It may only be the preseason, but Revolution head coach Jay Heaps admitted that he didn't sleep well after Wednesday night's disappointing 3-2 loss to Real Salt Lake.
Holding a 2-1 lead in the waning stages, the Revolution allowed Alvaro Saborio and Khari Stephenson to score in the 88th and 90th minutes, respectively, and walked off the pitch without a point for their efforts.
"It's very frustrating," said Heaps in a teleconference with the media on Thursday. "It's an area where game management has to be looked at."
Sound familiar? It should. Last year, game management was a major area of concern for the rebuilding Revolution.
No fewer than five times did Heaps' side let a goal slide through in the final 15 minutes in 2012, costing the club points it surely couldn't afford to give away.
And on Wednesday, the team's inability to close out a win cast itself back in the spotlight. After coming out of halftime with a 1-0 deficit, Andy Dorman and AJ Soares each scored early in the second half to put the Revolution ahead for more than half an hour.
"We showed good fight to get back in the game," Dorman told RevolutionSoccer.net after the game. "It's a shame, obviously, even going to 2-each and just getting out (without) a tie is a bit disappointing."
The loss may have left the Revolution with a bitter taste, but the silver lining is easy to find. What happens in the preseason generally tends to stay in the preseason, with many a moment -- whether good or bad -- largely forgotten by the time the regular season gets into full swing.
In light of that, Dorman knows that if there's a time to address an issue head on, the month of February is as good time to do it as ever.
"It's a good lesson to learn at this time, in the preseason," Dorman said. "The last five minutes are so important, really. It's the difference between taking points and not taking points in the league."
Meanwhile, Heaps, as he is wont to do, will go back and look at the tape. He'll examine what exactly happened, who was caught out of position, and how it can be quickly corrected.
But even before he looks at the film, the Revolution head coach already has an inkling as to how his club let three points slip through their fingers Wednesday night.
In the waning moments, Heaps said he saw his club exhibit caution rather than confidence. Fear rather than belief. In short, he saw his club shy away rather than show up in the moments leading up to the back breaking goals.
"We kind of let our heads down," Heaps told RevolutionSoccer.net. "Then, when they scored, knowing that a draw would get us through, (we couldn't stop them) and just kind of knowing game management a little would've been something we needed there."