The New England Revolution is only four games into the 2019 MLS season, and
it is in trouble.
The Revs remained winless when they lost, 2-0, at home to expansion FC Cincinnati. Kekuta Manneh scored in the 44th minute, and Kenny Saief added a goal in the 65th minute for FC Cincinnati, which is now 2-1-1.
Head coach Brad Friedel listed off the problems with the Revs, beginning with how they played in the first half.
"You had one half that we probably had five or six players that lacked any kind of desire to work," he said. "You know, it’s as simple as that. When you’re playing a team that will hit the amount of long passes that they do, and only play for second balls, [Victor] Ulloa and [Leonardo] Bertone. I’m not trying to take away from their points at all and all they do is win the second ball and then break. You have to work through that. It doesn’t matter what team you are in the world. Take the biggest of the biggest names. You have to work to earn the right to get the ball. So, the first half, we did not work to earn that right to have the ball."
Friedel won't say the Revs' problem was it didn't take FC Cincinnati seriously enough.
"I think there’s a whole host of reasons when you’re sitting bottom of the Eastern Conference," he said. "There could be a lack of confidence. There could be nerves. There could be not [being] fit enough to do that kind of work. There could be not wanting to do the dirty side of the game, because it’s not every player in the world that likes to do that. Again, it’s the stuff that never gets printed."
He wouldn't say the problems were due to a lack of spending, listing off what's been done recently.
"We will have another Designated Player coming through the door," he said. "And when? We’re trying desperately to get that before May 7. If not, it will be July, but that will happen. Thirty-five million dollar training facility, to take us up to the next level. A lot of money poured into the academy. Absolutely, we have the same salary cap as every other team in the league. So, as far as resources and scouting, we’ve never had scouts before, since I’ve been here. We’ve hired two full-time and I’m sure we’ll look to expand on that, as and when needed. The resources are here.”
He said he didn't like having to talk about losing -- especially to FC Cincinnati, which was depleted by international call-ups.
"That doesn’t make me happy," he said. "And I will be in here with my staff trying to figure out how we make it better. I mean, that’s what we do. I don’t stand up here and tell you guys stories that I don’t think are true. So, yes, mentality. Mentality of a player in this league, a lot of the players, when they lose, it doesn’t hurt enough. There’s no relegation. They don’t get fined. They don’t have fans waiting by their cars. They don’t have people beating them up. They don’t have all this. They don’t have the pressures that they have in other leagues. So, we have to, as a staff, put the pressure on them or we have to find the players that it doesn’t matter. Some people are self-motivated. Some people aren’t."
Photo: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire