Around the 60th minute of tonight's DCU-Revs match, I was going to write a long(ish) post about how the Revs aren't built to score goals, but rather, to prevent goals. Yes - goal prevention. With a young, but talented, back four and no goal artist on the pitch, the Revs had no choice but to suffocate their opponent, then, if by chance, they squeezed in a goal here and there, maybe, just maybe, they'd reach the 40-point plateau on the final day of the season.
Then, Steve Nicol sent out Kenny Mansally. And the newly-numbered seven single-handedly turned my post into a mourned fantasy.
As you may have witnessed on CSNE, or on Direct Kick, or on the lower bowl of RFK Stadium, Chris Tierney, who may or may not be the same Chris Tierney who slow-footed it through Open Cup and late-match moments the last two seasons, carried the ball down the left, and spun a cross into the box, where Mansally met it, then put it to bed to give the Revs their first lead of the season.
And just as the Revs finished celebrating, Kenny quickly returned to the scene of the crime, and as Kenny Mansally is often wont to do when two defenders are near, he juked both, and uncorked a quail under the upper 90.
2-0 Revs. On the road. In DC. Without the following players:
I know: it's early. Twenty-eight games remain unplayed. Injuries will bite the Revs all season long because that's what injuries do best to every team, except for the Big Green. Players will get tired. Steve Nicol will make incredibly suspect substitutions. And so on.
But you can't help but be encouraged. Seth Sinovic is a smart, physical defender. Incoming veteran Cory Gibbs has anchored the backline nicely. Sainey Nyassi is becoming a complete player. And what is up with the new and improved for 2010 Tierney? Where has this guy been the last two seasons?
Last week, the Revs looked really green. And even after tonight's win, they still do. DC bought quality chances wholesale in the first twenty minutes. Had it not been for poor finishing and the left leg of Preston Burpo, it could've easily been 2-0 DC at the half. And who knows if, at that point, Nicol doesn't instead send out Khano rather than Kenny for Zack Schilawski. You can never tell with a Scouser sometimes.
Anywho, the plain and simple of it is that the Revs return home with three points in the pocket. Goal prevention? Maybe so. But it doesn't hurt to find a brace off the bench once in awhile.