I think it’s been well established that this past weekend’s 2-0 loss to Chivas USA was a back-breaker. Not only because it leaves the Revs nine points adrift of the final playoff spot with seven games remaining, but because they were thoroughly outplayed from the opening whistle in a game which they essentially needed to win. Just six days after a fantastic effort earned a 3-1 win over Seattle Sounders FC, the Revs simply couldn’t conjure a similar performance on the West Coast.
Postgame quotes from the players lamented the slow start, an inability to maintain possession for any length of time and a lack of quality scoring chances. But the really powerful words came from head coach Steve Nicol, who laid down the situation for the rest of the season with these 17 words:
“This is the time for the guys to show me and everybody else what they’re made of.”
Realistically, the Revs (7-13-3, 24 pts.) need to go 6-0-1 in their last seven games to put themselves in playoff contention, and that’s with trips to Colorado, Dallas, Houston and New York and home games against Columbus, Real Salt Lake and Kansas City still remaining. Bottom line, it would take something incredibly special for the Revs to extend their postseason appearance streak to nine years. That’s a fact.
With that said, to quote Nicol, this is the time for the guys to show what they’re made of. Professional athletes are prideful creatures and I can tell you the players in that locker room on Friday night were embarrassed. Whether or not the playoffs are within reach, they don’t want to experience that type of disappointment again.
OK, so the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas have combined for just two home losses all season, and that’s daunting when you’re headed to face both back-to-back. Especially when you’ve struggled on the road like the Revs have this season.
But there’s a saying which claims “the man who is soaking wet is not afraid of the rain.” In other words, beware the man who has nothing to lose, for he has only to gain …