By Kevin Koczwara
The Colorado Rapids continued their home dominance with a 3-0 win over the New England Revolution on Saturday night, the Rapids have won three straight games at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, 3-0.
It didn’t take long for the Rapids (10-7-7, 34 points) to put New England (7-14-3, 24 points) in a deep hole. Omar Cummings scored his team-leading 10th goal in the fifth minute after a missed clearance by Revolution defender Emmanuel Osei.
Cummings goal marked the second time in two games that the Revolution had given up a goal in the first 10 minutes. It was a major blow for the Revs as they tried to recover after last weekend’s loss to Chivas USA in Los Angeles, and the team tries to make a push for a playoff spot.
“This is a hard enough place to come anyways, without giving them goals, but it is basic stuff,” said Revolution manager Steve Nicol. “It is not rocket science why we have lost tonight. We made too many basic errors, which just encourages the opposition to come after us.”
Conor Casey would tie Cummings as the team lead in goals in the 35th minute when he finished a Rapids buildup by beating Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis– putting them up, 2-0. Casey’s goal was inevitable, as Colorado had all the momentum and the ball in the first half. Casey hit the post in the 23rd minute from 20 yards out, and it was only a matter of time before he got his shot in the back of the Revs’ net.
For the Revolution, the biggest disappointment came in the 83rd minute when former New England midfielder Wells Thompson scored the Rapids’ third and final goal. Thompson was traded with Jeff Larentowicz in the offseason to Colorado for Cory Gibbs and Preston Burpo.
Colorado has not been a friendly place for the Revolution to play over the years. Since 2002, New England is winless in Colorado, and the club is a staggering 3-12-3 all-time there.
But its not only at Colorado that New England has struggled. The Revolution is 1-9-1 on the road this season – the team’s only win came in the second game of the year at last place D.C. United on April 3rd.
The record doesn’t tell the whole story though. The Revs have put in some terrible games while traveling. A quick peek at the scorelines of four of the team’s losses on the road makes one wonder just what happens when the team leaves Foxborough.
Here are some staggering scorelines away from home: June 5, the Revs lose to the Seattle Sounders 3-0 at Qwest Field; July 2, the team loses 5-0 to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Staduim and on August 21, a 4-1 defeat to the Kansas City Wizards.
Now pair those losses with the Revs’ latest losing efforts during the their current road trip to Chivas and Colorado. New England was outscored 5-0, and you can see just why the team is seventh in the Eastern Conference – behind the expansion Philadelphia Union because of goal differential, and 14 out of 16 overall in the table.
New England is 12 points off the pace for a playoff spot with six games to go, and it looks as though it won’t be able to recoup enough points to make the playoffs. Three of the team’s final six games are away from home.
If the Revolution’s season-long struggles on the road continue, it could be looking at finishing in the basement of the league. In fact, the Revs could be out of the playoff hunt as early as Tuesday when it travels to Dallas to take on a surging FC Dallas team. The Hoops are unbeaten in their last 14 games and have only lost twice all season.
Nicol knows just how important this game is for the Revolution. “We will either sink or swim,” he said, “and we better swim.”
Kevin Koczwara is a contributing editor and writer for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org