The simple answer is a lot. but to get the true answer, we have to dive in a little deeper. There are a few elements that caused the Revs to drop from 4th place to missing the playoffs, but were only going to discuss the top 5.
Missing a True Leader
Let’s start off simple. The Revs came into the season with Claude Dielna as their captain. That didn’t work out as he was quickly replaced. Overall the Revs used a total of 7 different players as captain throughout the season. And arguably their best candidate for the role got hurt, and it’s no coincidence the team went downhill after Chris Tierney got hurt. Perhaps Tierney’s lack of presence made things a little harder for the team. Tierney is the teams most veteran player so he definitely served a purpose in the locker room. It might not be the biggest reason for their failure, but their lack of leadership from a true leader really killed the Revs mentality this season.
This was Brad Freidel’s first ever head coaching job. As experienced a player he was, he was still learning on the job this year. With that said, he’s bound to make mistakes. Whether those mistakes be signing the wrong players, not enough players, making wrong substitutions or not making enough substitutions. Freidel will use this season as a learning experience and should only get better from here. This will be an important offseason for Freidel as he will have to try and win back some fans and convince others that next year will be different. The last thing the Revs want to deal with right now is a fourth consecutive season without playoffs. The front office SHOULD be more determined than ever to fix things.
It sounds like a broken record at this point. The Revs still can’t win road games. It doesn’t matter what league you’re in, 5 road wins in 3 years is unacceptable. Sure the Revs got more points on the road this year than last year but that’s not good enough. Add this together with the fact the team only won 7 home games, they were doomed to fail. In the past 2 years, the Revs have lost 7-0 to Atlanta, 6-1 to Orlando and 4-1 to Real Salt Lake on the road. Not only were these games embarrassing, but they all also came at pivotal times of the season where the revs would have to win to make the playoffs. Performances like these can not, and should not be tolerated. Plain and simple, the Revs need to figure out why they can’t win on the road and fix it.
Loss to LA
Yes, it’s stupid to blame the failure of a whole season on one game, but a game like this is morally devastating. It seems like every year the Revs lose one game that sends them down a downward spiral. Last years game was the 3-3 draw with Seattle and LA this year. To be winning a game going into the 90th minute after you were down a man for the majority of the match has to be a thrill. But when you crap the bed and allow 2 goals in extra time, yes, its tough to get over. The Revs were on a roll going into the game, but afterward, they went on a crash course. After that loss, they didn’t win a home game until October.
Team Wasn’t Good Enough
Plain and simple this team was not good enough. They didn’t sign the players needed to finish out the season in the summer and didn’t do enough in the winter. Right now, this team only has 4 key players for their future, and 2 of them are on loan. With a squad that was constantly getting rotated around, everyone was fighting for minutes. On top of that, for the majority of the season, the team lacked depth. All around the team wasn’t good enough. Next season will fall on how the front office turns this team around come this offseason. Expectations should be high, now it’s time for the ownership to show they care. For a team that has missed the playoffs now 3 years in a row, ownership has done nothing to improve it so far.
This offseason should be the most important one for the Revs front office in the last 4 years. If they do nothing, they are really gonna start to lose fans if something doesn’t change.