With frustration mounting and solutions scarce, the Revolution look to snap a seven-game winless skid when they face the Philadelphia Union at Chester, Pa., Saturday night.
Just about everything needs to be improved. The Revolution’s recent loss, a 2-0 defeat at D.C. United last Sunday, was a microcosm of their 0-2-5 slump.
New England displayed a startling lack of urgency on both ends of the field, especially in the first half. The second half showed glimpses of hope, but the Revolution just couldn’t piece it together.
Despite very few positive takeaways, confidence remains high on the sideline.
“Always more difficult when you’re chasing a game,” said Revolution coach Brad Friedel. “You will concede a couple of chances because of that. First half was a flat performance from us, and it’s time now for us to get our run going.
“There’s no reason with the quality we have in the room that we can’t go on a 10-game unbeaten run.”
The Revolution have been in a similar position.
In 2014, before they shocked the league by winning the Eastern Conference crown and reaching their fifth MLS Cup final, the summer months posed quite a challenge. New England went 1-9-1 between May 31 and Aug. 16, including eight straight losses.
With a couple of midseason acquisitions, most notably Jermaine Jones, the Revolution went 9-1-1 down the stretch to finish second in the conference. They won two playoff rounds before losing the final to the Galaxy, 2-1.
That turnaround began on this same weekend in August.
“One win can get you back into the mix,” said defender Andrew Farrell, one of the few holdovers from that 2014 squad. “Especially against a team like Philly. We’re fighting for the same spot right now, so it’s important. We’ve got to take this first one.”
The Revolution strengthened their defense by adding experienced center back Michael Mancienne to the mix. Well-traveled in his club career, Mancienne made his Revolution debut last weekend, with many believing he could be the one to put them over the hump.
“He jelled really well,” said Farrell. “Very vocal, a very good leader. I think he’ll add a lot to our team. He knows he came into a situation where we’re not doing too hot right now, but he’s a guy that could help us.”
New England was close to snapping its winless run against Philadelphia two weeks ago until a late penalty sealed a 3-2 victory for the Union. However, Friedel and his team took a lot of positives from that meeting.
“You try to focus on all of the things that went well in the game, and there were a lot of them,” said Friedel. “This is a time where we never want to lose against anybody, especially three times in a season.
“This will be a big character check for the players.”