- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 25, 2008
- 4 Comments
Maybe it wasn’t the prettiest Primetime game on ESPN2 but New England and Dallas showed some quality soccer as the Revs hand Dallas their first loss of the season. This may have been the most evenly matched game that I’ve watched all season so far. Neither club really looked like taking over the game but in the end it was New England who came out on top.
What can I say, I wasn’t at all surprised by the result. It wasn’t that Dallas didn’t come to play or that New England did anything special to beat the Hoops. No, it was just a evenly played game that saw one club take advantage of the other when the moment was right.
New England 1 – 0 FC Dallas:
- Nothing special again out of this club, a basis 4-4-2 due to the slew of injuries and suspension to Castro. Honestly the four in the back was the way to go against Dallas. They didn’t shut them out or anything but they did eliminate the quality chances that this Dallas team has seen so far this year.
- Massive play out of Matt Reis, especially late in the game. He was probably my player of the game. He didn’t have to do much early but when he was called upon he answered.
- This club continues to find ways to get results even with all of these injuries. Kudos to Steve Nicol and his coaching staff.
- Loads of chances in the second half for the Revs. This game could have very well been 2 or 3 to zip before the Khano Smith goal.
- Big time goal my friend. Big time. Some fans would have called for a foul on Smith during the run of play leading up to the goal but it was more on Dax McCarty.
- I said earlier in the year that Smith was a guy to keep an eye out on. That goal tonight showed he is starting to step up more this season. I think having the young Gambians on this club is pushing guys like Smith to do so here.
- He definitely missed having Jeff Larentowicz but for the most part he was still able to do what he does best and that is be the beast that he is out on the pitch.
- I enjoyed watching him get forward more but I would like to see him funnel the ball to the wings more. New England is very dangerous on the wings and could have very well been even more dangerous a few times had the ball been sent to the wings by Joesph.
- Not the worst showing by this club. Again, they didn’t come out flat or give up a lot to the Revs, they just didn’t finish the chances and weren’t lucky with a couple shots. Just how the game goes.
- I also don’t think they were out classed by the Revs. I really thought it was a very even game for the most part. Not having a 100% Juan Toja and Pablo Ricchetti could have been a reason why this game went the way it did for the Hoops.
- The defense played well even with giving up the goal. Hard to believe but this club still hasn’t been down in a game for more than a full half this season.
- They also had plenty of chances late in the game to tie it up. Reis was just a beast in goal for the Revs and again sometimes you just need that element of luck to score a goal.
- I really thought this was one of the better nights for Dallas defensively. Sure they gave up some chances but they were able to clear them all away except for the run of play on the Smith goal. Sometimes runs like that just happen but Dallas did a good job clearing away set pieces and chances that the Revs had.
- Dario Sala had another good game. He wasn’t out of position on the Smith goal, he was just beaten like everyone else out there. It was just a good goal that I think Sala couldn’t see as it was coming towards him.
- I really like the back three of Moor, Davino and Serioux. They play very nicely with one another and the two outside backs really allow Davino to play to his soccer IQ. This club looks a lot better with those three in the back than I really expected them to.
- The chances were there for this group but none were able to go in. These three are at their best when they have open spaces in front of them and they just didn’t have that against New England.
- Some will cry foul on a couple chances in the box for Cooper and Alvarez but in each case that a foul was called against them in the box I think the ref had it right. Cooper was offsides when he ran into Reis in the first half and Alvarez was looking too hard for a PK in the second half.
- Toja still isn’t 100% and we should all know that. Thing is I just wonder when he will be. Maybe Steve Nicol needs to rest him for a game or two to get him back at 100%.
Now one thing that bugged me about this game. As much as I love Primetime games in Dallas; I don’t think MLS needs to keep scheduling weeknight games in Frisco if they can help it. Its nothing against FC Dallas or whoever they are playing against. Its just not the right thing to do until this club can show it can draw better overall. Only 10k or so on a night that saw next to nothing go on in the Dallas area.
I know the stadium is a haul away for most folks but seriously, the league has to schedule things better. Dallas just doesn’t draw well on the weeknights.
Overall, I wouldn’t call it a bad loss for Dallas or a great win for the Revs. New England cashed in on their chances with Smith’s goal and now close out the first month of play with nine points. Not bad for a crazy start to the season.
Dallas is still sitting fine with the way things are going in the west. Don’t be shocked if they are still in first come Monday. The only club that can pass them is Colorado and I honestly don’t know if they will win in Chicago.