Tuesday, September 30, 2008

See you...in October

Ah, September. We hardly knew ye.

It was a month filled with pressure (two must win-matches), promise (CONCACAF Champions League), and putrid performances. It opened with a stunning 4-0 Revolution loss to Joe Public FC, which was duly followed by another 4-0 loss to the Columbus Crew. Within five days, the Revs gave up a total of eight goals. That's an average of 1.6 goals per day, which includes days in which they didn't even play a match. I'll say it for you: that's not good.

Then, they reversed their fortunes with a cathartic 4-0 victory over Chivas on the 11th, given a nine-day rest, and took an impressive draw 1-1 within the unfriendly confines of The Dick. This gave many hope.

But the Revs reverted to their goal-starved ways on the 27th and dropped a must-win match against the Crew. It may not have been "must-win" in the sense of clinching a playoff position. Barring a team-wide mononucleosis outbreak, the Revs are likely to clinch a berth within the next two weeks.

But to be the best, you must beat the best. The Crew are the best. The Revolution, given two chances in three weeks, not only failed beat the best, they couldn't even score against the best. I've done the arithmetic for you. That's 5-0 total, kids. The gap between first and second place in the east is much greater than eight points. After watching Soccer Ineptitude, New England v2.0 on Saturday night, I can't help but believe that a considerable gulf stands between the Revs and the Crew.

In short - if this is a trend, the Revs stand little to no chance of becoming anything more than MLS playoff fodder. The chemistry up top is about as punchy as a Bill Belichick press conference. When the ball isn't getting to Twellman, there are going to be problems, my friends. The four-man backline is the worst experiment the region's seen since JoJo started dating Freddy Adu. They've won exactly one game using this formation - against FC Dallas back in April.*

(*1-0. In Dallas. Somehow, Krazy Khano scored the tally. Six starters were unavailable. Gary Flood "starred" at center mid, Amaechi Igwe and Chase Hilgenbrinck were wingbacks, and Adam Cristman and Kenny Mansally were strikers. The only thing missing was an Argenis Fernandez sighting. It was an odd and peculiar game.)

In order for the Revs to find their rhythm, they need to get Mansally/Dube and Twellman on the same page. They need to banish the four-back routine. They need to beat teams that don't suck. KC (twice) and D.C. United should be relatively easy victories. Let's see how they do against RSL on Saturday - a team on the rise, and one that has historically been a PITA for the Revs since Britney started making babies. If they can claim three points, I'll print out this post, dab some Heinz Ketchup on it, and eat it like a thin, but tough, piece of tortilla flatbread. If they lose, I'll eat a Tim Horton's doughnut. Without ketchup.

Paper or Doughnut? We'll see on Saturday night.

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