Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Revs 0-3 Crew

The Revs lost 3-0 at home to the Crew this weekend. This is an outstanding result for the Revs faithful, and I'm not being facetious; in the second half, the supporters in the fort chanted more loudly than they've done in many weeks, and most of the lyrics were anti-Nicol and pro-Crew.

I've already renewed my season tickets for next year. But the main event is the tailgate, let's face it. The team will probably finish with the worst record in MLS; they already have sealed a last-place Eastern Conference finish. This diabolical recored might trigger some organizational changes, which are due, so I hope they finish dead-last.

Team management doesn't generate optimism in me, nor in its biggest supporters, as evidenced by their chants this weekend. They bought their first ever DP based on zero minutes of in-person scouting, as admitted by Mike Burns. Although he says it is unusual that they make a purchase based solely on videos, this is hardly the point. He's citing what they do correctly in other cases to justify what they did incorrectly in this one, so it is a flawed argument.

Not that Caraglio has been bad. In fact, he's been pretty good. But that doesn't mean the Revolution weren't careless in the way they went about getting him, and it doesn't even mean his purchase has been beneficial in an overall strategic way. His price barely qualifies him to be a designated player, and ultimately he hasn't had the impact that a DP ought to have. Benny Feilhaber had a much greater impact than Caraglio did, both in attracting fans and in improving the quality of play. Like government economic interventionism, the biggest value in the Caraglio move was its public perception, which in this case was the presence of the term "DP" in the title of the article the Revs posted on their website when they signed him. This is necessarily nothing but short-term novelty value, and as predicted, the real impact was not great. In the end, it looks like a cheap attempt to attract fans back, in the face of an an average attendance that has decreased pretty much in proportion to the team's record.

A serious change can only begin when the key management people are replaced. That includes Mike Burns and Steve Nicol.

Organizational management was poor in other ways too. For instance, we didn't even get a bonus game this season. There are usually three. (These are the "special event" games that come with the season ticket price and are announced during the season.) But you know what? The United States faced world champion Spain in June at Gillette Stadium. To be clear, I'm not using the term "world champion" in the sense that Chase Utley uses it, but you know that.

The Revolution played against Manchester United at Gillette Stadium in July. I wrote about my disappointment that we didn't get either game free as a season ticket bonus, although we got a small discount for being season ticket holders (see "Season tickets bonus games" from April 19). It was revealing of the Revolution organization that it did this. The Man United game was a great one, and my season ticket rep put my order into the front of the line at the slightly discounted price (thanks Eddie). Now they're discussing whether and how to reimburse us for the unscheduled bonus games, but those of us who are missing out are very familiar the choice they made twice this summer.

With all of this in mind, hopefully the Revolution lose their last one this weekend. It's at Toronto, so it will be poetically just if it goes 5-0 to the home team.