FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The final score line offered New England little room for explanation in Sunday's 3-0 defeat to Philadelphia.
From the first whistle to the final one, the Revs looked second best to the Eastern Conference leaders and struggled to produce the application and the quality required to capture a result against the Union.
“There's no two ways about it: we sucked,” Revolution midfielder Chris Tierney told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “We came out flat in the first half. We made dumb, schoolboy mistakes. We gave up two goals and we were pretty much [out of luck] from there.”
A disorganized start — no doubt aided by the absence of suspended veterans Ryan Cochrane and Shalrie Joseph — permitted Philadelphia to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and dictate the terms of the affair.
Carlos Ruiz and Carlos Valdés scored inside the first 24 minutes to hand the Union an unassailable lead and leave Revolution coach Steve Nicol to rue the elementary defensive mistakes made by his side in the buildup to those tallies.
“We've been pretty much like that for the whole season,” Nicol said. “We haven't done the basics of the game well. Every successful team and every team that wins games, at the very least, they do the basics well, and then they add quality to that. We just, individually as much as anything else, aren't doing the basics well. It's a domino effect after that.”
Nicol inserted Darrius Barnes and Zak Boggs at halftime and switched to a 3-5-2 formation in an attempt to jolt his side to life, but any benefits derived from it — and Tierney did hit the goal frame four minutes after the break — were mitigated when Benny Feilhaber picked up his second yellow card in the 66th minute. Sheanon Williams scored in second-half stoppage time to conclude the rout and send the Revs scuffling towards their ninth straight match without a win (0-6-3).
New England will attempt to avoid setting a new club record in that department when they visit D.C. United to kick off a three-match road trip that also includes visits to Colorado (Saturday) and Sporting Kansas City (July 30).
Barnes said he and his teammates must find some way to pull themselves up from this setback and push through this barren stretch in a last-ditch attempt to save the campaign.
“This is pretty much the season, this road trip,” Barnes said. “We have to get some points from this road trip. It's going to be tough. Right now, guys have their heads between their legs. We have to try to pick our chins up and fight our way through. Now is the time to find out what your teammates are made of. Hopefully, we can go on the road, get some results and put the ball in the back of the net.”