By Ryan Fleming
Despite the miserable, cold, rainy weather outside, the New England Revolution aren’t letting mother nature get them down. After coming off of their 1-0 season opening loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy last Saturday at the Home Depot Center, the staff and the Rev’s players alike have optimistic visions of sunny, bright skies coming into this weekend’s game against D.C. United.
“Under difficult conditions I think they played really well,” said Vice President of Player Personnel, Michael Burns. “It isn’t easy to have everyone come together, to gel, under just one game. I think from that aspect things went o.k.”
Watching the game one could tell both teams were feeling jittery, they were second-guessing themselves every time the ball was touched. Edison Buddle’s sixth-minute header was all the Galaxy (1-0-0, 3 pts) needed to earn the “W” and the three points.
In the second half, the Revolution (0-1-0, 0 pts), though, seemed like an entirely different team. They were poised, created the majority of the chances and had their fair share of opportunities to equalize or even pull ahead.
“I think as the game went on we got a bit more confident. That was one thing (head coach) Stevie (Nicol) stressed at halftime. We didn’t seem to be confident, didn’t seem to believe in ourselves in the first half,” said rookie Seth Sinovic. “As the game went on we became more comfortable, more confident and hopefully we can take that into next week.”
The sentiment was shared was with Revolution first round draft pick, Zack Schilawski. Both Sinovic and Schilawski started the opener for the Revs and played the full 90 minutes in the loss.
“For the first few minutes I was,” said Sinovic about being nervous at the beginning of the game. “But as the game went on, just as my team, I gained more confidence.”
Despite confidence, frustration was there especially for the No. 9 pick in this year’s draft.
“Everyone got more comfortable with themselves and with each other,” Schilawski said. “We started to knock the ball around a little bit more. With a loss there are always a lot of things to learn.
“I was frustrated last game with the amount of touches I had. Not getting the ball as I want it, or not in the dangerous spaces I wanted,” Schilawski continued. “That will come, as guys get more confidence with me and more comfortable with me.”
With a handful of players out, the youngsters will be heavily depended on again when they travel to this weekend’s game against D.C. (0-1-0, 0 pts). The Revolution’s best player Shalrie Joseph is out with a hip flexor strain, Matt Reis, the perennial starting goalkeeper, is still recovering from shoulder and knee surgery. Darrius Barnes, Mauricio Castro, Nico Colaluca and Edgaras Jankauskas will all be out for Saturday’s contest.
With all the pressure on the rookies, you often forget that they are still kids.
“I’m moving into Boston this weekend,” Schilawski said. “I can’t wait to be around everything.”
Look for the Wake Forest product to be around the ball this Saturday.
Ryan Fleming is a contributing writer and editor for the The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.