FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It was a seemingly harmless goal kick near the end of the first half. It turned into a mountain that the New England Revolution simply could not climb to their 3-1 defeat on Saturday night.
On the boot from Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath, forward Conor Casey went up against New England’s A.J. Soares and won the battle, effectively heading the ball towards the Revolution goal. Jose Goncalves was on the spot to win the second ball, but headed his effort back to Brad Knighton too softly, giving Philadelphia attacker Sebastien Le Toux a perfect set-up to open the scoring.
New England coach Jay Heaps called it an “awful goal to give away before half.”
“It’s something that happened very fast,” said Goncalves. “I was a little bit late to react and the ball was right into his feet. Brad had nothing to do with this goal, it was my mistake and I take the responsibility.”
“That goal really hurt us,” added Heaps.
With the back line having not played together in a game situation for 20 days, communication and rust factored into the third straight multi-goal loss for the once flying Revs.
“I don’t think it was the shape of the back four,” said Heaps. “I think it was just a miscue and a mistake.”
New England will now look to regroup quickly as they prepare for a July which presents them with a stretch of six league matches and at least one US Open Cup match.
With that in mind, the team knows that they must get things together quickly, starting with the communication that was lacking against the Union.
“It’s difficult, in the last few games we’ve conceded some goals like this,” said Goncalves. “Misunderstanding in communication is something that we have to do better at, starting with myself.”
After allowing just six goals over their 6-0-1 run, the Revs have given up seven over their last three, falling to third place in the Eastern Conference.