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Lack of Firepower Hurts Revs, Again
ESPN Soccernet, November 19th, 2007 4PM

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New England Revolution Coach Steve Nicol was typically pragmatic in his assessment of the Revs' 2-1 MLS Cup final loss to the Houston Dynamo: "They had two chances in the game and scored. We had numerous chances and no score." For Nicol, that's what separated the two teams on Sunday, not some "curse" that many have suggested hangs over his club. New England simply didn't have the quality in front of goal to finish the game off.

Soccer columnist Ives Galarcep couldn't agree more. In three consecutive MLS Cup appearances, New England has scored just twice. Heading into this year's final, the Revs carried a playoff average of less than a goal per game. In fact, one man scored all three of the team's playoff goals. It's this over-reliance on striker Taylor Twellman that has curtailed New England's title efforts, says Galarcep. The Revs simply don't have enough goal-scorers -- or at least, they don't have enough big game goal-scorers. You can't rely on one guy to score all the time, and that's been a major difference between New England and Houston in the playoffs, both this year and last. Pat Noonan, Twellman's striking partner, "did little during these playoffs" says Galarcep, and has been injured too frequently over the past few years.

Clearly, Nicol needs to add a first-rate striker to his squad for next season. Perhaps Nicol's comments indicate that he understands Twellman needs help up front. Perhaps the Kraft family is ready dust off that designated player slot and put it to good use?

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