Revs: Can't win if you don't score

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Revs: Can't win if you don't score

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard

FOXBORO It seems like every week the New England Revolution hit the practice field for a weeks worth of training, theyre working on the same thing.

Well, thats because they are.

You dont need to be a rocket scientist to realize that the No. 1 issue haunting the Revs in recent weeks is goal scoring.

With only three goals in its last six games, New England is currently riding a six-game winless skid (two draws and four losses).

During that six-game skid, the Revolution allowed more than one goal only twice. Hence, the problem is on the offensive side of the ball, something they have been working on improving for a while now.

I think if you look at the table and you look at the goals against and the goals for, were certainly above average defensively, but were below average as far as putting the ball in the net, coach Steve Nicol said on Tuesday. So I think its pretty clear that we just have to try and get better at it, and thats the bottom line.

So how do you get better at scoring goals? It sounds like such a simple, yet impossible task to practice because goals on the practice field dont translate to goals on Saturday nights.

So until this Revolution team disproves that theory, theyll have to find another way. That way could come on Sunday in Seattle, as attacking midfielder Benny Feilhaber is expected to make his return, after missing the last four games with a sprained right ankle.

I expect him this weekend, said captain Shalrie Joseph. I was surprised he wasnt on the bench against Chicago on Saturday, but he told me he was going to be there.

This week hes been working out, just trying to get back his fitness. I expect him to be on the bench, or to be starting.

Feilhaber was upgraded to probable on the teams injury report Tuesday. Nicol said that he will be on the squad for Sundays match. He also said that he didnt yet know if Feilhaber would be starting or coming off the bench. Either way, his presence on the field could be just the thing to get the offense going.

At least, thats what they hope.

Just from a team standpoint, its important that we have him there, Joseph said. Because he allows us to keep possession. He brings a little bit more creativity in the attacking third, which we desperately need. Him being in the middle, he organizes, he keeps possession well, he spreads it wide.

He helps us do great stuff offensively, and we need him there to get a goal, a counter-attack, whatever it is. Hes going to come in, and hes going to give us that extra that we need right now.

Especially on the road.

Five of New Englands next six games are on the road. And while their success this season has been limited in all cities, its away from Gillette Stadium where the Revs struggle most.

Every game weve played, weve been competitive, Nicol said. I mean, the games we have lost, weve lost by a goal. I guess you need to ask the opposition, and how much theyre looking forward to us coming to play them. I guess thats the only way I can describe it, really, because we dont go anywhere and lie down.

We havent made a huge amount of chances on the road, but we have made some and havent taken them, which would have given us points. So its kind of a similar story. Well keep trying to create away from home.

The Revolution are 0-5-2 on the road, and are desperate for a win. The only way they can get three points is by scoring.

We just tell everybody to stay focused, Joseph said. Weve been doing good stuff the last couple of games. The ball hasnt bounced our way but weve just got to keep at it, keep working hard, and its going to break for us. Weve just got to believe that one day its going to break for us. And hopefully it will this weekend in Seattle.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Revolution acquire defender Benjamin Angoua

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Revolution acquire defender Benjamin Angoua

The New England Revolution have acquired defender Benjamin Angoua on loan from EA Guingamp for the 2017 MLS season with the option to transfer permanently following the season. Angoua will be added to the Revolution roster upon the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
 
“With Benjamin’s experience, adding him to the Revolution was an important step for our club this offseason,” Revolution GM Michael Burns said. “We began this offseason with the goal of bringing in veteran players who are ready to contribute right away, so we are very pleased to have Benjamin with us as we head to preseason training in Arizona.”
 
Angoua, 30, has made a combined 309 appearances across all competitions in France, Hungary, and the Ivory Coast, recording five goals and two assists from the backline. He joins the Revolution after more than two seasons with EA Guingamp (2014-17) and previously played for FC Valenciennes (2010-14), both in France’s top-flight Ligue 1. An experienced defender, Angoua has registered 152 appearances, including 138 starts, in Ligue 1 competition since 2010.
 
The 6-foot, 160-pound Ivorian international also played with Budapest Honvéd (2006-10) in Hungary’s OTP Bank Liga, and Africa Sports (2004-06) in the Ivory Coast Ligue 1. Angoua has additional experience competing in the UEFA Europa League with both Guingamp and Budapest Honvéd.
 
At the international level, the Anyama native has recorded 17 caps and registered one goal for the Ivory Coast national team.