Game 9 – Revolution 1 – Crew 0
What a disappointment. The Crew played well and at least deserved a point, but sometimes things don’t work out. The game played out very similar to last year. The defense plays hard but the offense struggles to get the goal and there is a breakdown late that gives away points. It almost felt like deja vu, but the difference between this year and last year will be measured in how the team reacts to this setback.
The Crew had their chances and really had the bulk of possession, but were missing the pass that broke open the defense. Gaven, Rogers, Moreno, Evans and Hejduk all had shots at goal that just would not fall in. Part of this was due to the efforts of Matt Reis, but New England’s defense was very good and the referee allowed a fairly physical game which made it difficult for the Crew offense. Next time Mr. Heron, please pull out the cards earlier. I know the league would love to let the game flow, but I hate the hacking from the defenses around the league. I was frustrated throughout the first half, that frustration would transform into a sinking feeling as I felt the Crew were just not going to break though in the second half.
The sinking feeling I had was confirmed late as Hendrickson would seal the game’s fate with an inexplicable foul on Steve Ralston in the box. I am not really sure why he fouled. Ralston was running across goal and he was well covered. While it was not popular with the fans, it was the correct call. Hesmer made the save, but Dube came in fast (perhaps early) to bury the rebound. Despite playing the better game, the Crew lose in the dying minutes of the game.
This bears repeating, the sky is not falling. The Crew has 19 point on the year and is tied for first. More troubling is the offensive woes the past two weeks. Last week was tough going on the turf of BMO field. This week, New England was able to stifle Moreno up top by choking off his service. Rogers had an effect on the game when not being fouled, but New England was able to cover his options and really reduced his effectiveness. New England ended up taking a page out of the Crew handbook by absorbing the pressure and taking their chances when they had them. It was bound to happen. A rising Chivas USA is next and it may be tough for the Crew to pick up three points, but it is times when things aren’t going well that define a season.