It is often ludicrous to pin a team’s struggles completely on its goalkeeping, especially when that club continues to provide enough goal support for their keeper(s). When your keeper gets you to the final minutes of the match holding a clean sheet, he has obviously done all he can to keep his team in the contest. But while Bobby Shuttleworth was superb for most of the match, it is telling that he has been on the pitch for both Revolution losses this season while the other man in the tandem, Matt Reis, is 1-0-1 after two starts.
Of course, it has been Shuttleworth’s poor luck to play on both occasions where the Revs would fail to score a single goal. Now mired in ninth in the Eastern Conference, the problem for New England lies less with the specific goalkeepers and more with the vacillations of head coach Jay Heaps. Flip-flopping his keepers from match to match, Heaps has kept his back four from gaining any semblance of synergy with either man in net for the Revolution.
It is also noteworthy that the New England attack has scored just one goal in four games. For most of their match Saturday against FC Dallas, the Revolution were matching the visitors chance for scoring chance. Yet Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez was in position to clean up every opportunity, and when Blas Perez sneaked behind the New England back line to receive David Ferreira’s chip toward the post it was a near-certainty that the home side would have no answer.
If the Revolution continue to play without any semblance of offensive verve, they will have no chance of recovering ground in the Eastern Conference hunt — and Heaps might be out of a job by the dog days of summer.
FC DALLAS @ NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
March 30, 2013
- 87′ — DAL/Blas Perez (David Ferreira)
- NE (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth; Kevin Alston (Chris Tierney/88′), Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell; Clyde Simms; Diego Fagundez (Andy Dorman/85′), Ryan Guy (Kelyn Rowe/60′), Juan Carlos Toja, Lee Nguyen; Jerry Bengston
- DAL (4-2-3-1): Raul Fernandez; Jair Benitez (Bobby Warshaw/89′), Matt Hedges, George John, Zach Loyd; Michel, Andrew Jacobsen; Fabian Castillo (Je-Vaughn Watson/82′), David Ferreira, Jackson; Kenny Cooper (Blas Perez/64′)