FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – No previous New England team has grappled with a 10-game winless drought. No New England side - even ones from the bad old days of the 1990s - ever found themselves in freefall for this long.
There's no manual on how to handle it as the draws and the losses pile up thick and fast due to fixture congestion. Each result adds a little bit more pain to the situation and amplifies the need to pick up all three points the next time out.
“It weighs on us,” Revolution defender Chris Tierney told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “It's difficult. We're looking to get better and continue to improve … as a club, as a team and as individuals. Three points is the only way to move forward in doing that.”
There is little to no instant utility in contemplating how they managed to devolve from a bright start into a club-record winless spell. There are deficiencies to address and errors to fix, but the positives and the silver linings matter more when the last triumph came nearly two months ago, in a 2-0 victory over New York on July 8.
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At this stage of the season and with results hard to find at the moment, the players must shrug off the setbacks and focus firmly ahead toward the next task.
“Each game, you have to look at it as its own,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “When you look back – and, of course, as a coach, you do look back – there have been some really tough goes. That said, the only way you get better is by looking forward and being a step ahead. As a team and as players on the field, they have to have a short memory. They have to go out there and continue to play.”
That particular brief isn't beyond this group. Other teams in similar situations have imploded. These players continue to buckle down and try to rectify matters. It isn't an ideal situation by any stretch, but the Revs remain confident they can extricate themselves from this mire and finish off the campaign by returning to their early-season form.
“We've had some bad results recently, but we're confident going into every game,” defender AJ Soares said. “We believe going into every game that we can win the game. We've never gone into a game and been like, ‘Oh, gosh, it's one of these games, let's try to get something.’ We genuinely go into the game thinking we're going to get three points here. It just hasn't happened recently. Hopefully, we can turn it around.”