FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After watching his side struggle to create chances from the run of play in Saturday night's 0-0 draw with Colorado, New England coach Steve Nicol reached a rather appropriate conclusion.
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In order to mount a push toward the top of the table, the Revs must go out and sign an inventive player this summer to improve their incisiveness in the final third.
“We need to go and sign somebody who is creative in the next transfer window,” Nicol told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “It's something we're trying to do, something we're looking at now. We need to do that now. We need to be more creative.”
In past matches, the creative problems stemmed from a lack of possession, but that issue did not crop up against the Rapids. New England bolstered its work on the ball with Ousmane Dabo providing a key boost in central midfield on his first MLS start. However, the additional time on the ball did not yield much in the way of results from the run of play.
Despite the lack of quality service from the run of play, the Revs carved out three decent chances and hit the woodwork twice.
Ryan Cochrane fired the first Revolution salvo after 15 minutes, when he nodded Chris Tierney's free kick off the top of the crossbar.
“I was actually more concerned about picking [Shalrie Joseph's] man than going for the ball, but it popped onto my head and I didn't even know I had headed it towards the goal,” Cochrane said. “I knew I got a piece of it. I looked up and it had hit the post. I really wanted it, that's for sure, but the ball just didn't bounce our way.”
Joseph spurned his opportunity in the 57th minute, when he headed Kenny Mansally's corner kick straight at Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens, while Benny Feilhaber turned Sainey Nyassi's low service onto the crossbar for a third decent look at goal with just over a quarter of an hour to play.
“He made a good save,” Joseph said of Pickens’ stop. “It was a good ball by Kenny. It was in the perfect spot. … I just have to put that away. If you get half a chance in this league, you just have to put it away. I got one, Benny almost made it from his, but it just didn't fall for us tonight.”
Although the bounces didn't quite break for the Revs on the night as Nyassi saw a final opportunity cut out in stoppage time, they could at least find some positives to take from the match after last Saturday's disappointing 3-0 defeat at Chivas USA.
In order to push onwards, they must find to build on the foundation laid in this match to sharpen their work in the final third, according to goalkeeper Matt Reis.
“We're doing it a little bit better, but, on top of the possession, you have to have an end result,” Reis said. “You can possess the ball all night, but if you don't create chances, you're going to end up with a lot of games at 0-0, like we did tonight.”