BRIDGEVIEW, IL - AUGUST 18: Fernando Cardenas #80 of the New England Revolution slides into Patrick Nyarko #14 of the Chicago Fire in the first half during their MLS match at Toyota Park on August 18, 2012 in Bridgeview, Illinois. (Photo by John Gress/Getty Images)

Fire 2, Revolution 1: Mental Mistakes Crush New England Again In Defeat

The New England Revolution were unable to keep errors and miscues out of their game against the Chicago Fire on Saturday night as they fell 2-1. The loss extends their winless streak to seven games, and their losing streak to four.

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Revolution Vs. Fire Final: Defensive Errors And Flagging Offense Lead to 2-1 Loss For New England

The New England Revolution lost their fourth straight match on Saturday night against the Chicago Fire, falling 2-1 in a match riddled with defensive errors. The loss extends their winless streak to seven games.


Revolution Vs. Fire Update: New England Takes Field Down 2-1 To Chicago In Second Half

The New England Revolution have let mistakes creep into their game and punish them again on Saturday night as they prepare to take the pitch in the second half against the Chicago Fire trailing 2-1. The Revolution did some good things in the first half, but defensive errors have again proven to be their undoing.

Chicago was off to a dream start in the fourth minute when A.J. Soares took down Chris Rolfe in the box to concede a penalty. Rolfe converted it himself to put the Fire in the lead. The error really began, however, just before that, when Clyde Simms lost the run of Rolfe into the box and left him free to receive the ball, stranding Soares.

New England fought back in the 11th minute with a scrappy goal from Fernando Cardenas. The Colombian celebrated his sixth start of the season - and first in well over a month - by bundling home a deflection after a Saer Sene cross.

Once again, though, mistakes hurt the Revolution as Chicago found a way to take the lead. The Fire earned an attacking throw-in at 25 minutes, and the Revs inexplicably shut off. While most of the New England defense was walking around and paying no attention to the ball, Patrick Nyarko made a slashing run into the box and beat Kevin Alston to the throw-in before delivering a cross to the head of Sherjill MacDonald, who was only loosely marked by Soares. The Revs have talked about the issues they've had with staying focused for a full 90 minutes, and that goal was an example of the problem.

Prior to the second goal, it did look as though the Revs were beginning to control the play. The midfield saw a lot of the ball, but the Revs seemed to have issues finding the final ball. Stephen McCarthy nearly had a goal off a free kick in the 23rd minute, but his header was wide.

For the second half, New England has some positives to build on. They had the better of the possession in the first half with 56%, and if they can continue to win that battle, they will put themselves in good positions to get back into the match. Most importantly, here, the Revs need to stay focused defensively. If they give up another goal, they're as good as dead. Also, Chicago has been dominant in the air since their second goal, so the Revs need to be careful about conceding corners or free kicks.

Benny Feilhaber has come on in place of Lee Nguyen, and with Jerry Bengtson on the bench, Jay Heaps has some attacking options at his disposal to ignite the offense. New England needs to become more incisive in the final third both with their runs and with their passes to have any hope of creating decent chances.

For more Revolution coverage, visit our team page and blog, The Bent Musket.


Revolution Vs. Fire Update: Sherjill MacDonald's First MLS Goal Puts Fire Ahead 2-1

Just as soon as the New England Revolution fought their way back into their match with the Chicago Fire on Saturday night, they committed yet another mental mistake to concede the lead again. Sherjill MacDonald converted an easy header for his first MLS goal, putting the Revolution down 2-1 in the 25th minute.

The play started off of a throw-in, with the Revs apparently forgetting that there was a game still on. Patrick Nyarko made a slashing run into the box and received the ball off the throw, just getting to it before Kevin Alston and serving in a cross. MacDonald was lurking in the middle of the box, and it was the simple matter of leaping over A.J. Soares, whose marking was not very tight, and nodding the ball into the net from point blank range. For the Dutch DP, it was elementary.

For more Revolution coverage, visit our team page and blog, The Bent Musket.


Revolution Vs. Fire Update: Cardenas Goal Evens It Up At 1-1

The New England Revolution went down in the 4th minute off of a defensive mistake, but didn't let that get their spirits down against the Chicago Fire on Saturday night. Just seven minutes later they had their answer as Fernando Cardenas bundled the ball home to even the scores up at 1-1.

Saer Sene started the play by chasing down a long ball out of the back and gaining possession at the end line on the left. The Revs' leading scorer turned and crossed into the box, finding Cardenas, but the little Colombian was covered and couldn't direct the ball into the net. Instead, it squirted away into the six-yard box, but deflected off of a Fire defender and back at Cardenas, who frantically pushed the ball over the line from a prone position. It was an ugly goal, but they all count regardless.

For more Revolution coverage, visit our team page and blog, The Bent Musket.


Revolution Vs. Fire Update: Chris Rolfe Penalty Puts Chicago Up 1-0

The New England Revolution entered Toyota Park to face the Chicago Fire with hopes of breaking a six-game winless streak. To do that, they wanted to be more clinical in the final third, and cut out the defensive mistakes.

It is yet to be seen if they'll improve on the former, but they've already had issues with the latter. Difficulties in defense stranded A.J. Soares against an onrushing Chris Rolfe, and the former Cal standout took the Fire player down in the box to concede a penalty. Rolfe converted the spot kick to put the home side up 1-0 in just the 4th minute of the first half.

Rolfe initially started the play, and the defensive breakdown began when Stephen McCarthy stepped out to challenge him. Rolfe played the ball out left, and as he made his run into the box, McCarthy passed marking responsibility to Clyde Simms. Simms appeared to understand, but did not pay attention and broke off, allowing Rolfe a free run into the box. At that point, Soares was left stranded, and his tackle caught the player instead of the ball.

For more Revolution coverage, visit our team page and blog, The Bent Musket.


Revolution Vs. Fire Lineups: Benny Feilhaber And Jerry Bengtson On The Bench

The New England Revolution will search for their first regular season win at Toyota Park against the Chicago Fire without the services of Benny Feilhaber, at least from the opening whistle.

In a bold move, Jay Heaps has elected to start Feilhaber on the bench, instead starting Ryan Guy and Fernando Cardenas along with Clyde Simms and Lee Nguyen in midfield. There was no indication prior to the match that Feilhaber would not be a starter, so at the moment the move remains unexplained.

Benny hasn't had the best run of games lately, and some have speculated that he's been having difficulty getting along with Heaps and/or the rest of the players. Many critics have called on Heaps to change up the starting lineup in an effort to shake the Revs out of their recent slump, and if ever there was a daring move to do it, this would be it.

Jerry Bengtson is also relegated to the bench, as he evidently has not recovered sufficiently from traveling to and from Honduras' friendly against Boca Juniors in Miami. It would be a good bet to assume that he will feature at some point, but in any case it won't be from the match kick off.

Blake Brettschneider and Fernando Cardenas have returned to the starting lineup after both players spent considerable time as substitutes. Oddly, Dimitry Imbongo was not included in the match day 18.


Revolution: Matt Reis; Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Kevin Alston; Lee Nguyen, Clyde Simms, Ryan Guy, Fernando Cardenas; Blake Brettschneider, Saer Sene

Bench: Murray, Lechner, Rowe, Fagundez, Feilhaber, Barnes, Bengtson

Fire: Sean Johnson; Jalil Anibaba, Arne Friedrich, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares; Alvaro Fernandez, Daniel Paladini, Pavel Pardo, Patrick Nyarko; Chris Rolfe, Sherjill MacDonald

Bench: Nolly, Gargan, Bone, Videira, Pappa, Alex, Oduro

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