The New England Revolution attack left much to be desired on Wednesday night as the team was held scoreless in a disappointing, albeit entertaining, 0-0 draw to the San Jose Earthquakes at Gillette Stadium.
While the Revolution back line and goalkeeper Cody Cropper were busy at one end shutting down tricky Quakes attackers Chris Wondolowski and Jahmir Hyka, the New England forwards and midfielders were missing chances and struggling to produce a clinical finish.
New England out-shot San Jose 15-8 and 6-3 in shots on target, but were kept off the scoresheet for the third time in seven games.
The final result squandered the possibility of the Revolution moving back into playoff position ahead of another home game, against DC United, this coming Saturday.
Here are three thoughts on the Revolution’s performance
- With this many attacking options, there’s almost no excuse not to score: New England had no problems producing. They dominated possession for long spells for the match and had plenty of shots—good shots—from which they could have scored. San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham deserves praise for his performance, most notably a pair of stops on Lee Nguyen in each half, but even so, the Revolution should be bothered by not having scored. Kei Kamara’s miss at the end said it all, but the likes of Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe, Juan Agudelo, and Diego Fagundez make for a fearsome offensive unit. Each of those players had at least two shots, but were unable to make one count.
- The Revolution attack looked better without Kei Kamara: This isn’t a call to release Kamara or say he doesn’t belong in New England. More like, Kamara underperformed and arguably killed the Revolution’s attacking momentum. Outside his one final shot at the end of the game, which sailed embarrassingly over the crossbar despite being fired from inside the penalty area, Kamara produced very little. For most of the first half, Nguyen looked comfortable as the second strike alongside Juan Agudelo and seemed to be pairing nicely with Daigo Kobayashi, who produced a strong performance in his first star. Fagundez was also more involved, particularly on the flanks, which stretched San Jose. The midfield alignment changed completely once Kamara came in and, in a way, is solely a tactical problem.
- Benjamin Angoua performed admirably: Angoua was on the short end of the stick on a play that led to the goal in each of the Revolution’s first three games. Suffice to say that getting replaced in the starting XI by a rookie made the veteran Ivorian defender adjust. Amazing what competition can do. In any case, Angoua still looked awkward at times when on the ball, but his positioning was spot on for most of the contest. His timing on tackles and interceptions was nearly perfect, and his distribution was fine. He completed 72 percent of his passes and won four aerial duels, which was more than anyone else on the Revolution back line.
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