“We don’t deserve to be in the playoffs”: NE Revolution’s hopes dwindle after Houston loss
The New England Revolution’s Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs hopes took another massive hit Tuesday night with a 3-1 loss to Houston Dynamo FC at PNC Stadium.
The Revs (ninth place) are three points below the playoff line in the Eastern Conference with just three games remaining and every team around them with a game in hand.
The defeat in Houston came four days after falling at the New York Red Bulls and, considering post-match comments from sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena, it was the most disappointing result in a run that has only seen them win three times in their last 15 games (3W-6L-6D).
“I don’t know what the probability of us qualifying for the playoffs would be, I don’t think it’s great,” Arena said. “We’re certainly going to try to win our last three games, but we tried to win tonight. We tried to win in New York and we’ve come up short and we had a very poor homestand as well before this. So there’s no excuses. It was all there for us and we have not performed up to I think our expectations.”
It could have been even more lopsided if not for the heroics of goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic, who made eight saves, including a penalty-kick denial on Sebastian Ferreira in the 33rd minute — his fourth PK save of the season.
Revs captain Carles Gil also converted from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute, but that was where the positives ended for New England.
“We played poorly. There’s no excuses,” Arena said. “You can come up with a million of them. But we were we outplayed on the evening, we looked like a tired team, but also a team that didn’t play together. And we played poorly, 1-1 for about 70 minutes is a miracle that we were in the game, to be honest with you. So we got no excuses. We deserve to lose a game. And I got to accept the responsibility for the performance of that team. It wasn’t good.”
Arena subbed off defender Brandon Bye at halftime after what the boss called “a poor first half.” But Bye was hardly the only player Arena was disappointed in on the night.
“In all fairness to Brandon, I might have been able to replace eight or nine players based on that thinking,” Arena said. “But I expect more out of Brandon, I think this is his fifth year in this league and he should be pretty solid each and every game. So I was disappointed in that and that’s why I made the change.”
A brace by Fafa Picault in the final quarter hour finally put the match out of reach and the final whistle brought about more frustration for a team just a year removed from setting an MLS record for regular-season points (73) en route to winning the club’s first Supporters’ Shield.
Now, it would appear, the Revs are on the brink of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
“We lose many, many games, many chances to try to be there,” Gil said. “I think maybe we don’t deserve to be in the playoffs because I think we are not now a competitive team, me the first one, of course. So yeah. Difficult, difficult moment for everyone.”
WATCH: Hosed in Houston! Revolution lose to Dynamo, see playoff hopes fade