Not an unexpected outcome, but one that definitely leaves a lot of questions.
The New England Revolution defeated Atlanta United on Saturday by a score of 2-1, eliminating the Five Stripes from playoff contention.
Despite the glimmer of hope from the team in its previous three performances, it looked lost, uninspired, and was just a complete mess from start to finish.
The starting lineup was very similar to the ones from Atlanta's previous three with the exception of Ronaldo Cisneros playing in place of an injured Dom Dwyer. The team kept the 4-2-3-1 shape that had been working well for them recently.
From the start, it was clear that New England was in control as they dominated the possession and began creating chances. Atlanta was lucky not to go down early after some shots hit the post. Going forward, the team lacked creativity and numbers. The few opportunities they managed to create were either wasted through inefficient individual play or terrible shots.
After some serious defensive miscoordination, Raul Gudino conceded a penalty after grabbing a player in the box to get to a ball. The situation was entirely preventable, but the same silly mistakes that have plagued this team this season came into play. The penalty was converted and the Revolution held a 1-0 lead going into halftime.
Shockingly, Gonzalo Pineda did not choose to make any subs at halftime and the team (unsurprisingly) did not look much better.
With the game ending and the playoff hopes looking very dim, Josef Martinez pulled one back after scoring a beautiful bicycle kick goal in the 81st minute. Unfortunately, his effort was nullified after a bad giveaway at the back and some poor defending led to an 85th-minute Gustavo Bou game-winner.
With Atlanta's 2022 season in the books, the team now has much work to do before next season if they hope to challenge for titles again. The first step? Finding the right president. The second? Finding the right players to fill some of the gaping holes in this team. And I might just have some ideas...