The Revolution’s plight could be turning into something more than a slump or slow start to the season. But coach Brad Friedel believes the team can recover after a 2-0 loss to FC Cincinnati on Sunday extended its winless streak to four games.
“You had one half that we probably had five or six players that lacked any kind of desire to work,” Friedel said. “It’s as simple as that. When you’re playing the type of team that will hit the amount of long passes they do, and only play for second balls, and all they do is win second balls and break, you have to work through that.
“It doesn’t matter what team you are in the world, take the biggest of the biggest names, you have to work to earn the right to get the ball.
“First half we did not work to earn that right to get the ball. We were in much better positions in the second half to actually hurt them. There was a lot more urgency to our play.”
Cincinnati (2-1-1), playing its first season in MLS, controlled the pace for most of the match, despite missing four starters. The Revolution (0-3-1) failed to develop a possession game and seldom produced chances off direct play.
Kekuta Manneh opened the scoring late in the first half, and Kenny Saief added a goal in the second, as Cincinnati won on the road for the first time. The Revolution extended their home scoreless mark to 180 minutes.
Cincinnati’s first goal came in the 44th minute, just seconds after a Revolution goal kick. Forrest Lasso headed Brad Knighton’s kick from the center circle to Manneh, who found Saief on the left, then took Saief’s return pass and one-timed a shot from just inside the penalty area .
The Revolution threatened early, with Teal Bunbury going wide off a Cristian Penilla pass in the 20th minute and Wilfried Zahibo whiffing off a Carles Gil feed in the 22nd.
Scott Caldwell replaced Zahibo in the second half, and the Revolution nearly equalized in the 61st minute on shots by Gil and Diego Fagundez, with Cincinnati goalkeeper Spencer Richey making a double save.
Saeif upped Cincinnati’s advantage, finishing from point-blank range off a corner in the 65th minute.