Let the Flaming Begin (playoff Push)

Discussion in 'New England Revolution' started by lufty, Aug 5, 2002.

  1. lufty

    lufty Member

    Aug 21, 2000
    Guys I know you don't want to hear this but heck I am gonna say it anyways... WHy can't we run out the rest of the season undefeated?

    We are currently 6 points out of the playoffs, and 10 out of 2nd place overall. We have had the offense all year to win games... we just have not had the D- fence to back it up. I think we are going to suprise the league down the stretch and make a big run into the playoffs.

    I am thinking that 37 points will be the cutoff for the playoffs:

    This means we need to win 5 or our last 8. Do you think we can do this?

    @LA (T)
    Chicago (T)
    @ Chicago (L)
    Colorado (W)
    @ Columbus (W)
    DC United (W)
    Dallas (L)
    NY/ NJ (W)

    Oh Well by my estimates we will be one point shy for the playoffs.

  2. The Magpie

    The Magpie Member

    Nov 19, 1998
    Cambridge, MA
    "Guys I know you don't want to hear this but heck I am gonna say it anyways... Why can't we run out the rest of the season undefeated?"

    We can, but the likelihood of that happening is very, very, very, very slim. We'd need balanced, consistent scoring, solid defense, and a strong goalkeeper to make that happen. If there's a let-down in any of those areas then the odds are slim, slim to just make the playoffs.

    The Magpie
  3. Mike Marshall

    Mike Marshall Member+

    Feb 16, 2000
    Woburn, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In my best Jim Mora voice:


    I just hope we can win a game the rest of the year."
  4. ToMhIlL

    ToMhIlL Member+

    Feb 18, 1999
    Boxborough, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Of the 4 teams in the neighborhood, we are 1 point up on DC, and 6 behind Columbus and Chicago. Columbus has 7 games left, everyone else has 8.

    There are quite a few head-to-head games between these teams (we play home to DC, away to Columbus and a home-and-home with Chicago), and that will tell the story.

    Ultimately, I agree with Magpie that we would need to play much better for a much longer strech than we ever have all year. That ain't gonna happen.

    My prediction: We go 3-5 the rest of the way, Columbus goes 2-5 and they beat us out for the playoff date with the Baby Jesus.

    I'd like to hope I'm wrong about this, but c'mon...

  5. Popero

    Popero Member

    Jul 5, 2002
    I think we'll finish out 5-3, hit the playoffs running, and go from there.
  6. sideshowmatt

    sideshowmatt New Member

    Jul 10, 2002
    Well the revs have at least one gimme; the DC game. It'll be DC's best chance to snap a 1000+ minute goaless streak, but something in my gut tells me the Revs can hold on.
  7. soren_k

    soren_k New Member

    Oct 28, 2001
    I think the season hinges on whether or not Llamosa and to a lesser extent Brown stays healthy. If they do, we've got a reasonably good chance of beating out Columbus for the final playoff spot, especially since we have one head-to-head matchup against them. Got to like our chances against a Dunseth-Mccarty back line, and I think we have a game in hand as well.

    Incidently has anyone else noticed that 3 of the top 4 scorers this season are current or former Revs? Four of the top 7 counting Ralston.
  8. ToMhIlL

    ToMhIlL Member+

    Feb 18, 1999
    Boxborough, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    OK, these are the remaining fixtures with my predicted results:

    @ Los Angeles -- L
    H Chicago -- W
    @ Chicago -- L
    H Colorado -- L
    @ Columbus -- W
    H DC United -- W
    @ Dallas -- L
    H MetroStars -- L

    Call me a skeptic, but I find it a strech to even suggest that we can beat Go Naperville Team Fighting even once. We never beat the Mutts, and I don't expect that to change (although it would be sweet if we did), and I can't see us going to Dallas and coming away with anything.

    I hope you are right and I'm wrong about this, but I don't see how we can do it, barring a minor miracle.

