FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution have been bitten by the injury bug of late, and nowhere did it show more on Saturday night than in their patchwork back line, as they suffered a 4-2 loss to FC Dallas.
The club was finally able to return veteran left back Chris Tierney to the starting lineup, after he missed a month's worth of games following a hamstring injury. But stalwart Jose Goncalves remained out of action with a chest injury, forcing manager Jay Heaps to shuffle the deck once more.
Heaps gave Sambinha his first MLS start at center back, Tierney was only able to leg out 67 minutes and the cohesion of the unit seemed ultimately disjointed as Dallas dismantled them in the second half.
“The first half was wide open,” Heaps said. “The second half I thought their strategy was really good in that they waited, they baited and they found places to attack and really went after our center backs and found places to get at our center backs.”
“Overall, defensively we obviously weren’t good,” Tierney said. ”We conceded four goals at home and you’re not going to win any games doing that. It wasn’t a good night for us.”
The four goals were the most that the Revs had allowed at Gillette Stadium since a 4-2 loss against the Montreal Impact back on September 9, 2013.
Adding injury to insult was the loss of defensive midfielder Gershon Koffie in just the 28th minute, which completely changed the dynamic for the home team, who opted to bring on the more attack-minded Diego Fagundez.
“That was a tough blow for us,” Heaps said of losing Koffie. “We’re assessing him now. He makes the game for us just a little bit more physical and his presence was sorely missed.”
“That was a big moment in the game for us,” Tierney said. “Koffie does a lot for us defensively.”
Just a few minutes after Tierney departed, FC Dallas took advantage of a miscue by Sambinha, leading to the game-winning goal off the foot of Fabian Castillo and the Revs' first loss at home on the year.
“Conceding four goals, there’s really nothing positive to take and we’re not going to pretend like there is,” said Tierney.