New England Revolution Woes & the Meaning of the Summer Slump


The New England Revolution fell 3-0 to FC Dallas on Saturday night, extending their current winless streak to four. Overall, that makes the Revs winless in 10 out of their last 11 MLS matches. The game itself was a disaster. No in-depth comments needed here. But folks, we have a much more important issue at hand. Brace yourselves, the summer slump has arrived.

For those of you who are new to the Revs and are unfamiliar with this time of the year, welcome to the season of long streaks of lousy performances, loads of managerial excuses, and seas of empty blue seats. If you can make it out of these summer months still watching the Revs then you should probably use that dedication and commitment for a club that actually cares about its fans. Unfortunately, the Revs don’t seem to fit the bill.

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Since Jay Heaps took over as coach, the Revs have experienced three excruciating summer slumps. The Summer Slump of 2011 was like no other (entering my nostalgic grandfather narration). From May 21st to September 14th, the Revs only registered a single win in 17 games. In 2013, they managed 1 win in 14 games in the summer months, and, in 2014, they suffered 8 straight losses going into August.

Although we manage to make our way out of these rough patches (for the most part), there exists a deeper underlying issue with this organization that breeds such inconsistency. It is known to all fans, but ignored by those who are paid to cover the team (again, for the most part).

The issue is owner Robert Kraft (surprise, surprise) and his stingy approach to building the Revolution roster. In a league where the salary cap keeps the quality of every non-DP roster relatively equal across all teams, DPs (Designated Players), and the money owners spend to acquire them, become the forces that win MLS Cups and Supporters’ Shields.

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Last year was essentially the year of the DPs, with Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane working the Revs to their limits in the Cup final, and Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey bursting onto the scene to take the Supporters’ Shield for Seattle Sounders FC. A year before, Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill led the New York Red Bulls to the Shield, while Sporting KC flexed their muscles to the MLS Cup with eventual DPs Matt Besler and Graham Zusi (both Best XI selections).

The bottom line: The league is changing. If we expect to win anything moving forward, Kraft needs to cough up the money.

There can be no more relying on coaches to muster up a lineup that can manage its way through an entire season, as was the case in Steve Nicol’s era. Heaps has shown that he has struggled tremendously with “average” players. If this organization is serious about winning, another top quality DP should be on the books for Heaps to work with.

Until then, I will keep refraining from attending games and giving my money to an owner who couldn’t care less about the team. The fans deserve better, and to sit back through yet another summer slump, while the club continues to be managed in the same disinterested way, is the definition of insanity.

Next: New England Revolution: Games Are Not The Place For Politics