Make no mistake, a 2-1 score does not indicate how lopsided this defeat was for San Jose. The Quakes looked out of their element (literally) in the snow and rain, and the Revs seemed right at home.
Kelyn Rowe shot the ball seven times in the first half alone, and scored twice. Rowe found his first goal of the season at 21′ off a deflection from Shaun Francis (the Revs scored off his bad giveaway at midfield). Rowe’s second came 16 minutes later off a set-piece in which Francis appears to have been beaten by the Revs’ left winger. It was not a good day for Francis.
Wondo scored a PK goal to put the Quakes in striking distance at 62′, but the team could not find their rhythm all game. In the end, New England was hungry for the win, holding off a few good scoring chances by Wondo, Pierazzi, and Jahn in the closing minutes to seal the victory.
A few glaring stats to consider:
- The Revs had 20 Shots (14 in the first half!), 8 on target to the Quakes’ 10 and 4.
- 12 scoring chances created to the Quakes’ 7.
- New England won 57% of the aerial duels.
- Only 3 saves were required by Shuttleworth, and none of them required much effort. Bingham had 6 saves and 2 punches.
- Ball in the Attacking Half: 1st half 60% (27:30 minutes for 46 minutes resulting in 2 goals) and 58% in the final half. The Quakes only had the ball in New England territory for approximately 40% of the match.*
Some things to consider from these stats:
- New England did not dominate possession, but they did dominate where the ball was played: mostly in the Quakes half of the field, which prevented the Quakes from mounting any solid runs/attacks.
- When you look at the Dallas, Seattle, Chicago, and New England games, our defense appears to be getting worse despite a great preseason. Our defensive scoring stats over the last four games:
- Scoring Chances Allowed: 6 (Dal), 8 (Sea), 7 (Chi), 12 (NE)
- Shots Allowed: 11 (Dal), 12 (Sea), 15 (Chi), 20 (NE)
- Shots on Target Allowed: 5 (Dal), 9 (Sea), 6 (Chi), 8 (NE)
- Goals Conceded: 1 (Dal), 2 (Sea), 1 (Chi), 2 (NE) (this is a 1.5 GAA, which places us near the bottom of the league)
That is not good news, especially considering that Wynne might be sidelined with a hamstring, along with Renato and Stewart.
I think Kinnear will change the line-up next game. He subbed both Koval and Nyassi, who never seemed to get into the game, for Salinas and Jahn at the half. This appeared to have been the right move as the Quakes had more scoring chances, even if they could not finish. Jahn was much more in the game than Koval as well. I would not be surprised to see Shea starting next game over Nyassi at right wing (he can play both left and right). I don’t think Koval will get the hook yet, but anything could happen.
Thoughts on Players
I am starting to worry about MPG. He goes down A LOT, and that allows defenses to set up against the free kick. If this continues, he may be a DP bust. I will be surprised if he lasts the year without injury. He has flashes of brilliance, but if teams adopt a “foul first” policy with MPG, we will never get any good attacks going.
I am also losing faith in Pierazzi. He had a great game in Dallas, and a great preseason, but injury took him out of the Seattle game. With Alashe gone, I was hoping he would step up and challenge Alashe for the starting DM position, but now it appears Alashe is a lock, especially when Pierazzi was partially responsible for the 20 shots being loosed by the Revs.
Bingham appears to be more comfortable in goal. The two that were scored were not his fault: a deflection and a goal in which Francis was beaten by Rowe to the far post. I’m glad to see him settle in and look forward to a good season.
Next game: Sunday, April 5th against Real Salt Lake at Avaya Stadium
*For this stat, I rewatched the entire game with a stopwatch in hand.
Photo Credit: San Jose Earthquakes Facebook Page