The New England Revolution sit on a two-game losing streak after a skillful Sporting Kansas City team blanked the Revs 3-0 on Saturday. The Revolution, who were once positioned at fifth place in the Eastern Conference, now stand at seventh place, one point behind the Chicago Fire in sixth place and three points behind the Houston Dynamo in fifth place.
The first half saw Sporting Kansas City take a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute with Kei Kamara’s header over Kevin Alston, the Revs defender who had miraculously made his return to soccer after being diagnosed with leukemia in April. This goal was obviously due to the Revs’ back line giving Soony Saad too much space and time on the wing to serve a cross to Kamara. You couldn’t really blame Alston for this goal considering the fact that Kamara’s strength and height are superior to Alston’s.
In the 40th minute, Lee Nguyen’s lobbed through ball broke Dimitry Imbongo free for the Revs. Unfortunately, the French striker couldn’t finish the breakaway opportunity as Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen stuffed his low strike. Imbongo had been challenging Sporting’s back line the whole game; however, he only broke through on this specific occasion, and he couldn’t take advantage of it to tie the game 1-1.
The next goal arrived in the 58th minute with the Saad-Kamara connection devastated the Revs once more. Again, the Revolution backline gave Saad way too much time and space to service Kamara. Alston didn’t have the chance clearing this ball away, as Kamara used his size to seize enough inside positioning to give himself a threatening headed opportunity.
In stoppage time, former Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber would curl in a free kick past Bobby Shuttleworth to officially give Sporting the win, and although the Revs possessed a couple of chances in the closing minutes, there weren’t enough of them to overcome a sizable deficit.
This match should’ve been closer, but the Revolution didn’t come out of the gate looking to pressure Sporting’s forwards and back line. The Revs gave Sporting KC a lot of breathing room, and the best team in the Eastern Conference took advantage of that space.
The Revolution should play with purpose in their next match against the Chicago Fire on Saturday.