By Ryan Fleming
If there is one thing the New England Revolution cannot afford, it is silly penalties or send-offs. Last Saturday when the Revs took on FC Dallas, they were shown two red cards in the second half and a number of other bookings throughout. Overall, there were 12 cards shown in the game.
New England (2-4-1, 7 pts.) managed to tie the Hoops, but Wednesday night against Chivas USA, was a different story. New signing Marco Perovic retaliated poorly to a tugging on his jersey from Ben Zemanski. Perovic appeared to throw some backward punches, one connecting with Zemanski’s head while the Chivas midfielder played tug-of-war with his jersey.
An immature action the Revs could have done without. Perovic’s outburst started almost a domino affect that New England had no answer to.
Previous to Perovic’s departure, Chivas scored on a defensive mistake by Kevin Alston – forcing the Revs to retaliate. But a retaliation never came. They barely showed a breath of life; sure sign of demoralization.
With Kheli Dube and Joseph Niouky suspended after their red cards against Dallas, the Revs bench was already thin. Shalrie Joseph was still out – away from the team for an indefinite length of time.
In regards for filling in for the tall midfielder, New England has done an o.k. job. Some players like Pat Phelan just can’t seem to fill Joseph’s shoes. All the blame certainly doesn’t go to Phelan, though. He’s done a fine job, but he isn’t Joseph. Other midfielders, and all who are on the field are just trying to do too much. In reality they have to do just enough.
But that’s what can happen when your star is gone. You want to step up. You want to show your team what you’re capable of. And that’s when your emotions can get the best of you. The Revolution need to settle theirs or use it to their advantage and get an important win at Columbus.
Ryan Fleming is a contributing editor and writer for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org