This is how it all ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Tonight was 'Fan Appreciation Night' at Yankee Stadium. Going into tonight's game, New York City had nothing to play for, except pride. That pride, however, was largely absent from a listless Blues team.
Perhaps I'm being harsh. But the team seemed to go through the motions for most of the game. The result was an unexpectedly easy 3-1 win for the Revolution.
The Revs got on the board early with a Lee Nguyen goal, assisted by Charlie Davies.
Nguyen basically strolled through New York City's backline to put New England ahead in the second minute. From that point onward, the Blues were chasing the game. In the ninth minute, Tommy McNamara sent a shot just wide of New England's goal. Three minutes later, Frank Lampard had a point-blank shot that went into the side netting.
Still, even if New York City was dominating possession -- which New England was happy to concede -- the Revolution looked to be the more dominant of the two teams. Time and again the Revs tested New York City's defense, forcing goalkeeper Josh Saunders to come up with saves. It wasn't until the 31st minute that New York City had another clear-cut chance. Off a corner, defender Chris Wingert had a free header. Surely the game would be tied.
Except that Wingert drove the header into the ground -- as you do -- and over the crossbar. Six minutes later, Wingert had another header saved by New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
Then in the 38th minute, Charlie Davies got a goal to go with his earlier assist.
Another defensive breakdown, and New England looked well on their way to victory. Lampard had a rocket of a shot come off the crossbar in the 41st minute, but that was that for the Blues. After two minutes of added time, halftime blessedly came with the score at 2-0.
If you thought halftime would give New York City a chance to reset and get back into the game, you would be mistaken. Head Coach Jason Kreis made one substitution, inserting defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe for Shay Facey. Facey had suffered an injury to his quadriceps, and requested the substitution.
Despite the sub, New York City seemed just as listless as during the first half. New England repeatedly tested the Blues defense in the opening minutes of the second half. Finally, in the 56th minute, Kelyn Rowe scored for the Revs off a free header.
That score was enough to give New England all three points, and send the Blues into the off-season with three straight losses. Khiry Shelton made way for Kwadwo Poku in the 56th minute, and Patrick Mullins entered for Andrew Jacobson in the 74th as Kreis looked anywhere and everywhere for a spark to get his team in motion, but nothing came of it.
Tommy McNamara earned a penalty for New York City in the 90th minute. David Villa took the penalty, scored it, but it was all for naught. The game ended 3-1.
What comes next for New York City? That's a massively open question for the team. Rumors of Kreis' exit -- whether mutually agreed or otherwise -- swirled around the team over the past week. The same applies to the players - when asked about the future of players on the squad, Kreis alluded to decisions that would be made "this week".
For now, the team takes a two-week break before coming together to train for an upcoming friendly match against the Puerto Rican national team. But questions will be hanging over the team all winter long. For all that Kreis might consider this inaugural season a relative success -- and with a record of 10-17-7 and 37 points, he's got a point -- this team was built to win, and win now. As forgiving as fans might be now, they will not be so if the team's struggles continue next season.