FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When referee Jorge Gonzalez chirped his whistle three times at the conclusion of the Revolution’s 2-1 defeat to Seattle, it didn’t just signal the official end of the team’s paper-thin postseason hopes. It marked the beginning of what may prove to be a three-week tryout for many players on New England’s roster.
Although collective pride will certainly be at the forefront for the team’s final three matches, something much more personal than striving for wins will be at stake in the upcoming weeks.
“At this point, we’re fighting for (our) jobs,” Revolution midfielder/defender Chris Tierney said. “(We’re) trying to make sure every individual is doing what they have to do to prove that they deserve a job in this league."
And with good reason. Last season, the organization waved goodbye to a number of players -- almost all veterans -- shortly after the Revs failed to reach the postseason for the first time in nine years. So much for job security.
This year, Tierney expects the microscope to once again be focused on individual performances. And with that in mind, the third-year veteran recognizes that personal pride will be tested and measured as the season draws to a close.
“As professionals, you’re constantly evaluating your performance and performance of the team,” Tierney said. “It just hasn’t been good enough. There’s really no two ways about that.”
And because of that, many Revolution players could find themselves expendable by the end of the season.
So whether it’s making the extra effort in practice or on the pitch, or making better decisions on the ball, every player has to realize that his performances are going to be scrutinized with next season in mind.
Not that it should come as a surprise. After all, very few MLS contracts are considered “guaranteed.” A misstep here, or a blown play there, and even a tenured veteran could find himself without a job next year, without or without a playoff berth at stake.
Therefore, each player in the Revolution locker room will be looking at each of the team’s final three games as an opportunity to show that he deserves to return next year.
And with that in mind, Tierney recognizes that it all boils down to one thing: personal pride.
“Everyone’s got to be proud to be here, to be in this league and prove that they belong.” Tierney said. “That’s got to be in the back of our minds as we go forward here and try to get some wins for the fans and try to get some wins to prove that we can play in this league.”