If ever a team was going to be distracted – check that, had a right to be distracted – it was the New England Revolution on Saturday.
Sure enough, Jay Heaps’ team had given up two goals in the first 10 minutes. That was as many as the defensively sound Revs had given up in five previous matches of 2013. It finished in a 4-1 Red Bulls win — although New England made a far better account than a three-goal margin would indicate.
So much had happened in and around the Revolution over the last several days, all of its connected to the terrible events in and around Boston. Even on Friday, the Revs travel into New Jersey was impacted.
The Revolution players and coaches talked before Saturday’s contest at Red Bull Arena about getting back onto the field, getting a little break from the heaviness of bombings, manhunts and teammates in the middle of it all, as goalkeeper Matt Reis was.
But it had to be tough, and it seemed to be as the Revolution gave up goals in the 4th and 8th minutes.
New England did get one in the middle, and most of this match played out as a 2-1 New York lead.
Heaps’ side applied pressure though the second half, especially after the introduction of Juan Toja and Saer Sene. They pushed the Red Bulls through about 30 minutes of the second half as the home team sat back in a strangely reactionary pose.
But the Red Bulls did get two late goals to make this one seem lopsided than it was.
The full highlight pack is here, including Fabian Espindola’s game-winning goal early from Red Bull Arena on Saturday.