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Devastated Revolution search for positives in wake of 5th MLS Cup defeat

New England Revolution MLS Cup Final 2014

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today Sports


CARSON, Calif. — For the fifth time in as many opportunities, the New England Revolution fell short in an MLS Cup Final.

A franchise that has endured as many heartbreaking defeats as any in the league, the Revolution suffered a loss Sunday that seemed all too familiar. Much like the four prior trips to the title game, the Revolution saw their season come to an end, losing in 2-1 in extra-time to the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center.

There was no trophy, no celebration. Just a world of frustration and pain.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t devastated,” said goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. “I think this team really came together and they grinded out a lot of good results toward the end of the year. This locker room is so tight and all of these guys are great friends. It hurts a lot right now. We had a good year, but it’s tough to look at it right now.”

Added a visibly somber Teal Bunbury: “Everybody was pushing each other. It really is devastating and disappointing for all the fans that came out, the family members, all of the people that have supported us the whole season, but they’ve got to be proud as well. We gave it everything we got.”

The Revolution were reminded, once again, that the sport truly comes down to inches.

Just moments after seeing Chris Tierney net the equalizer, Bunbury tapped a looping effort that soared up and over Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo before smacking off the crossbar in an effort that would have all but secured the club an MLS Cup title.

“Late in the game, it’s unfortunate,” said New England head coach Jay Heaps. “I thought we could have gotten a little help on that.”

“I wish it would have gone in,” echoed Bunbury. “It was that close.”

Unfortunately for the Revolution, Bunbury’s effort proved to be the team’s best chance at securing the club’s first MLS Cup. Despite a general consensus that the team went toe-to-toe with the Galaxy, Robbie Keane’s extra-time winner ensured that New England would, once again, leave a cup final empty handed.

“I thought we played well. I thought we matched up great against them,” Bunbury said. “We maybe didn’t have as many counter attacks, but we possessed the ball quite a bit. We had great movement and I feel like we were able to capitalize on some chances and keep the ball going, but Robbie Keane, MVP, a legend, he’ll do that to you.”

Despite the disappointment, the Revolution found some sense of positivity in Sunday’s defeat. With an admittedly young and inexperienced roster, the team has aspirations of getting over the hump next season by keeping together a majority of the group’s core.

“I think the biggest thing for us coming into next season is that we need to use this as motivation,” Shuttleworth said. “We need to try to win the Supporters’ Shield and host this game. I think, going forward, it’s important for us to reflect on it and take the negatives right now, but we have to take the positives and take that into next season.”

“I hope that everybody can get healthy and come back good and concentrate on next season,” added Jermaine Jones. “I think the big point is that if you’re concentrated, then you really can battle with anybody in this league.”

With that, New England hope to battle its way back to this point again next season in an effort to finally bury the ghosts of disappointment that reared their ugly head once again Sunday.

“It is what it is,” Heaps said. “I’m going to try and do it again sometime, to get these guys back here. That’s what it’s all about.”


  1. First half was a little sloppy and Revs almost gave up a goal in the first minute. But hey its the big game and everyone has a little extra adrenaline flowing.

    Once the game settled down it was a very good game to watch. Yes it was a closed game until the first goal but a closed game is not necessarily a bad game. Both sides had tremendous defensive efforts. The Revs used up a couple of their lives early.

    Not every player displayed the level of talent we are used to seeing from them. Nguyen wasn’t in his best form but he did help possess the ball. He just didn’t get the space he needs to move forward. Credit LA for playing a disciplined midfield defense and not pushing forward until they were ready.

    The Revs had a couple of opportunities on the break. If only Bunbury would’ve spotted Rowe with 40 years of clear space in front of him. Mullins take and pass back was outstanding.

    The Gals had fewer real chances later in the game but they only needed one. Credit Keane. They guy is money.

  2. Despite the 4-0 drubbing in September, yesterday’s good, but less then dominating performance by LA left me wondering how they would have fared against a rested and in-form RBNY team that took NE to the limit.

  3. Revs played some of their best soccer I’ve seen from them in ages. Like their other MLS Cup teams, they had a good overall team. I’d say this was a better Revs team. But Galaxy is just a well built team. Solid veterans and good youngsters. Revs came close with the Bunbury lob that hit the post. But Galaxy had just enough to win. The G’s were tired. The Revs and fans should be happy. They have a solid overall team. They could go far next season.

    • Overall, NE didn’t play poorly. However, some players were a non-factor like Davies and Nguyen. I thought their spacing on the counter was poor and they made some poor decisions, especially just outside the 18 as everyone but Jones and Rowe passed up shots. On the non PK call, Nguyen should have shot first time rather than try to dribble.

  4. They can hold their heads high, I thought the Gals deserved the win but it wasn’t anywhere near as one sided as I expected. Honestly the West was so much better than the East all season it would have been crazy to have and East team win the cup. NE will be good/better next year I think.


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