Although they still have one more game to play this month, the New England Revolution have hit the June swoon for a second straight season, a fact hammered home by a 2-1 road loss to Columbus Crew SC on Wednesday night.
While last season saw them drop their two June league matches in the midst of a dreadful eight-game losing streak, this year has seen them go 1-3-0 in summer’s first month.
“We’ve got to be more lethal and more ruthless,” said coach Jay Heaps, who lost a big source of that attitude when Jermaine Jones went down with a sports hernia injury at the end of May. “We just haven’t been. We’ve got to find the right pieces to make it happen.”
Even the fastest goal of the season was not enough for the Revolution, who caught lightning in a bottle when Lee Nguyen dribbled unheeded up the middle of the field and fired home a right-footed blast from outside of the box just 31 seconds into the game.
“They were ready to play. You wanted that to sustain,” said Heaps. “Of [our] six losses, we scored first in [all] except for one of them. So five of the six we’ve scored first. So, we’re ready to play. Unfortunately we didn’t stick to the gameplan and we let them back in.”
The Revolution, as has often been the case when they've scored first this season, seemed to lack control of the ball, missed on their limited opportunities and sat back at times, allowing the opposition to create, which helped lead to Kamara’s second of the night in the 50th minute.
“It’s front to back,” said Heaps. “We have to defend better and it’s a collective weakness right now that we’re not putting teams away when we have a one-goal advantage.”
They'll now look to avoid a repeat of last July, when they went 1-5-1. A win against Vancouver at home on Saturday, their last game in June, could help them restore some momentum ahead of the dog days of the season.
“It’s pretty big,” said Rowe. “It’s going to be nice to go back home, play in front of our own fans and really get our legs back.”