From the halls of Foxboro Stadium…

Revs Play for Draw, Get It

Posted by Mike Marshall on October 4, 2009

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” – Geoffrey Chaucer, 1374 AD

In retrospect, I should probably be happy with a point on the road in Colorado.  After all, the game was played three days after losing to the Artists Formerly Known as the Dallas Burn.  And it was played in Colorado, where the Revolution haven’t won since they employed the likes of Ian Fuller and Alex Pineda Chacon.

But the timid, overly careful manner in which Steve Nicol’s team emerged with a 1-1 draw leaves me shaking my head.

Yes, they deserve credit for taking the lead in the first half on a beautiful free kick from Kenny Mansally that Kheli Dube dutifully nodded home after Colorado’s Omar Cummings deemed the New England sophomore unworthy of marking.

And yes, the penalty call against Manny Osei was atrocious.  In fact, Baldomero Toledo is atrocious in general.  But Toledo is nothing if not equal opportunity atrocious.  And leave it to him to “make up” for his goof by red carding Julien Baudet for “striking” Dube with the same amount of force that I use when I check my three-month old daughter’s forehead to see if she has a temperature.

And so, in the heat of a playoff race, locked in tie match with 30 minutes to go and up a man, do the Revs turn up the pressure and go for what would have been three crucial points?

Would I be writing this if they had?

I very rarely criticize Steve Nicol for tactical decisions.  After all, he’s won just about every major trophy there is as a player, and I didn’t even play in High School.  But waiting for 23 minutes before substituting Mike Videira on for Nico Colaluca strikes me as playing it safe to a fault.

Yes, I understand that the bench was exceptionally short. (Note: I don’t want to hear again about how Gabby Badilla and Mauricio Castro are valuable depth.  Each had their butts super-glued to the bench last night.) But why wait so long to make a change?  And why bring off one midfielder for another?  Why not bring off someone like Amaechi Igwe and throw another body in the midfield, at least?

When I criticize Steve Nicol and wonder if he’s the right person to break through that proverbial glass ceiling, it’s nights like this I have in mind.

Other thoughts:

*  More Nico Colaluca, less Wells Thompson, please.  It befuddles me why we haven’t seen more of Nico since the trade.  He’s been a bit of an offensive spark whenever he’s played.

*  Manny Osei needs a raise.  He’s not Michael Parkhurst, but he’s pretty darn good.

*  Thought both Gambians played pretty well.  Nice to see Kenny work his way out of Chateau Bow-wow.  His development has been one of the bright spots this year.

*  He won’t win, but Darrius Barnes should get more Rookie of the Year votes then he will get.

*  Pablo Mastroeni clearly forgot to take his meds before the game.  Holy crap.

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