Everything you need to know about Revolution II’s 4-0 loss to Chattanooga Red Wolves SC Saturday afternoon in quickie form, complete with Bay State Soccer Sentinel insight and analysis:
A disastrous result: Some may lay the blame on this being the third match in eight days for New England’s second team, coming on the road at this newly laid pitch just to the north of the Tennessee-Georgia state boundary, but there are no excuses in soccer. Revolution II just did not look good in this one despite 56.7 percent possession, as New England had zero — count ‘em — zero shots on-target Saturday afternoon. New England had seven shots total, with the two second-half tries by Nicolas Firmino and Isaac Angking the closest Los Revitos came to scoring.
Zacarias with early Chattanooga goal, lead triples from Hernandez: Four minutes after the actual start — we’ll mention that in a second — Collin Verfurth had cut down a Ricardo Zacarias try inside the box with a well-timed challenge which went for a corner. And after a beautiful service by Ricky Ruiz, Zacarias caught Keegan Meyer out of position and he headed home, tucking it at the far post to put the hosts ahead by a goal to nil 12 minutes in. And while Revs II had decent attacks afterward, they fizzled out. But not Chattanooga, which saw Greg Hurst blaze past Ryo Shimizaki as if he weren’t there, slipped the ball past Verfurth to Marky Hernandez, who tapped it in in the 29th minute to double the lead. Nine minutes later, Hernandez made it 3-nil as he took a pass that split Verfurth and Joe Bell, touched around Meyer, and slapped it home.
Beattie wraps it up: Late Chattanooga sub Steven Beattie, the Red Wolves’ top scorer in 2019 who had missed the start of the season, wrapped up the three points in the 88th minute as he was completely, positively unmarked by the New England defense. Fellow late sub Ronaldo Pineda slipped the ball to him from near the end line, and he tapped home to make it 4-nil.
Revs, Red Wolves protest at the start: In a show of solidarity, Revs II and the Red Wolves did not play for the first 7:30 of the match. Orlando Sinclair booted the opening kick to the near touch line and knelt just outside the midway circle; both teams knelt for the first 4:30, then took the next three minutes to stretch and get last-minute instructions.
Slight shuffle in the XI: Clint Peay made two changes ahead of Saturday’s matinee, as Meyer replaced Joe Rice in keep to make his second appearance in three matches. In addition, Ryan Spaulding re-entered the lineup, but not at right back: he replaced Connor Presley at the right striker position. Academy product Colby Quinones made his fourth straight start at left back.
Nicolas Firmino: Quite possibly the best player on the pitch for New England Saturday afternoon. He showed some slick moves to escape from danger early on, and had the closest shot of the day until Angking nearly scored a couple of minutes later.
Revs offense: With the exception of the counterattacking, which wasn’t bad, the offense lacked any teeth. Five shots, none on target despite nearly 56 percent possession in the first 45, and two shots in the second. And Shimizaki had a Row Z Special in first-half stoppage time that landed somewhere closer to I-75 than the goal. Still, no shots on-target. Just atrocious attacking for the second team.
Revs defense: Speaking of atrocious, the first half was poor in the back. Outside of Verfurth denying Zacarias to set up the corner, the back line was practically transparent. The only thing that really slowed the Red Wolves was the Red Wolves themselves, as they had four offside calls. The defending was slightly better in the second half, but leaving Beattie unmarked was simply inexcusable.
LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY
Revs II were 83.8 percent accurate with their passing, 70.4 percent accurate in the attacking half.
Chattanooga had 18 total shots, with seven on-target. 14 of those shots were inside the 18.
WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW
I am hoping that no one in the Revs II changing room gives excuses for this match, i.e. it was the third match in eight days, that Chattanooga had more rest than they did — the Red Wolves had last played last Saturday — or anything resembling comment regarding the soupy, warm weather in Tennessee; it was the same for Chattanooga, and it thrived. That was just a poor performance by New England. If they were tired, then Peay should have utilized more rotation than just two players at the start. You have plenty of Academy kids available. Use them.
After three matches in eight days, Revs II will have a bit longer to wait for its next match, and that will be next Friday, Sept. 4, at home to Forward Madison. Kick-off from Route 1 is slated for 7 p.m.