Sweeney: Three reasons why the Revolution turnaround was a success, despite the early playoff exit

Note: Part of the following are baseball-themed passages that I have heard and read over the years, and since soccer season aligns with baseball here, I felt it was appropriate to mix my first love and my new love today. — Sweeney

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart.

The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.

You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.

Today, October 19, a Saturday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets, it stopped, and summer was gone.

-- A. Bartlett Giamatti, The Green Fields of the Mind


And so it ends.

The 2019 Revolution season came to its conclusion in Atlanta Saturday afternoon, The Boys In Blue falling to the defending MLS Cup champion Atlanta United by a 1-0 score. Franco Escobar’s 70th-minute tally was enough to move the Five Stripes ahead, and send the resurgent Revs home for the winter.

No, it’s not the way anyone wanted to see the season end. Far from it. And some will argue that with the end coming without hefting some hardware, that the season is a failure. After all, we here in New England are rather spoiled when it comes to championship parades and the like; if the season doesn’t end with a duck boat parade along Boylston Street, it’s not a success.

But in 2019, with the way the Revolution’s season began — two wins in 12 tries — and the way the season turned around — only three losses since the middle of May, before Saturday’s defeat — one can say the team was successful, even if it was a baby step, in multiple ways.

Here are three.

They returned to relevance