  9. soccertim

    soccertim Member

    Mar 29, 2001
    I'm not expecting to make the playoffs, and I hope that the Revs don't consider sneaking into the 8th spot in any way successful. However, the only way that the Revs can make the playoffs is if both Pierce and Llamosa are healthy for the rest of the season and either Griffiths or Chacon become a decent offensive threat. Dallas, LA, and Colorado have all dropped off a little bit. We need at least 4 points from those games and 3 from the Chicago games to have a chance.

    If we miss the playoffs, I'm predicting a big game from Diallo and Williams in the season finale.
  10. lufty

    lufty Member

    Aug 21, 2000
    To be quite honest guys... we are a team that historically plays well down the stretch... when it is almost too late to even matter. To top this off, didn't the pats win their last 8 games including the playoffs? Wasn't our biggest problem this season to date that the Defense had holes bigger then the Titanic. Isn't it nice to see that everything seems to be coming together at this point in the season... We know we can score goals.... but can we shut down the opposing teams offense to carry us into the playoffs? I think so... Most teams will be coming into games against us more relaxed, moreless taking our team as a joke. I feel our beloved Revs will suprise many of us, along with other teams and push into the playoffs possibly as a 3 or 6 seed and end up playing the metrosluts for the final berth in MLSCUP 2002 v. the San Jose Quakes. :)
  11. lufty

    lufty Member

    Aug 21, 2000
    One more thing I need to Mention... Colorado in MLSCUP as an 8 Seed.
  12. rkupp

    rkupp Member+

    Jan 3, 2001
    I think a several factors make a late season run possible. Basically, the infusion of 3 new players at critical spots, the gradual return from injuries to almost a full squad and some extended time for Nicols to work on his "system".

    Key factors will be how well the Llamosa/Kante pairing works in the middle, whether they can avoid injuries/suspensions the rest of the way and finally playing 90 minutes mentally.

    For the long-term hopes of the organization, I hope they can make a run. If they don't, Nicol will be gone and they will be starting all over again next year. I think the only hope to be good next year is to maintain some continuity - that's what works in MLS.
  13. Coach_Barry

    Coach_Barry Member

    Aug 18, 2001
    Taunton, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I am never any good at predicting individual games but I will say this about our last 8 games.

    Yes, I am at it with the statistics again. I feel like a baseball fan.

    We seem to agree that defense is the linchpin, with Llamosa and Pierce being key to that.

    Without Llamosa and with Pierce we went 1-2-1 (4 of 12 available points = .33)
    With Llamosa and without Pierce we went 1-1-0 (3 of 6 available points = .50)
    Without either of them we went 3-5-0 (9 of 24 available points = .375)
    With both of them starting we went 3-3-0 (9 of 18 available points = .50)

    It's Llamosa and not Pierce that makes the difference. Pierce had little impact at all.

    So, with Llamosa playing we have been a 50/50 team. Without him we have been about 35/65.

    That said, with a healthy Llamosa, we should be able to reasonably expect to get 12 points out of the next 8 games. If you take KC and SJ out of the stats (4 loses, 1 from each scenario above), it looks even better.

    If Kante, Griffiths and Leonard can add something to the team in this last stretch; the 5 out of 8 lufty spoke about is clearly possible.

    Here's to hope.
  14. Rodan

    Rodan New Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    I'd be a little more tentative basing these kind of conclusions on an eight game sampling (and six of those games playing with Pierce)? I've heard several people make this generalization (including Doug C.), and while I agree that Carlos is a stabilizing factor, there's really not enough information to draw reliable conclusions.

    Carlos is good, but he's very slow of foot, and he can't do it himself. IMO Kante' contribution (or lack thereof) will make a big difference.

    Theoretically, considering it's a group of relatively weak teams, true. But the Revs would have to play consistently at a much higher level than they have up till now.

    Those are some pretty big ifs - but it's certainly not impossible.

