Skidding Revolution draw another blank
FOXBOROUGH — The Revolution tried nearly everything to break their winless streak last night. They went to a two-striker formation. They hired Rene Rancourt to deliver the national anthems.
The switch to a 4-4-2 alignment helped transform the Revolution attack. But none of the Bruins’ good fortune associated with Rancourt rubbed off on the Revolution in a 0-0 tie with Toronto FC, extending their winless streak to five games, last night at Gillette Stadium.
“We had, what, 19 shots, 11 corner kicks?’’ Revolution coach Steve Nicol said. “We’ve had plenty of the ball in the final third and we haven’t produced that bit of quality that’s needed. And that pretty much says it all.
“It really comes down to the final third and we didn’t have the quality when it was needed. We come back to the crux, that we’re just lacking that killer pass or that killer finish or killer run. We were just half a yard short.’’
The Revolution went to the two-forward setup in the second half of a 2-1 loss to New York last Friday, and the pairing of Rajko Lekic and Kenny Mansally showed enough signs for Nicol to go with it from the start against Toronto. The Revolution (3-7-5, 14 points), who host Chicago Saturday, remain in 16th place in the overall MLS standings.
“It’s the same situation as this game,’’ Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis said of Saturday’s game. “We need 3 points and we all know it’s a desperate time for us, and we have to play as if our backs are against the wall.’’
Lekic was in excellent position at least twice. In the 58th minute, Lekic volleyed inches wide of the right post off a Kevin Alston cross. In the 71st minute, Lekic could not catch up to a low ball from Mansally in the goal area.
“There were two, the final pass there was too much on it,’’ Nicol said. “That’s how close and how far away we are from scoring goals. Almost, but almost doesn’t get you goals — keep banging away, you know, a break, a good ball, or a good finish, or something. We need to be encouraged that we’ve had plenty of the ball in the final third, we need to be positive.’’
Though the Revolution set the tone in the opening half, Toronto had the best chance, an Alan Gordon header cleared off the line by Alston in the 36th minute.
Sainey Nyassi replaced Zak Boggs on the right wing after halftime. Then, Zack Schilawski paired with Lekic at forward for the final 22 minutes, Mansally moving to the left wing. Both moves added a dimension to the offense.
“We’ve created enough chances to win games the last two games, but we haven’t done it,’’ Reis said. “It’s really frustrating. It’s a team sport and we all have to do our jobs. My job is to keep the ball out of the net and I’m trying to do that, and these guys aren’t trying to miss the goal. So, we win as a team and we lose as a team. The key is we’ve got to keep creating chances and once a couple go in, I think, as they say, the floodgates will open.
“Toronto and Chicago are two teams that are within our reach to catch them and move up in the standings, and that’s the biggest thing. The biggest disappointment has been that the points have been out there for us to take and we haven’t taken advantage of that.
“The Eastern Conference isn’t as strong and a couple bounces, a couple goals, and we could be second, first place. But it hasn’t been that way this year and we have to keep fighting, we can’t really put our heads down.’’
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.