Yes, FC Cincinnati is better…but that isn’t saying much right now

DeJuan Jones of New England Revolution and Joseph-Claude Gyau of FC Cincinnati compete. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
DeJuan Jones of New England Revolution and Joseph-Claude Gyau of FC Cincinnati compete. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

As far as moral victories go, this weekend was spun as a positive by FC Cincinnati, who lost 1-0 at home to the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon. Things are improving, yes, but this team remains very much a work in progress.

The loss for FC Cincinnati came against a New England Revolution side that is arguably the best club in MLS and should factor into the Supporters Shield race this season.  And while the Revolution are a very good club, FC Cincinnati didn’t exactly show a whole lot of reason for realistic hope that this team is set to turn things around and become a playoff contender.

The Revolution, despite the narrow margin on the scoreboard, outplayed FC Cincinnati, holding a significant advantage in nearly every statistical category. Even by the eyeball test, the Revolution were clearly the best team on the field Saturday at TQL Stadium.

That didn’t stop Cincinnati, however, from trying to paint this as a brave loss. And while they have shown marked improvement in recent weeks and Saturday was far from a one-sided affair, it is clear that this team is going to continue to struggle until they figure out who to keep their midfield from being overrun.

“You can still see that we are fighting very hard in the second half. We changed the formation a little bit to hopefully go a little bit more forward, even though we had very good opportunities in the first half,” head coach Jaap Stam said after the match.

“We conceded a goal from a set piece again, which is disappointing of course. Then after we needed to come back into the game, you can see that we got some very clear opportunities to equalize as well. Unfortunately, we couldn’t pull the trigger.”

The loss drops FC Cincinnati to 1-4-1 (4 points).

The key for FC Cincinnati’s sense that this game can be a momentum-shifter for their rough start to the season is because of an improved second half. FC Cincinnati kept more of the ball and did a better job of handling the Revolution’s pressing and counter-pressing. It is clear that the team that got blown out twice early in the season has improved from their rough start.

But this isn’t a playoff team by any stretch.

What was also clear is that they were getting into the match more until Revolution forward Adam Buska scored in the 70th minute off a set piece.

After a rough start to the season, FC Cincinnati has settled in better but still have had struggles. Some of this is to be expected, given the amount of high profile moves made this year and the time needed for the team to come together.

One of those pieces that was brought in, former United States international Geoff Cameron, who joined the club just a couple of weeks ago, thinks that the team has the potential to turn this season around.

“Yeah, I mean we have quality. We have very good players. I think we have a lot of potential. I think there are fine margins you can say, and you know the Revs maybe they spend a little more time with each other and last years’ experience. With this team coming together and new guys coming in; so, I think it’s going to take a little bit of time,” Cameron said.

“Essentially, I think we’re heading in the right direction but the results. You know, it was a great win last week, but we have to make our home field advantage and we have to get results at home and that’s a given. That’s why we were disappointed.  Everybody was disappointed today. We had chances, but we are going in the right direction. It’s just going to take time. It’s fine margins.”

Follow Kristian Dyer of ‘MLS Multiplex on Twitter @kristianrdyer