The trip to Kansas City provided the New England Revolution with a chance to atone for a 1-0 home defeat against Toronto FC on Sunday. Instead of procuring the result required to slide the playoff chase back on track, the Revolution incurred another disappointing setback.
The manner of the 3-0 defeat to Sporting Kansas City Saturday – including a goal conceded in the first half-hour for the third consecutive week, a pair of second-half red cards and a stunning late free kick from ex-midfielder Benny Feilhaber to cap it all off – left the Revs with plenty to ponder as they prepared to return home on Sunday.
“Sometimes you can take something from a loss, but I don’t think we can take anything from this game,” Revolution defender Andrew Farrell told reporters after the match. “We didn’t start that well and gave up a goal in the first half. But even then we had a lot of chances and the game could have gone either way.
"Had we scored any of our chances, we would have been in it. But they’re a great team, and this was a great atmosphere. We knew we had to play well, and we just didn’t do that tonight.”
Sporting asserted control over the match in the early stages and piled the pressure on the visitors to find some foothold in the game after Kei Kamara's opener in the 27th minute. The best chance to establish some form of parity – a Dimitry Imbongo one-versus-one provided by a Lee Nguyen diagonal over the top shortly before the interval – ended with a Jimmy Nielsen save and thrust more pressure on a side that couldn't find as much of the ball as it would prefer (39.7 percent of the ball on the night, per Opta statistics).
“Tonight, I felt we defended okay at times, but when you give the ball away aimlessly against a team like (Sporting KC), you play into their hands,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps told reporters.
Kamara's second goal of the night four minutes after the break placed the Revs in an untenable position. Subsequent dismissals for Imbongo (two bookable offenses) and Andy Dorman (a straight red card for a lunge on Kamara to halt a counter) cut them well adrift before Feilhaber curled home the worst possible conclusion to a dire night.
Heaps lamented Sporting's accuracy on the night (three shots on goal, three goals) in the final accounting, but he and his players all admitted the performance did not meet the required standard. It is a situation that must be rectified ahead of Chicago's visit on Saturday, according to Revolution defender Chris Tierney.
“We’ll look forward to a positive reaction at home,” Tierney told reporters. “We’ve had two bad road results in a row. We’ve talked about it all year that we don’t want to go on losing streaks. So it’s time to draw the line in the sand, and we’ll come out next week fired up.”