It was an area they were looking to tighten up, but without stalwart Andrew Farrell, who was serving a red card suspension, mistakes by the New England Revolution’s backline proved costly as they dropped their fourth straight game at Dallas on Saturday night.
"They're a tough team to defend,” saidRevs left back Chris Tierney following the loss. “We obviously didn't do well enough defending, we put ourselves in an early hole. It's just about our reaction, bouncing back and getting ready for New York next week.”
The setup on FC Dallas’ first goal came after London Woodberry - playing center back in place of Farrell - headed a ball out of the box right back to Dallas forward David Texeira, who then advanced towards the box until he was ultimately fouled by Woodberry just outside the 18.
That set up Mauro Diaz with a free kick that he sneakily blasted under the leaping Revolution wall and into the back of the net in the 9th minute.
"It's just unfortunate the way the game started,” Tierney said. “Our goal coming into tonight was to keep things tight and try not to concede early. Conceding that early goal was disappointing.”
The Revolution were in better control of things to start the second half, but they saw right back Kevin Alston go down with a left leg injury in the 62nd minute, thinning the ranks of the backline even further.
Two minutes later Jose Goncalves coughed up the ball to Diaz in the FC Dallas attacking third and while the initial cross into the box saw goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth make a big save on Fabian Castillo, a deflection sent the ball back to Castillo standing at the top of the six-yard box for a spinning right footer that put Dallas up 2-0.
While some could be quick to point the finger at the defensive mistakes, Revolution head coach Jay Heaps wasn’t pleased with any aspects of the team’s fourth straight defeat.
"Disappointed across the board,” Heaps said. “Every facet of the game. How we attacked, how we defended, free kicks, set pieces, we just weren't good enough."
The Revolution have now gone 1-6-4 over their last 11 matches, following a 5-0-2 run earlier in the year. They will have some work to do heading into their matchup with the New York Red Bulls next week.
Craig Forde covers the New England Revolution for MLSsoccer.com.