    To put it even more simply, if the Revs can just win their home games, and take one (against Columbus) on the road, they'll probably get in.
  15. Soccer Doc

    Soccer Doc Member+

    Nov 30, 2001
    Keene, NH
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Remember that Ralston is one card away from needing to sit out a game. That will be a factor down the stretch.
  16. soccertim

    soccertim Member

    Mar 29, 2001
    If you total up the goals given up when each defender starts (or plays more than 70 minutes) the team has the lowest GAA when Pierce plays, followed by Carlos and Joey. Not surprisingly, we give up the most goals when Downing plays. Obviously, the defense plays better (fewer goals given up) when both Rusty and Joey play.

    Also, you're basing your entire conclusion of Llamosa being more important than Pierce on 2 games for Carlos and 4 for Pierce. The team is 4-4 when Llamosa plays, 4-5-1 with Pierce. That means that if Rusty doesn't play vs LA, then instead of Llamosa making all of the difference and Pierce not mattering, they become the same.
  17. Jim Dow

    Jim Dow New Member

    Mar 20, 1999
    Belmont, MA
    Are we all grabbing at straws here? Certainly we will improve by having Llamosa and Pierce together but it seems to me that the real questions are these, in no particular order.....

    1.) Does Kante add or detract to the defense?

    2.) Can somone play left fullback effectively to free up Francino for D Mid?

    3.) Can Griffiths improve the single dimension offense?

    4.) Ditto for APC.

    5.) Will Hernandez give us anything at O Mid or does that fall to APC?

    6.) Can Ralston/Twellman continue to be effective both as a combo and singly?

    7.) Can we count on adequate goalkeeping?

    Those are a lot of iffy questions, a LOT more than just getting Carlos and Rusty on the pitch together. Too many, if you ask me but I am still going to be optimistic.

  18. ManInBlack

    ManInBlack New Member

    Jul 6, 2001
    If Llamosa and Pierce are healthy, and Brown starts and stays healthy, I give us even odds of getting in.

    With 5 of our 8 remaining games against East Div. teams, at least we control our own destiny somewhat. I only wish two of those matches weren't against the Fire.

    Let's face it: a lot will depend on what Columbus does. It will be very tough for the Crew. The Revs have a game in hand on them, and the Crew only have 3 matches left against East teams--and two of those are against Chicago. They have to play KC, Colo, SJ, and LA, too.
  19. lufty

    lufty Member

    Aug 21, 2000
    What tie breakers do we win?

    I believe if we can beat Chicago once and tie them once we win that tie breaker.

    We win the series against Columbus simply with a tie or win, or a loss to them by less then 3 goals.

    We will win the tie breaker v. LA with a tie. We will win the tie breaker if we give up less then 3 goals.

    We win the tie breaker with Dallas with a win, tie, or a loss by one goal.

    With Colorado we win the tiebreaker with a win by more then one goal.

    We Loss tie breakers v. KC, NY, and SJ no matter what happens.

    This being said... we need to do the following in result of a tie.

    W or T vs (or loss by one and give up less then three goals)

    W by more then one goal

    W or T (or loss by one goal)

    W and T or two wins

    W or T or (lose by less then 3 goals)

    Does it matter
  20. rkupp

    rkupp Member+

    Jan 3, 2001
    The iimportant attributes Lllamosa brings are not physical, but mental. His calmness and thoughtfulness, as well as his organizing ability, are what have been missing. Against DC, even under heavy pressure, he allowed many balls to run out of play, avoiding the temptation to try to play the ball under pressure. That's a constant reminder to the younger defenders to think rather than just react.

    I agree about Kante. I'm with a lot of others here who are placing great (unrealistic?) expectations on a player that people who have seen, have labelled "raw". Physically he seems like just what we need. Hopefully, with Llamosa's guidance, he'll show the mental focus and anticipation needed in central defense.

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