Okay, well, the Sounders got the weekend off and there really isn’t much to write about. So being that next week’s task, the Philadelphia Union, fell to the Revolution yesterday. I thought I’d write about why it was kind of surprising for a few different reasons. Because A) the Union have been really good thus far and B) the Revolution have, with exception to the draw on the road against the Sounders, not been good.
Going into the game the Rev’s haven’t possess the ball, they didn’t win it back, they did not take shots and the few opportunities they had, they didn’t finish them. Despite that they had more points than the Sounders and with their stellar defensive performances, they earned those points too. The thing about the win against the Union at home, is that despite continued the absence of not being able to possess the ball or winning it back they finally started taking shots and coincidentally they actually made two of them. But when your finishing% is below 5% (I’m perfectly alright about pimping my side projects out), it’s really all eventuality and a bit about luck at that point. After that it was all about the defense doing what they’ve done (minus their performance against New York, the previous week) the first two months of the season.
The Philadelphia back-line despite having two good players (one whom we’re all very familiar with) has shown some cracks in the armour. Much like their counter parts this past weekend, they don’t win a lot of balls and their game isn’t centered around possession. Instead it’s about being creative and creating as many chances as possible. The scary thing about Philadelphia right now is the numerous amount of weapons they have at their disposal. They even managed to find the ability to fit all of them on the field this past week and despite that, and some beautiful service by the likes of Michael Farfan and Danny Cruz, they just weren’t able to breach Bobby Shuttleworths goal.
Jack McInerney–whom our backline is going to be seeing a lot of tape on this week–had his chances and just wasn’t able to finish them off. I wouldn’t hope for the same result next week. The big knock on his game is simply that he is just simply in the right place at the right time and that’s how he consistently scores goals. Kind of sounds like some on the west coast that we’re used to seeing 3 to 4 times year… what’s his name… what is his… oh yes, Chris Wondolowski. It’s one thing just to get luck one or twice… maybe three times (…a lady? … I couldn’t help myself). It’s another to consistently put yourself in position to poach and finish off the opportunities as they come.
Also looking at his goal two weeks ago (which was nominated for goal of the week) against DC United, it wasn’t cheap. He had to beat two defenders while creating space on a break away. Here, have yourself a look.
It wasn’t cheap. It was smart. It was athletic. It was a goal and it showed his ability as a 20-year old to be one of the better strikers already in this league. Hyperbole? Maybe, but he’s very good and don’t think that him with Jhon Kennedy Hurtado doesn’t give me nightmares already. I hope that Sigi breaks out the go-go Scott juice and just sicks Zach Scott on him as his sole assignment.
Add to that, Sebastian LeToux is nothing if not a hard worker in the middle of the field and will certainly cause some heart burn to the end of any game. He’s been used as super sub which is much like Seattle using Mauro Rosales in the same capacity, it gives him 30 minutes to play as hard as he wants and to drain that gas tank empty and its basically terrifying.
The Union put for an honest effort and maybe they got a bit unlucky. Take a look at New England’s box for the day.
That’s all the tackles, clearances and blocked shots that occurred over 90 minutes, a total of 17 different events not counting the other 7 attempts on goal that were recorded shots. Don’t think for a minute that just because they had a poor showing against a slumping team means they played poorly. It’s going to be another story when Seattle hits the ground on Saturday. They may be average in the back, and that will give some opportunities for our attackers, but they are ferocious up front and I won’t be surprised if they find a way to beat what has quietly been one of the best defenses in MLS.
Seattle had better bring a game plan on blowing the doors off Zach MacMaths goal. Otherwise they are likely to miss out on some points.