New England are Unable to Complete the Comeback in D.C.

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All the talk coming into this one was regarding the departure of Hernan Losada. The Argentine was relieved of his duties as D.C. United head-coach following a crumbling result against Austin. This was the first game post-Losada and it was the struggling New England Revolution that came to town. Despite taking the lead, the Revs fell to D.C. as a result of individual errors once again.

New England are Defeated Once Again

Taxi Fountas Stars for D.C. United!

It would be easy enough to zero in on the shortcomings of the New England Revolution, but D.C. had a star out there on the turf. This was a first start in the league for Taxi Fountas and he duly delivered. The Greek forward netted twice for D.C. as well as assisting Michael Estrada in a very impressive win. D.C.’s first goal saw Fountas strike a volley oh so sweetly, leaving Brad Knighton with no chance.

Former Atlanta United man Julian Gressel stung the palms of Knighton with a volley of his own. Next, Fountas turned into the provider- his cross finding Estrada all alone in the six. He of course was more than happy to oblige and headed D.C. into the lead in front of their home fans.

Finally, after racking up his first goal and first assist in the black of D.C., he put the cherry on top. The New England goalkeeper certainly won’t want to see this one again as the rifled effort from Fountas dumbfounded Knighton. He made a mess of the situation and somewhat gifted the hosts a two-goal advantage. The Revolution may have hit back later on but the damage was already done. Taxi Fountas is certainly one to keep an eye on in this league!

Where did it go Wrong for New England?

The New England Revolution started this one with the same XI that beat Charlotte last time out which was some much-needed promise. Bruce Arena’s men began the game very well too, taking the lead with just six minutes on the clock. Carles Gil laid it off to fullback Brandon Bye who fired home his second goal of the season.

Arena spoke on the significance of his men contributing from all over the pitch after the final whistle: “It certainly is important for any player to score a goal, especially an outside back. I thought there was some good combination play and give Brandon credit, it was a good finish.”

This Bye strike was as good as it got for New England. They led early on yet by the break, they found themselves 3-1 behind. So what does coach Arena attest yet another defeat too? “There were clearly some individual mistakes. I think on two of the goals we turned the ball over probably in the middle third of the field… Again, we’ve conceded an awful lot of goals and just some really poor play, so we deserve to lose the game.”

Adam Buksa was the only name on the score sheet in the second 45 at either end, making it back-to-back games with goals. The Pole was on target for New England in the win over Charlotte last weekend and once again he found the back of the net. Buksa re-finding his scoring touch for the Revs is certainly a positive but it was too little too late and an equalizer never followed.

Where do we go From Here?

Starting with the victors and D.C. will be worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks. Along with the San Jose Earthquakes, D.C. are actively shopping for a new leader and so the headlines will be flying around. This was most definitely a promising display from the side under the interim control of Chad Ashton. The standout was far and away the aforementioned Taxi Fountas and thus fans will be keen to return to Audi Field to see him in action.

Now to New England and the general message seems to be not overreact. As Bruce said, a lot of the goals being shipped are as a result of individual mistakes which is something that can be easily rectified. In the words of midfielder Matt Polster; “once again kind of individual mistakes, even myself I missed a pass in the middle of the field and we don’t get back quickly enough as a team. Or we do and we don’t defend the cross and what not.”

Frustration is the buzz word in New England now. Polster expressed exactly this after the game: “I think the whole season has been frustrating, we’ve been giving up a lot of goals and it’s just not us from last year.” His sentiments were then reinforced by young substitute Damian Rivera: “a loss on the road definitely hurts us and it’s not the first this year. We’ve just got to keep our heads down and keep working hard.”

It was a bad day at the office once again for the New England Revolution and Bruce Arena. There are a lot of issues that need dealing with but patience is a must in these times. D.C. were good for the three points thanks to a Fountas masterclass. In the words of Matt Polster, “we [the Revs] have way too much talent in that locker room… we’re way too talented to be where we’re at”. Onwards and upwards with revenge against Inter Miami on the cards next weekend!

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