution grabbed one back when Red Bulls defender Brandon Barklage headed a Lee Nguyen free kick into his own net, Fabian Espindola put the hosts back on top only two minutes later.

The same Revolution defense that had allowed only two goals in its first five games coughed up two within the first eight minutes.

“In terms of the way this game went, right away we just put ourselves in a hole,” Revolution head coach Jay Heaps told the media after the game. “We had a couple missteps, a couple wrong moves, and they were clinical on their chances and we weren’t.”

In fact, New England’s inability to capitalize on their chances only served to set the table for New York’s last two goals. With the game at 2-1 with 10 minutes remaining, the Revolution sent numbers forward in the hopes of securing the equalizer.

But the approach left them vulnerable to a sudden Red Bulls counterattack, and that’s just how Thierry Henry and Jonny Steele were able to capitalize in the 82nd and 89th minutes, respectively.

“We were so stretched and there was so much space in behind and you’ve got to credit some of their guys,” Heaps said. “Henry didn’t make one bad move all game. It was really the first half that impacted the entire game. If we weren’t down 2-1, we don’t have to stretch ourselves to get back in it.”

There wasn’t a lot for Heaps to be happy about following the game. Not only did the defense let the Revolution down, but the attack continued to struggle in the final third.

While they were lucky to grab an own goal in the sixth minute, the ugly truth is that Jerry Bengtson’s 62nd-minute goal at Chicago on March 9 still stands as the only score from a Revolution player through the club's first six games.

Even so, Tierney refused to reflect on the negatives following his club’s fifth straight game without a win.

“At the end of the day, we’re looking to move forward and keep getting better,” Tierney said. “We’ll pick ourselves up and look to get three against Philly. It’s a must-win for us at home and we’re looking forward to that.”

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