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Revolution’s goal: Create some offense

By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / June 6, 2011

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Coach Steve Nicol’s plan to solidify the Revolution defense appears to be succeeding this season. But the moves to improve the team’s possession game so far have failed.

The Revolution’s 1-0 loss to FC Dallas Saturday in Frisco, Texas, highlighted most of the team’s strengths and weaknesses. The Revolution remained compact and resolute defensively, but they created few chances. The absence of Benny Feilhaber (ankle sprain) and Marko Perovic (knee), plus the slow recovery of players such as Ousmane Dabo and Didier Domi have altered the team’s tactics.

Though the Revolution were able to absorb FC Dallas’s pressure, they were unable to launch counterattacks. Marvin Chavez scored in the 69th minute, converting a close-in shot following a run down the right flank. Then, the Revolution moved Shalrie Joseph forward and began threatening, but they were unable to snap a six-game streak of failing to score a goal in the run of play.

“We absolutely hung in there but we need to do more than that,’’ Nicol said yesterday. “The biggest problem is we are turning the ball over easily, and you are always going to be under pressure when you do that.

“It is hard to win away from home in MLS. For a start, we were away, and when you turn the ball over so much — the most disappointing thing is we are turning it over when we are not under pressure. That’s the biggest thing. When they’re breathing down your neck and putting you under pressure, you understand that. But too many times when we’re not under any pressure we are doing that, so we’re putting ourselves under pressure.

“Absolutely, it’s mental. There are certain things you have to do to make a pass. And we have to be more consistent. You have to have your feet in the right position to make a pass, a lot of small things go into making a simple, straightforward pass.’’

Dabo and Domi were replaced early in the second half.

“It was 90-something degrees and both of them had been injured and weren’t 100 percent,’’ Nicol said. “The decision to make changes was to make sure they don’t get injured again and also give us some fresh legs.’’

Feilhaber, injured during a 1-0 loss to Los Angeles, the day before he was scheduled to join the US national team for the Gold Cup, is expected to miss three weeks.

“That affects us, but we can’t hide behind that,’’ Nicol said. “We have to make it work and get on with it and win. Like everything else we’ve got to work at it. There’s not any other way to do it — work at it and try and get better every day and you’ll produce it on game day.’’

The Revolution plan to bring in a proven attacking player during the transfer period next month.

“Absolutely, we are looking to bring somebody in,’’ Nicol said. “Certainly that would help us. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that will solve all our problems, but it will certainly help.’’

Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at f_dellapa@globe.com.

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