New England is off to one of the most unusual starts Major League Soccer has ever seen, sporting a somewhat remarkable stat. Through five games played this season, they are both the worst offensive team and best defensive team in the league. Allowing just two goals, the Revolution have scored a sad one goal of their own and somehow sit 8th in the Eastern Conference at 1-2-2.
Last week’s draw against Seattle was the team’s second game in which they recorded zero shots on targets. It also marked the 4th game in a row the Revs have not scored, as their lone goal came in a 1-0 victory in Chicago to start the season. Although speculation arose whether or not the Revs could score in the absence of striker Saer Sene, no one predicted scoring to be this bad of a problem. Where has Bengtson been? Where has Nguyen been? Sure Sene is coming back to full health, but it is hard to tell if the team will get their swagger back so soon.
It is time for roster changes up top, possibly a formation change as well. Jay Heaps loves his 4-4-1-1 now because New England’s back line arguably the strongest in the MLS. Nothing is getting past Goncalves, Soares, or Farrell, but the team must open up the pitch to allow players like Lee Nguyen and Kelyn Rowe play their run-and-gun style of offensive. Hopefully Heaps will shake things up when Sene returns to the Starting XI, placing both Sene and Bengtson in a more conventional 4-4-2 formation.
If all else fails New England may have to fit Chad Barrett or Diego Fagundez into the starting lineup more often. Although young and less experienced than their teammates, they could be the spark the club is looking for. A scoring drought cannot be ignored, and even though the next goal could be the one to get things rolling, that goal needs to come soon.
The Revolution will have a great opportunity to score this Saturday, as they face Eastern rival New York Red Bulls in Harrison, NJ. Kickoff is at 7pm ET, coverage can be found on the Comcast Sports Network or 98.5 The Sports Hub.
**All of us here as The Foxboro Fort wish Matt Reis’ father-in-law John Odem and Chris Tierney’s girlfriend a healthy recovery following the tragic events at the Boston Marathon**