Bruce Arena laments mistakes made throughout the 2022 season ‘we’ve shot ourselves in the foot’

The New England Revolution suffered their latest setback on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, falling 1-0 to CF Montreal to eliminate the possibility of making the 2022 MLS postseason. 

The Revolution now sit in 11th place on the Eastern Conference table, with 38 points in 32 games and a record of 9W-12L-11D. They’ve dropped a league-leading 29 points from a winning position this season, attributing to their current state. 

“If you go through the season, the number of games we’ve actually blown, just screwed up, is incredible,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “If you can think about the [New York] Red Bulls here, when we had that version of an own goal at the end of the game. I’m not sure I’ve seen that too many times in my life. The Philadelphia [Union] game, right at the end. If you start adding up these points, it’s actually remarkable. So, we’ve shot ourselves in the foot.”

It’s quite the contrast from last year, where they managed 73 regular-season points to stand as a frontrunner in the playoffs. 

“I think last year we gave up three [PKs] the entire year, that’s a killer,” Arena said. “We’ve been in position to have an opportunity to get results the entire year. The snow game here against [Real] Salt Lake, I still look back on. We’re ahead by two goals in a blizzard here and managed to blow that game.

“So there’s been some really poor play at the end of games this year. It’s cost us dearly. And you see right now. The race is so close for the playoffs. Imagine if we had those points.”

But this isn’t the same Revolution that led last year. The roster has seen significant turnover, with goalkeeper Matt Turner departing for Arsenal FC, Polish international striker Adam Buksa joining RC Lens and Tajon Buchanan moving to Club Brugge. 

Striker Jozy Altidore and midfielder Sebastian Lletget also departed the club. Though Giacomo Vrioni and Dylan Borrero joined in their absence, the two have missed lengthy periods due to injuries. 

“The players have been fine. We’ve just not been able to field our team this year,” Arena said. “We’ve been behind the eight ball the whole time. … I think, my own personal opinion, I thought last year we played well over our heads and I think some of our players never understood what made them successful last year, and it caught up with them a little bit.” 

But with two games left in the season, players aren’t giving up just yet.

“Just finish strong, you know, for guys who have something to prove,” said defender Jon Bell. “Whether it’s just contracts or, whatever. You want to prove yourself, you’ve got two games to do it. So, that’s what I’m going to do if I get that chance, and I’m sure everybody else is. We don’t want to go out as losers. We want to win each game that’s possible.”

The Revolution are set to host Atlanta United, before concluding the 2022 campaign with a visit to Chicago FC.

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