Foxborough--Weather conditions were a big factor in a scoreless tie between Sporting Kansas City and the New England Revolution Saturday afternoon in Foxborough.
Chances were at a minimum in a game that only saw eight shots spread among both teams. With a strong wind gust at Gillette Stadium, moving the ball proved to be a difficult task for both sides, as there was no control of any ball played in the air.
Revolution head coach Jay Heaps found that tactics almost went out the window, given the conditions.
“I don’t want to make excuses but I will say this, the wind was definitely difficult to play in,” Heaps said. “You can see the ball moving, you could feel it. I think if you go do heat maps, it’s going to be split down the middle and it’s going to be all away from where the benches were because the wind was just pulling everything over there.
"It was hard to switch fields when we needed to change the point of attack.”
Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes had a gameplan heading into the weekend, but found out ahead of the game that his team would certainly be battling the elements.
“Coming in during the week we wanted to play,” Vermes said. “When we saw the weather getting worse and yesterday having practiced here, it was pretty simple that it was going to be a difficult game based on which way the wind was going.”
The game was a homecoming of sorts for Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber, who played two seasons with the Revolution before being traded. Feilhaber held possession positively for spells in the first half but still found that the weather made play difficult for both teams.
“The wind really made the game impossible to play,” Feilhaber said. “I think both teams realized that, so it was more like a field possession game.
"You just booted it down to one end and kind of pressed them. It wasn’t a pretty game by any means, but I think 0-0 is a fair result”
The lack of ball movement was further compounded by the high physical play all over the field, with 30 total fouls committed. Heaps singled out the resilant play of the Revolution back four was a big positive on an otherwise negative day.
“I think that, for me, Kansas City is one of the best teams at grinding out a game like that and I think that it showed a lot of our guys coming out and fighting them and making it a difficult battle,” Heaps exclaimed. “I think our back four played well, but not just our back four, our entire midfield defended well. It’s one of those games where you want the three points.”