Takeaway Points: New England
The Crew's six match unbeaten run came to an end Wednesday in New England as the Black & Gold fell to the Revolution 2-0. Here are three leftovers from the midweek defeat:
1. NO EXCUSES
None of the Crew players will use the turf at Gillette Stadium as an excuse for the loss, but it was evident through the 90 minutes on Wednesday that the team wasn't comfortable playing on the artificial surface.
"I think [turf] effects every team’s style of play," goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum said after the match. "You have to go a little bit more of a direct approach and it can be tough if you’re a team that likes to get the ball on the ground. Some turf is better than others, but at the same time everyone has to deal with it and we didn’t do the best job doing that."
What's more, Wednesday's match was the Crew's seventh in a 21 day span. Head Coach Robert Warzycha said afterward that it was neither the turf nor the fatigue that led to the Crew's defeat, but an instance of the Revolution wanting it more.
"Well we can see [seven games in 21 days] as one of the excuses," Warzycha explained. "We could use the excuse that we were playing on turf, [both] of those things were probably a factor to why we played how we played, but more than anything we just have to score goals. Like I said, today New England wanted it more.
2. HAMMER BEING HAMMER
Despite the loss, Andy Gruenebaum shined once again between the posts to deny the New England defense of multiple scoring opportunities to keep the Crew in the game. With his seven saves on Wednesday night, Gruenebaum now sits at 100 saves on the season, just 34 away from Tom Presthus' single season record set back in 2001.
New England's two goals were later described as 'flukey' by the Crew 'keeper as one was a loose ball cleaned up in front of net by Dimitry Imbongo and the other was a miscommunication between Gruenebaum and Chad Marshall that resulted in an own goal.
"Just two fluky goals," Gruenebaum said after the game. "[The goals] shouldn’t happen. It just never should happen. Obviously, miscommunication on the second one. The first one, just bouncing around … just two fluky goals."
3. STAYING POSITIVE
Despite the defeat, Robert Warzycha and his team are staying positive as the team makes its push for the postseason.
"We have to have that long-term (positive) perspective," Eddie Gaven said postgame. "We’ve been able to go from being in seventh place and being out of the playoff picture, to right on the edge now in a pretty decent spot for the final push. I think the team definitely has a very positive mindset still, even after this loss tonight, and we’re just going to try and make it better as we go forward."
The team will get a 10 day break before heading to New York to face the Red Bulls on September 15.
"We get a break here, which is nice. Legs are definitely heavy, but this is the time of year when you’ve got to be playing your best soccer. We’ve got to find a way to do that and make a good push for the playoffs," Gaven finished.