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Revolution are low on chances

Playoffs still possible despite late letdowns

“We need to win’’
By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / September 10, 2011

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FOXBOROUGH - Shalrie Joseph has been in the middle of the action for the Revolution during the best and worst of times. And Joseph is trying to maintain equilibrium as the Revolution recover from a series of late-game collapses.

“Practice was loose, everybody is trying to focus on [tonight’s] game,’’ Joseph said yesterday. “We realize that we’re mathematically still in the running for the playoffs coming into the last set of games and that we need to win. We need to get 3 points against Dallas, one of the best teams in the league, and we need to work and fight for everything.’’

The Revolution squandered a three-goal halftime advantage in a 4-4 tie at Philadelphia Wednesday. They have scored first in nine of their last 11 matches, but have been able to protect the lead only in a 1-0 decision at D.C. United July 20.

“It’s really frustrating we can’t hang onto a lead and can’t seem to put 90 minutes together,’’ Joseph said. “To give up so many goals, it’s frustrating and disheartening that we can’t put 90 minutes together and get those points, which will be crucial to put us in a position to make a run if we want to be in the playoffs.’’

Joseph has been involved in worse collapses. In 2003, his first year with the team, the Revolution held a two-goal lead through 82 minutes, but lost, 4-2, to D.C. United. But that defeat occurred in July, the Revolution recovering to advance to the playoffs.

The Revolution (4-11-12, 24 points) are running out of time this season. But they appear to have found an effective attacking combination with Milton Caraglio and Rajko Lekic at forward, Chris Tierney and Monsef Zerka on the wings, and Benny Feilhaber and Joseph in midfield.

“Even though he came in out of shape, he’s worked so hard to get in incredible shape,’’ Joseph said of Caraglio. “If we had a couple more weeks, a preseason with him, with this team, it would make such a huge difference. But we can’t really wait for that to happen. We just have to go out and make it happen. We don’t know each other that well because we haven’t been able to play with that same 11 on the field. But we can’t make excuses, we just have to go out there and work hard and leave it all on the line and, after the 90 minutes, be proud whatever the result is. We have to take it to Dallas.’’

The Revolution are 0-3-4 at home since a 1-0 victory over Vancouver May 14.

“This group has shown the whole season they want to win,’’ coach Steve Nicol said. “We just haven’t finished it off when we should have done on too many occasions. We need to be committed and get after it and get over that final hurdle. We’ve always been committed and the will to win has always been there. If we continue to do that, for sure we’ll get the result we want.’’

Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at

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