By Kevin Koczwara
FOXBOROUGH, Mass — The New England Revolution suffered their fourth loss of the season, their third in four games, at the hands of Chivas USA 4-0 at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Revolution (2-4-1, 7 pts.) were unable to overcome a poor first half performance, giving up two goals to Chivas (3-3-1, 10 pts.), and saw midfielder Marko Perovic being sent off with a straight red card.
Chivas (record here) scored their first goal in the 26th minute when a long ball from Chivas goalkeeper Zach Thornton found the feet of Jesus Padilla who finished his chance clinically on net, beating Preston Burpo.
Padilla’s goal had an element of luck to it as it had to find its through Revolution defender Kevin Alston’s feet after a flick on from Chivas striker Justin Braun. It would only get worse from there for the Revolution.
Perovic would be sent off two minutes after the Padilla goal with a straight red card. Perovic swung twice at Chivas midfielder Ben Zemanski, connecting his second wail on Zemanski’s face. The Chivas midfielder was pulling his jersey after turning the ball over in the midfield. Perovic took exception and retaliated.
“There’re many plays like those during the game, for both teams, but Perovi? swung and connected,” said Chivas manager Martin Vasquez. “The referee saw it, the linesman saw it, and I think it’s a red card.”
Perovic’s red card was the third in two games for the Revolution. Kheli Dube and Joseph Niouky were both sent off during Saturday’s match against FC Dallas.
“We can’t keep playing men down, either. Not only did we play for another hour a man down tonight, but having played two men down on Saturday,” said New England manager, Steve Nicol.
It took Chivas only five minutes to take advantage of their man advantage and get on the score sheet again.
Braun broke through the Revolution defense after good ball movement from Chivas in the attacking third, using his muscle to bully into the box then beating Burpo to put Chivas up two goals.
“The first two goals are bad defending – no two ways about it,” said Nicol about the Revolution’s first half performance.“Up until the sending off, we hadn’t been good anyway.
“At halftime, we wanted a response. That’s why we ended up putting Eddie [Jankauskas] up with Zack [Schilawski],” Nicol recalled on his second half substitutions. “We wanted a response and we wanted just to try to squeeze and play the game at the other end of the field.”
The response Nicol was looking for didn’t happen right away as Chivas came out in the second half and put the game out of reach. Padilla would notch his second goal of the game in the 48th minute as the ball moved from one side of the Revolution 18-yard-box to the other to Padilla, who was all alone and scored easily.
“They had more men than us and they end up with the space to score,” said Nicol about the third goal.
Chivas would net one more goal to secure their three-game unbeaten streak in the 81st minute. Rookie Blair Gavin – selected 10th overall by Chivas in the 2010 SuperDraft – dispossessed the Revolution defense outside the 18-yard box and blasted in a long range effort, beating Burpo for his first career MLS goal.
But Nicol felt the effort was there in the second half for the Revolution despite the scoreline.
“You’ve got to be realistic: two goals down and a man at halftime – I don’t know too many people who are going to put any money on us winning the game,” said Nicol. “But what we were looking for is some spirit. And I think we got that, and that’s important.
“That’s why the second half was important that we showed some spirit, because when you have that, you have a chance.”
The Revolution will have their next chance soon to try and turn around their recent slump when they take on the unbeaten Columbus Crew (2-0-2, 8 pts.) in Columbus on Saturday.
Kevin Koczwara is a contributing editor and writer for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at email@example.com.