By Kevin Koczwara
Trips to California this year have been tough for the New England Revolution so far this year. The Revolution lost the season opener to the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center, 1-0. Then on their second trip to CA last night, the Revolution suffered their second loss of the young season and their second loss in The Golden State with a 2-0 defeat to San Jose Earthquakes (2-1-0, 6 pt.).
The Revolution (2-2-0, 6 pt.) started off the game on their heels without their stalwart midfielder Shalrie Joseph (out with a hip flexor strain) controlling the play. San Jose attacked and used their small field to their advantage as they sent balls from one end of the field to the other from the start of the game. San Jose used their physical style of play to push and move the Revolution defenders around, make them uncomfortable and unsure of the ball, and to open up the field.
The Revolution tried to counter the San Jose attack by funneling their attack through their latest signing, Marko Perovic, who was consistently the most dangerous attacking threat for the Revolution. But all of his attempts seemed to sail just wide of Nick Cannon, the San Jose goalkeeper. But his persistant and skilled attacks threatened San Jose all night long andt his communication and understanding of the other Revolution players seemed a bit off, which could be due to the fact that he has only trained for one full week with the team thus far this season.
The two sides would go into the half scoreless and feeling as though they should have done better with their chances. But it wouldn’t take long for the game to open up and the scoreline to change.
At the 57th minute, San Jose opened up the score sheet with a Chris Wondolowski goal that resulted from a great breakout by the Quakes. While the Revolution were screaming for a foul on Chris Tierney in the San Jose side, the Quakes moved the ball quickly up the field and threaded a ball through the New England defense that found Wondolowski in stride, and he finished his chance in the back of the net, beating Preston Burpo.
The Revolution would try and even the score line, but Cannon stopped all six shots that made it on net. Cannon held down the San Jose fort in the back as he positioned himself and his defense to stop any through balls and force the New England attack to slow once it started to move forward into the San Jose side of the field. Last week’s hero for the Revolution, Zack Schilawski never got going in San Jose. He couldn’t get into the space he wanted to because of the San Jose offside trap.
San Jose would add on to their lead in the 71 minute when rookie, and former Wake Forest teammate of Schilawski, Ike Opara headed in a corner, beating Burpo to the back post, for his second goal in as many games. The young center-back has been traveling and training in Wake Forest so he can finish his degree, but he has also made himself known to the San Jose fans with his goal scoring ability on set pieces.
The Revolution couldn’t come back from the 2-0 deficit and beat Cannon as he put on an impressive show in net.
San Jose will hope to continue their good form into next weekend’s match against Chivas USA. The Revs will try to recoup at home next weekend as they host the Colorado Rapids on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
Kevin Koczwara is a contributing editor and writer for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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