Everything you need to know about Revolution II’s 2-1 loss to Chattanooga Red Wolves Wednesday evening in quickie form, complete with Bay State Soccer Sentinel insight and analysis:
Another late goal downs New England: Stop me if you’ve heard this one, folks, but Revolution II dropped points late in a match. Coming into Wednesday night, New England’s second team had given up six goals in the final quarter-hour plus second-half stoppage time, and on Wednesday night, that happened for the seventh time. A Diego Souza own goal in the 82nd minute spoiled a rather good performance for the Brazilian-born right back who currently calls Hyannis home, and it was enough for Chattanooga to take home the 2-1 victory. New England has now dropped four points in the latter stages — the 3-3 draw against North Texas had seen Revs II in front, plus two other potential draws including Wednesday night’s loss — and are still firmly in the USL League One cellar with five points accrued through the midway point in this abbreviated season, and have now lost four out of their last five after starting the season 0-1-2. With the win, Chattanooga moves up one spot to fourth.
Sinclair breaks the duck, equalizes late: Another slow start for Revs II, who had difficulty connecting more than two passes together and had difficulty in defending against the swarm of the Red Wolves. And Chattanooga got on the board first, as center back Jason Ramos hit a bomb from deep off a free kick in the 10th minute, the Red Wolves catching the Revs napping; Joe Rice got a palm on it, but Ramos’ blast had so much pace behind it that it slapped off his hand and in for the ninth straight goal scored by Revs II opposition. New England finally got a foothold in the match approaching the half hour mark, and found itself rewarded for its persistence as Orlando Sinclair, off a corner following Souza’s left-footed blast, popped a header into the net to pull Revs II level for his first goal of the season, and to put an end to the club’s 258-minute scoreless skid.
Four changes to the XI: A continued shuffle in the starting lineup for Revs II. Two changes in the back as Colby Quinones and Souza replaced Ryan Spaulding and Ryo Shimazaki at the corners. Damian Rivera moved back into the midfield with Tiago Mendonça sitting, while Conor Presley and Mayele Malango started alongside Sinclair. Mendonça would replace Collin Verfurth in the back line shortly after the hour mark after Verfurth received treatment on his right quad.
Joe Rice: Simply put, the Fairfax, Virginia native put on an absolute show in keep for Revolution II Wednesday, despite the two goals which we cannot, in fairness, attribute to him. Eight saves for him tonight, which sets a career high. Two of those saves came on consecutive moves. He’s now up to 33 saves on the season to lead the league.
Play in the first 20-plus minutes: We don’t know if it was a lack of confidence on the part of Revs II or if Chattanooga felt extraordinarily peckish given what happened on their pitch nearly two weeks ago, but New England just did not look like it was on the same field.
The defending in the attacking third: Every positive in soccer comes with a negative, and for Rice to make such a large number of saves, there has to be a reason for that. That came down to the defending in the attacking third. Simply put, most of Chattanooga’s attacking came right down the center, with the occasional attack at the corners. I can say with certainty that the defending just wasn’t good enough Wednesday.
LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY
Sinclair’s goal was the third first-half goal allowed by the Red Wolves this season.
New England is now 0-5-1 after conceding first.
Nine shots, five on-target for Revs II, which had 52.8 percent possession.
79.8 percent passing accuracy for the game; it was 84.8 percent through the first 45 minutes. 66.2 percent accurate in Chattanooga’s attacking half.
Damien Rivera had two chances created.
WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW
If there’s anything I liked about Wednesday’s match, it was the way Revs II came out in the second half. There was a touch more physicality in the midfield, plus more chances taken in the attacking third in those first 10 minutes than — I believe — in the entire match.
I was minutes away from including Colby Quinones and Diego Souza into the WHO’S HOT category. I really was. Quinones was sneaky good for most of the game — I will go on to say that he is the first team’s right back in waiting; he’s just that good and will just continue to develop — and Souza’s play was subtle at times. But Quinones didn’t close down quick enough to deny the match-winning cross, and Souza wasn’t positioned to react to the header and clear it.
Revs II will have the next week off, and they need it, but they’ll become road warriors for the next month with all four matches away from The Fort. Next Wednesday will see New England take on FC Tucson in their only meeting of the season. And put the coffee on, it’s a late one, a 10:30 p.m. ET start. We may have delayed coverage given the wife’s work situation, but we’ll see.