The New England Revolution were two different teams in last night’s match which they tied 1-1 against the expansion Portland Timbers. New England's inconstancy led to a fairly disappointing result in front of a equally disappointing home crowd of 7,114 .
“We’re just disappointed all around," New England coach Steve Nicol said. "There were very few (good) things about tonight. I guess if you’re not on your game and you pick up points then you should be happy. But obviously we’re at home and we want three points. We don’t want one point.”
The first-half version of the Revolution were in great form. New England’s attack once again looked good as they continued with distributing out of the midfield to the flanks. Opportunities at were made through good passing moves. Midfielder Stephen McCarthy was the benefactor of the good attacking play which occurred in the first half. McCarthy scored his first ever MLS goal from a rebound off a Timbers defender.
“I think it came from the right side and hopped up maybe to the top of the box," McCarthy said of his goal. "I just saw a little opening on the right side and just hit it and was hoping it would go in and got lucky.”
Creating open play seemed to become an issue as the game went on. The second-half version of the Revolution were dull and lacking ideas. So dull, in fact, that it could have been their worst performance of the season. Nicol tried to compensate from losing the early lead by changing formation from a 4-5-1 to a more offensive minded 4-4-2 . This change never seemed to work as possession was lost to Portland and anytime New England gained the ball it would be lost again quickly. Passing later in the game seemed to be Nicol’s main issue with his side's play on the night.
“We just didn’t have any passing," he said. "Let’s be honest: very few times did we actually put three or four passes together and anytime we did, we actually nearly created things. But it was few and far between. “
French international Dider Domi looked good in the second half. Domi shut down play on the left flank forcing some of the Timbers into pressure in the middle of the field. However, this just made the gaps on the right side of the field more noticeable as Revolution right back Kevin Alston struggled to find the game.
New England need to get things in order heading into a heavy load this week with a match away to the Vancouver Whitecaps looming on Wednesday and a match against Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
Follow Goal.com on to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out Goal.com's page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!