1. Tinkering with the defense played a role in the Revolution's loss- Even though Kevin Alston has speed and pace there are limits as to what he can do as a left back. He came into this league as a right back. Jay Heaps-- even if he's done it before-- can't expect Alston to be a pro at left back just because he puts him in that position. Alston got muscled off the ball and out-jumped twice by Kei Kamara, which led to two goals. Furthermore, giving Alston the start at left back pushed Chris Tierney into midfield. And though Tierney is certainly one of the Revolution's Swiss army knives, he's made a habitat as the team's go-to left back. Against Kansas City, he looked lost in midfield and actually seemed to cross less often.
2. Slow starts aren't exclusive to defending- You don't have to give up an early goal to start a game off slowly. Where was the Revolution's offense in the first half hour? The energy? The creativity? It was lacking. Whatever Heaps told the players at half time did the trick because they looked like a different team in the second half. Granted, they had already allowed a goal and had a mountain to climb. Yes, the Revolution managed to keep Kansas City from scoring in the opening minutes. But the offense is just as culpable when a team isn't playing its best soccer.
3. Dimitry Imbongo- No words. An offensive player has his third red card of the season. That has to be a team record. Both fouls by Imbongo were ill-advised. The fact that he was ejected wasn't proof that he needs maturing. The proof was when he took time off the clock, aggressively removed his jersey, and had to be pushed into the locker rooms by Heaps and his teammates. In the little time he had on the field, Chad Barrett added a nice spark to the offense.
Post-Script- This last thought may come across as sore-loser-ish, but there seem to be parties that agree with me. Baldomero Toledo should not referee another MLS match. Before I go on, let me just point out that an anonymous MLS player survey conducted by Sports Illustrated revealed that Toledo is viewed as the worst referee in the league. On Saturday night, he was inconsistent with the way he called fouls. He allowed his assistants to repeatedly raise their flags late. He failed to see two handballs against the Revolution. He made a poor decision by giving Stephen McCarthy two yellow cards in second half stoppage time. He made an even poorer decision of rescinding one of the yellow cards, which undermined his authority and control over the game, because someone (appears to be Tierney or Jose Goncalves) talked him out of it.
If you want to reach Julian, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on twitter @juliancardillo
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