Season comes down to a home-field disadvantage
FOXBOROUGH - The home field turned out to be a disadvantage for the Revolution this season. And the Columbus Crew used the Gillette Stadium artificial turf to their advantage in taking a 3-0 victory over the Revolution last night.
“We played direct,’’ Crew coach Robert Warzycha said. “Basically, on the turf that’s what you have to do. Usually, we play on the grass, we possess the ball a little more and have more fun. But scoring goals also is fun, so I think the guys responded well.
“It’s a difficult game, away from home. Even though [the Revolution’s] season didn’t go the way they wanted it to, they’re a very dangerous team. We’re not three goals better than them.’’
The Revolution have a 5-16-12 record (27 points) going into the final game of the season at Toronto FC Saturday. The Revolution’s previous low win total was in 2001 (7-14-6). In 1999, the Revolution officially had an 11-21 record, but had only six 3-point victories as the league determined tied results with a post-match shootout.
The Revolution, 4-7-6 at Gillette Stadium, finished with a losing home record for the third time. The Revolution had home-field records of 5-10-1 in 1998 and 4-10-2 in 1999 at Foxboro Stadium. The Revolution’s 17-24 home goal differential was their lowest goal total since 1999 (20-28) and the first time since 1998 they had scored more goals away (19) than at home. In 1998, the Revolution scored 53 goals (third-most in team history), 25 at home, but surrendered a team-record 66.
Garber eyes stadium
MLS commissioner Don Garber remains optimistic about a soccer-specific stadium being built in the Boston area. Garber said he recently attended a meeting with officials regarding the proposed stadium.
“Discussions are ongoing, and we are very supportive of plans to build a new stadium,’’ Garber said in a telephone interview last week. “The Krafts have built one of the great sports and entertainment complexes in the country. With the right level of public support, similar to other markets, I’m confident they can move forward on a stadium plan.’’
There could be more French players in MLS, if agent Jerome Meary has his way.
“We have 27 players under contract in French Ligue 1 and 2 who [want] to come in MLS,’’ Meary said. “The more French players we have in the league the more fame there is going to be in France [for MLS]. It’s getting bigger and bigger and more French players want to come for the quality of life in the US.’’
Meary clients Nicolas Dieuze and Junior N’Tame worked out with the Revolution last week. Dieuze, 32, a midfielder, played most of his career with Toulouse. N’Tame, 26, a defender, last played for Brest.
Revolution chief operating officer Brian Bilello believes the team will have a successful season-ticket renewal campaign despite its problems. “Obviously, it’s frustrating for our fans, and disappointing for everyone in the organization. It’s not where we want to be. Fans have been very loyal to us and we have to make sure we reward their faith.’’ . . . Goalkeeper Matt Reis was named the Revolution’s most valuable player and A.J. Soares best defender for the season. Midfield Zak Boggs and Reis gained the team’s humanitarian award.