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Thoughts on the Revolution's defense for final season stretch

Posted by Julian Cardillo  October 4, 2013 11:48 AM

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(Italo Alexander Photography)

The Revolution defense hasn't posted a shutout since Aug. 17. Eleven of the team's shutouts this season came before that date. That's a startling statistic for a team that has been so touted for its defensive resolve.

Four games remain in the regular season-- three of which are away from Gillette Stadium-- including this Saturday's match at New York.. All of those games are against teams that are currently ranked ahead of New England.

If the Revolution are going to make the playoffs, they'll have to find the same defensive form they had earlier in the season. That starts this weekend's against New York at Red Bull Arena.

Shutting out-- or at least silencing the Red Bulls-- won't be an easy task.

The Revolution have never won or tied at Red Bull Arena since the stadium opened in 2010 and have been outscored there 9-2.

New York's Thierry has been the Revolution back line's chief king of pain.

The former Barcelona and Arsenal spearhead has scored every time the Revolution has visited Red Bull Arena. He has nine goals this season, including one in a 4-1 win over the Revolution on April 20 in which he found space between defenders, ran into the penalty area, and effortlessly slotted the ball into the back of the net.

What's more, the first-place Red Bulls aren't over-relying on Henry. The team has scored 48 goals, giving them the second best offensive record in MLS.

The Revolution's back line is capable of dealing with some of the league's best offenses. This season, It has shutout Kansas City, Portland, and Los Angeles, all of which have scoring records within the top five of MLS.

Saturday is at least a must-tie for the Revolution. They'll need momentum going into next weekend's game versus Montreal, where they'll face another dangerous striker: league leading scorer Marco DiVaio.

The Eastern Conference playoff race is also starting to take shape. With relatively easy games left in their schedules, Chicago and Houston are the favorites to take the fourth and fifth playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

Re-finding their stingy defense is the Revolution's ticket to the post-season. The team may be in for a tough final stretch, but shutting out its remaining opponents is one of its best strategies.

If you want to reach Julian email him at julianccardillo@gmail.com and follow him on twitter @juliancardillo

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About Corner Kicks: Julian Cardillo offers insight and analysis about the New England Revolution as well as European and international soccer.

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