Revs Pre-Season 2011: Be Careful What You Wish For

The New England Revolution fan base has had a common refrain for the last few weeks, and it went something like this… “Please, please let us see some of these pre-season games.  We can’t wait to see all these changes and drive the memory of 2010 from our minds.”   This refrain may also have included a complaining “waaah, waaah, waaah”, or something like it, depending on who you were listening to.

Revolution fans’ wishes were answered with the airing of today’s last season pre-season game against the Houston Dynamo.   It was example of that age old phrase, “be careful what you wish for.”  The complaining “waaah, waaah, waaah” was replaced by more of a somber whimpering.

The Revs lost their second straight game, both by a 3 to 1 score line.  Seeing this game then, turned out to be a wish that perhaps the fan base did not need granted.  The scoreline aside, there were few (if any) moments that the team looked like it was ready for its imminent 2011 season.

Which leads us to think what other wishes Revolution fans might have had for the on-field product at the end of a playoff-less 2010, and where those wishes stand.  With some massive salary-cap room cleared (Twellman, Jankauskas), this should be good… right?

Veteran Leadership: Well, if you haven’t been concerned by this topic.  You’ve not been paying attention.  See here.

A solidified backline:  The Revolution defense was fairly porous in 2010, leaving it with a league high Goals Against Average.  First, there was addition by subtraction (by the waving of Osei), then a ray of hope with the drafting of Ryan Cochrane, Didier Domi and AJ Soares, as well as the signing of Franco Coria from Argentina.   That ray is somewhat dimmed by would-be starter Kevin Alston reinjuring his hamstring, Domi’s knee irritations and most acutely, the fact that pre-season ended with 6 goals against in two games.

A trustworthy scorer:  There’s no reason to waste words here, there’s been no change worth mentioning.  A real let-down, and likely not despite efforts by the team to add some firepower, but whatever those efforts were, they came up short.

Possession oriented soccer: If there has been a single refrain from the coaching staff this pre-season it has been about needing to build a team that can keep possession of the ball.   However, based on the coaching staff’s commentary throughout pre-season and the video evidence on display during today’s loss to Houston, the team has not made significant steps here.   One hope is that if Ousmane Dabo can live up to his impressive resume and add some calmness to a frantic midfield.

Creativity: Maybe this has not been in the wishes of many Revolution fans, partially because the option of having such a thing was largely given up on.  But not by everyone.  I’m still holding out for more.  For someone to bring the unexpected.  To orchestrate play.  Asking this of a Joseph / Dabo midfield seems a bit too much to expect.

No matter how you cut it, the Revolution remains a work in process. The team hasn’t shown anything to suggest it has found a scoring punch, a creative flair and or a dependable backline.  That said, there’s a ton of new blood in that locker room, and maybe there are some surprises in store… let’s add that to the wish list.

But just in case, when does the international transfer window open up, and how much salary cap space does the team have?


5 thoughts on “Revs Pre-Season 2011: Be Careful What You Wish For

  1. That was just a shameful showing. Houston was made to look like Champions League material out there. Lots of “change is coming” noises made by the front office, end result- two journeymen French internationals who are both already injured. Good seats still available.

    • Now wait… The whole time I was scribbling this post I expected you to scold me for not calling out DP or stadium wishes. And nothing? Are you OK?

  2. What about this so far unfulfilled wish: Relief from the frequent injury bug?

    The amount and nature of injuries this team has suffered the past 3 years and continuing this preseason defies the odds. There has to be an explanation. I’m thinking that the training staff is yet another area where the Kraft organization has skimped, leaving the team, the fans and especially the players to suffer.

    Alston spends the whole offseason healing and strengthening his left hamstring under the “expert” guidance of Rev trainers and then reinjures it in the first 10 minutes of the first preseason game he plays. WTF?!? Sure, shit happens but if I were Alston I’d be looking for answers outside of the Rev organization.

    Another point: the injuries finally let up in 2010 late in the season when the schedule got intense and the players were too tired to do much outside exercise or even practice. Coincidence? I doubt it.

    • That is a fair wish… I don’t know where the blame should sit on this one, but the Revs sure do seem very, um, fragile. Trainers, field turf, who knows what else…

  3. melt down? bring in the salt water. This organization either is incompetent or aggressively indifferent to putting an attractive product on the field. Its “twisted tea” coaching staff and clueless front office hopefully will get what they deserve, another year of dropping attendance

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