Bruce Arena - New England Revolution - July 17, 2019
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena: NYCFC the best team we've played this year

Bruce Arena didn't mince words after his team's 2-0 home defeat to New York City FC in Week 9. 

At his postgame press conference, the New England Revolution coach said his team was "thoroughly outplayed" over the course of the 90 minutes against the Cityzens, as the defeat dropped the Revs to 2W-2L-5D on the season.

"I think every player lost their matchup tonight," Arena said. "I don’t have a high evaluation. Just in general, I thought Diego Fagundez played well for us tonight. [Tommy] McNamara was fine for the minutes he played. I thought he was going to fatigue and I think he did. Yeah, [Matt] Turner did everything he needed to do. Nothing he could do there. And [Michael] Mancienne was solid, but I think on the night, all the other positions on the field, we were outplayed. Give them a lot of credit. They were certainly the better team.”

Simply put, the Revs just aren't scoring enough at the moment. After getting shut out by NYCFC, the Revs have netted just two goals in their last six games. The spell coincides with the loss of influential playmaker Carles Gil due to an Achilles injury.

The match against NYCFC was there for the taking all the way through the hour-mark, but New England were ultimately punished for a pair of defensive lapses and couldn't recover. Moving forward, Fagundez said the team needs to re-establish the attacking chemistry on the training ground which has felt elusive in recent weeks.

“I think that overall we need to be better. We know how to pass the ball. We’ve been doing it for years. We’re all professionals. We do it in training everyday," Fagundez said. "Today wasn’t the best. I know when I went in I was still missing some of those passes. Some other players were missing those passes. Those are passes we need to be making, especially in the first half. We need to make sure we’re comfortable with the ball. I think today we weren’t really comfortable with it. That’s something that we need to work on and make sure more people are comfortable with the ball, that they want the ball, that they want to carry the ball and try to make a difference.

"If we keep playing the way we’ve been playing, people are going to punish us," Fagundez added. "Bruce said it at the end of the day today, that today was the first time that another team actually punished us. Overall, since the D.C. and [New York Red Bulls] game, we weren’t to the our best ability at the beginning and today we actually got punished. Now, we need to learn from this and make sure we start the right way and finish the right way.”

In terms of the notion of his team being out-competed, Arena said in this case it was more about New York City FC showing its quality on the day than any sort of long-term pattern he's noticed within his group. Arena said the Cityzens were the strongest opponent his group has faced, but that it's on his Revolution to address the issues that led to the poor result.

"We had a very poor start against [New York] Red Bull as well, but New York City [FC] is probably the best team we’ve played this year and they showed it on the night," Arena said. "We weren’t up to their quality and the way they battled. I was very disappointed in our physical performance, in the fact that we were out-competed in a number of positions.

"It was certainly an off night, but you need to give our opponents credit. They were simply the better team. What the reason for that is, needs to be explored a little bit more, but I thought they dominated us physically. And the first half, on a number of occasions, we had a chance to create a pretty good goal scoring opportunity and we couldn’t connect on our passes. Some poor work technically, as well. So, overall, I’m certainly disappointed in the performance.”


MLS Unites to VOTE

Join Major League Soccer, Black Players for Change, and the MLS Players Association in participating in the November 3 general election. In-person early voting has started in 40 states. Make a plan to vote.