New England Revolution

Bruce Arena laments New England Revolution 'mistakes' after CCL exit

Chris Smith
Arena was less than impressed with his team's performance.
Arena was less than impressed with his team's performance. / Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Arena has bemoaned his New England Revolution side's mistakes after they crashed out of the Concacaf Champions League on Wednesday.

The Revs went down to Mexico to face Pumas in an extremely commanding position after winning the home leg 3-0.

But the Supporters' Shield champions gave up three goals in less than 30 minutes as they were forced into a penalty shootout, which Pumas won 4-3.

The Revs were without starting center-backs Andrew Farrell and Henry Kessler, but Arena isn't letting that be an excuse after a performance marked with mistakes and poor decision-making.

"We made some mistakes that caused goals, but that's the way it goes. There's no excuses," Arena told reporters after the match. "We certainly could have been a little bit better, and the third goal is an example. We just made too many mistakes on that particular play.”

The veteran coach continued: "Even as well as Pumas played, and we didn't play well, we had a chance right at the end of the game to score and didn't, then obviously lost on penalties. We're not surprised the way that the game looked. We knew it was going to look like that and the altitude was going to be a factor. And give them credit. We made too many mistakes tonight.”

Mistakes aside, one of the main criticisms thrown at the Revs in the aftermath of the match was their overly cautious approach. Pumas controlled 62 percent of possession in the second leg and outshot their visitors 25-7, with many accusing New England of showing too much respect instead of going for another goal.

Asked if he got his tactics right on the night, Bruce bluntly and defiantly replied: "Yes.”

Full-back Brandon Bye was a little more forthcoming in his answer, adding: “At the end of the day, that’s the decision we made, and we went through it. We have to be together on that. Whatever the decision was, whether it was go find a goal, defend, whatever it is, we made that decision as a team, as a coaching staff, as a unit, and that’s something that we have to live with.”

CF Montreal also exited to Cruz Azul on Wednesday, meaning NYCFC are the only one of the four MLS teams in the quarter-finals to reach the final four so far. The Seattle Sounders take a 3-0 lead down to Mexico for their second leg clash against Club Leon on Thursday night.