By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard
FOXBORO They started exactly how they wanted on Sunday in Seattle. Still, the New England Revolution came away with a 2-1 loss to Sounders FC.
Days later, the Revs admit that the same old issues haunted them, extending their winless skid to seven games.
I think on the road, youve just got to stay a little bit more mentally sharp, and we werent able to do that in Seattle, and thats why weve been so unsuccessful at picking up points on the road, said Revolution captain Shalrie Joseph after Wednesdays practice. It takes a split second to make that bad decision, and thats whats been costing us.
The same old mental mistakes, thats whats been killing us.
Those mental mistakes came twice on Sunday, in the form of a Ryan Cochrane collision with Mauro Rosales that set up Seattles first goal on a free kick, and then a lack of communication in the backfield after Kevin Alstons shoe came undone.
We have to be sensible and look at it rationally, said Revs coach Steve Nicol on Wednesday. We certainly didnt deserve to lose the game on Sunday. I dont think anybody would question that. The goals we lost, the first ones a bad decision. Its a great finish, but its a bad decision. And that puts them back in the game.
The second goal, from my point of view, is just a disaster. Kevin Alston lost his shoe. Its not like theres a set thing you do when you bust a boot, but you know, hes trying to run around with his foot hanging out of his boot, and we end up losing a goal because of it.
So when you end up losing the game for two reasons like that, you have to wonder, somebodys going against us here.
Nicol can question the soccer gods all he wants. Fact of the matter is, the Revolution got a much-needed early goal from Sainey Nyassi in the third minute, which took the crowd out of the game. With an early one-goal lead on the road, those mental mistakes became costly on the defensive end, which in turn cost them the game.
If you go 1-up with a minute to go, then its a different ballgame, said Nicol. But when you go 1-up after three minutes, then obviously the home teams going to get at you. Saying that, we didnt let them do that. The game was dead. It was ideal for us. It was exactly what we spoke about before the game. Try and kill the crowd, try and take the heat out of the game. And thats exactly what we did, until the free kick that was given against us, which was just a terrible decision. And that put them back in the game.
But at the same time, we did have some chances that we could have equalized. Obviously we took the lead . . . so its kind of the same-old-same-old, which is getting old for everybody, but facts are facts, and thats pretty much how it was.
Now, the Revolution play four of their next five games on the road. And the points have to start coming soon.
Theres a sense of desperation that we need to start playing better as a team, as a unit, Joseph said. But we need to pick up points too, which is important.
Luckily for the Revs as they stand in dead last place in the Eastern Conference with 15 points nobody else in the conference has necessarily ran away with it, as the first place Philadelphia Union only have 26 points.
At least, an 11-point difference isnt something that scares New England.
That still says that, even though we havent been able to get on track, if we get one or two wins, then we can be right back in the thick of it, Joseph said.
We need to start picking up points, and start playing better as a team.
That starts on Monday night in Salt Lake City.
For us, its about the same as we did every weekend, Nicol said. We want to go there and kill the crowd, kill the game, try and get ourselves ahead again. And this time, hopefully, things will go with us, and will stay that way.
Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.