New England head coach Jay Heaps knows this story. He has seen it unfold several times during the Revolution's current seven-match winless streak.
That knowledge doesn't help much, though.
Comprehending the familiar reasons behind the Revolution's 2-1 defeat at Chicago on Saturday — their fourth loss in a row — is one thing. Wrestling through the emotions stoked by yet another difficult defeat offers another problem entirely.
“It's gut-wrenching,” Heaps told Revs Wrap/CSNNE.com before pausing for a moment. “It's gut-wrenching.”
The brevity stems from yet another night when the Revs felt they were pegged back by controversial refereeing decisions and lapses in concentration. Heaps and his players bitterly protested the penalty kick awarded for A.J. Soares' tackle on Chris Rolfe after four minutes (replays appeared inconclusive), while the game-winning goal by Sherjill MacDonald stemmed from a dearth of concentration on a quick throw-in from the left-hand corner after 25 minutes.
“Same old story,” Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis told Revs Wrap/CSNNE.com. “It's a little bit of a mental error and a little bit of, well, I guess you'd call it savvy where we need to be better at the crucial times. Like you guys said, I don't know if we created enough quality chances in the end.”
Those familiar issues, however, won't mask the Fire's ability to control the proceedings after the opening period with Chris Rolfe making good use of the home side's numerical advantage in midfield or the Revolution's struggles to create much in the way of menacing opportunities in the final third.
In the end, the Revs will have to take meager solace from the toil they submitted on the night as they attempt to improve their performance, rectify those persistent flaws and set things right at Columbus next weekend.
“If you look at our heart and our fight over the 90 minutes, we tried our hardest,” Reis said. “But it's gut-wrenching, and it's hard to be on the other end of yet another one-goal loss.”
HIGHLIGHTS: Chicago 2, New England 1