Without Joseph, Revs lose midfield battle against DC

Lee Nguyen

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The midweek suspension of Shalrie Joseph ensured New England would face a difficult task to try to dictate the terms of the midfield battle in Saturday afternoon's 2-1 defeat to D.C. United.

One glance at the back-and-forth fare on offer at Gillette Stadium showed that the Revs failed meet that challenge by calming the game down and implementing the possession-oriented approach they prefer to play.

WATCH: Full Match Highlights

“The game never got settled,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps told MLSsoccer.com. “[As] I watched the game, it never felt like we could get it settled down.”

Both sides bypassed midfield on a regular basis as they managed to carve out shooting opportunities on a regular basis. The two teams combined for 42 attempts on goal during the match as they preferred a vertical approach fueled by quick movement through midfield and sweeping diagonal passes.

The overall tempo of the match favored the visitors, as they managed to get the likes of Nick DeLeon and Dwayne De Rosario into dangerous attacking areas on a regular basis.

“I think [the tempo of the game] had to do a lot with the way they played,” Revolution midfielder Clyde Simms said. “We have to know as a team that teams aren't going to come here and try to play soccer, especially on the turf. It's going to be a different game. We have to realize that and recognize it. We have to come into the game with the mindset that it's going to be a battle.”

While the Revs competed earnestly and met those standards, they couldn't translate their modest spells in possession into some semblance of control over the match. The final outcome left them frustrated at their inability to dictate the terms of the affair and secure a second home win in two attempts.

“Overall, it was disappointing,” Revolution defender Chris Tierney said. “You have to win at home and we didn't.”