Breakdowns get to Joseph, Revolution
FOXBOROUGH - The Revolution’s failings got to captain Shalrie Joseph last night.
Joseph expressed his disappointment after a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes left the Revolution (5-15-12, 27 points) on the verge of completing one of their worst seasons.
“Hopefully, next year, we bring in a good bit of personnel,’’ Joseph said. “Everybody needs to get on board and start working hard and start realizing this is something we desperately need.
“This is a championship town and if we can’t be one of those teams people talk about, there’s no point for me to be here. I don’t want to be here. I’m the team leader, I’m the team captain, and it’s frustrating. People look upon me and I like that leadership role. I need to get the team into better shape and creating more chances, just being overall a better team.’’
Chris Wondolowski scored in the eighth and 82d minutes for San Jose. Benny Feilhaber countered in the 55th minute for the Revolution, who conclude their home schedule next Saturday against Columbus. The Earthquakes (7-11-14, 35 points) snapped a nine-game road winless streak.
“Right now we’re just not that team people want to talk about, people want to watch,’’ Joseph said. “Fans don’t come out and support, which is our fault. We don’t produce enough players out there that are exciting, that are good enough for them to come out and support.
“So that’s our fault for not winning games to have that support - you can hear a pin drop [last] night and it’s frustrating playing in front of a dead stadium, playing in front of people not supporting you. It takes a toll, it’s definitely frustrating being out there, another loss at home. I mean, what can I say? It’s just frustrating being a part of this right now.’’
Joseph has been among the league’s most effective midfielders since joining the Revolution in 2003 and leads the team in scoring with 8 goals this season.
“My first couple years here, we got to the finals so many times, and it was sweet,’’ Joseph said. “It was hard work, we definitely got rewarded.
“This franchise deserves better, these fans deserve better than what we give them [last] night. We’ve given them something this season that’s lackluster and they don’t deserve that.’’
The Earthquakes’ first goal resulted from a long clearance from goalkeeper David Bingham, who was making his first MLS start. Wondolowski slipped behind the Revolution back line, took a touch and finished past goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
But the Revolution regained their composure, controlling possession for long periods before Feilhaber finished with a spectacular close-in volley following a free kick. Then, the Earthquakes began to take control, producing a fluent buildup before Wondolowski headed in a Sam Cronin back-post cross.
“We make chances, don’t take them, and we give up bad goals,’’ Revolution coach Steve Nicol said. “Seen it too many times before. It’s not a case of motivation, to be honest. It’s people making mistakes. We went forward for most of the evening. We just haven’t been able to deal with counter attacks or simple long balls from the goalkeeper’s hand. That’s what’s done us [last] night - a 70-yard kick out from the goalie and a counterattack, which we haven’t dealt with, and we lose again.’’
The Revolution were eliminated from playoff contention last week with three games remaining in the season. But they have improved with the addition of players such as Feilhaber, Monsef Zerka, and striker Diego Fagundez.
“We’re just one or two players away from being a playoff-caliber team,’’ Joseph said. “But the challenge is there, we’ve got a lot of youth, we’ve got a lot of guys just waiting to make it to the next step, definitely our defense needs shoring up, we relied too much on them. You can’t play in this league and get away with so many mistakes and so many blunders that we’ve been doing. We’ve got to be able to score goals. We’ve got to be able to put those in and allow our defense time to relax and allow them that confidence that we’ll be able to score no matter what.
“But we’re just not that kind of team. It’s just frustrating we’re not good enough and we’re not putting a good product out there. And we’ve got to change that for next season.
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.