ROBC Vol. 1 No. 5, April 4, 2023
Source: David Silverman via revolutionsoccer.net
Matt: The Revs beat DC, then NYCFC came into Gillette with their ticky-tack play and delay tactics, and escaped with an undeserved point. The youth gave and took away over the two games, and Andrew Farrell made his first appearance of the season against NYCFC on a night when VAR took away a goal from the Revs in shocking fashion. In terms of style, I think the Revs like playing in their blue “Liberty Kits.”
Josh: That is the most concise summary of two weeks of soccer you’ve done yet - kudos! The blue works for them, and the white & red is a great second look. There were many highlights, but we should have more to celebrate. Thankfully, the Revs rose to the challenges presented by international duty & injury recovery.
Matt: The youth movement was alive and well in DC when Arena started two 17-years olds and an 18-year old in Buck, Bajraktarević, and Panayotou, respectively. In general, the Revs looked pretty good but had trouble keeping the ball moving in the final third. Unfortunately, a giveaway in the 45’ turned into a counterattack against an unprepared defense, sending DC up 1-0. Gil subbed into the game in the 62’, then literally one minute later spotted Bou open on the other side of the goal and sent a beautiful cross to Bou, who chested it and then sent it into the far corner past a diving Miller. THEN, at the 88’ after a corner kick was sent out of the box, Buck banged it toward the net and it went in, miraculously through 5 DC defenders and the goalie. Three minutes later Dejuan Jones saved the win by blocking an errant ball in the box - I think Fantasy counted it as a clearance, but it was definitely a save.
Josh: It was great to see Bou getting more comfortable and confident up front to get his shots on target. And Buck is the real deal - even though he can’t vote, he deserves votes for MOTM. I was especially glad to see the Revs create the win in DC, even though they used to be my home squad, because the crowd was… uninspired? It sounded like a no-name stadium while playing FIFA - here are four chants that everyone uses - repeat. And I think that’s also a sign that MLS and soccer in The States is getting more serious. For example, Nashville, Austin, LA, are developing a sound, a vibe, and getting the whole stadium to create the right energy for their team. And we’re starting to hear Gillette rock with some very clear New England-based cheers - more please!
Matt: I’m not as into providing constant singing and chanting and jumping, but I appreciate it for what it is. The Fort definitely has a close relationship with the New England Keeper squad, but from where I was sitting at the other end of the stadium I mostly just heard the latin-inspired percussion ensemble the Old Amsterdam fans brought with them.
Josh: Sorry for the soapbox, but it was all I could think about after hearing Dalé U-ni-ted over two claps so many times… anyhow.
Matt: Interesting you brought up Dalé – the NYCFC fans at Gillette on Saturday kept that one going, too.
Josh: But even better, you got to be a part of the home crowd when welcoming the Pigeons of too-many-initials-FC. Welcome back!
Matt: It felt like forever since I’d been to a game, and it was great to be there again! It was a chilly night for the game, but the first bearable night for many in the stands. And I don’t want to hear it from anyone who likes to sit in the snow and watch soccer. Maybe football is played in the winter in Europe, but we do it differently here - the NBA and NHL get the winter, so soccer is a summer sport.
Josh: Agreed! Especially if you have a family member who wants to enjoy an ice cream while the Revs are on the pitch, you need some sunshine. I bet it felt like Spring had sprung a bit, especially after the muskets went off a couple times.
Matt: Both teams chose more open formations, with the Revs in a 4-2-1-2-1 formation to NYC’s 4-2-3-1. NYCFC tried to compensate for their lack of general momentum with their slappy-smacky defending and delaying tactics. The center ref made several gesticulating overtures during the match to discourage delays, but not one yellow card, even after the NYCFC keeper took about 21 seconds to get the ball back in play on a goal kick. The Borrero goal pulled back was unacceptable in my opinion. The explanation given was that Bou was offside, not playing the ball, and blocking the GK view. Bou might have been offside at that moment, but he was doing what all strikers do - try to ride the offside line so he can be ready. And as you can see from the screenshot below, the GK is not shielded. Then, three days later, we find out PRO told Arena the goal should have been allowed. BAM.
Source: screenshot from MLSsoccer.com game recap
Fortunately Gil finally turned on the gas ten minutes later when Bobby Wood located him on the right side of the final third and netted it to go up 1–0.
Josh: Woah. I can appreciate the officials’ review and admittance of the error. But unless they’re going to add the goal and grant the points, sounds like too little, too late. They’ll give a player a red card after the fact, but no obviously earned points? Thumbs down. Thankfully, the New England Keeper continues to be an impressive talent.
Matt: Petrović made an AMAZING save against a powerful header off of a free kick in the 75’, but Talles Magno finally broke through with a header of his own in the 80’ on a corner kick. Magno was marked, but moved smoothly away from it to head in the service from dos Santos. BRUTAL. Arena subbed in Boateng and shifted Borrero to the right wing for a last push to try and win, but then brought in Farrell in the 92’ to preserve the tie. I thought the subbing moves were good ones from Arena.
One big takeaway from going to the game that night: I’m a Season Ticket Holder this season for the first time, and the ease of entry and – most importantly – the exit from STH parking was fantastic. We got back on the road SO MUCH faster. It made it much more likely that everyone in my group would happily stay the whole game instead of leaving in the 82’ to beat traffic.
Josh: That’s amazing! San Jose could definitely stand to improve their access to the stadium and many fans scooted before stoppage time. The streets and surrounding parking lots after a match have a lot of supporters waving their Lyft app in the air to try to find their ride. Sounds like New England provides some value to the Season Ticket holder beyond guaranteeing the seats!
Matt: So my big three from these two matches: 1. I’m glad Buck, Panayotou, and Bajraktarević are getting some significant time, and don’t begrudge them any missteps - it’s a process. 2. This team is completely reliant on Gil, who I think is AMAZING, to score…but what’s the backup plan in case of injury?, and 3. Romney and Kessler have been strong at CB, Jones making game-changing plays consistently, Bye doing strong work on the right wing – once Farrell is back in game shape assuming no injuries, what will Arena decide to do?
Josh: My three looking-forward, no pun intended: (1) Buck and (2) Bye need to keep pushing and keep trying. They absolutely have what it takes to fill in the skills that were traded away. I want to see more leadership and coordination in the back line, hopefully led by (3) Farrell, so that the Keeper can shine when he’s needed, but he can breathe a little more, and Jones can be freed up to bring that energy forward.
Matt: For the next two games, the Revs will host Montréal and then travel to Columbus. Montréal has been on a rollercoaster, scoring all of their season’s 3 goals in a win over Philadelphia thanks to a 69’ Union red card, then suffering a red card of their own and falling to Vancouver 5-0. They will face the Revs without starting CB Camacho. Should be three inside the confines of friendly Gillette. Against Columbus – the Crew knows how to pour it on, and they’ll try to do it to the Revs at home. I want a win, but will settle for a draw on the road against the team that sits 3 points behind the Revs in the standings with a much higher goal differential.
Josh: You know I’m an optimist, but I don’t think Montréal will be unable to contain the growing steam from the team up front. Columbus should be a fun one, so I think it really depends on what growth we’re able to see from the back line of the Revolution. But I say it’s gonna be enough and New England will be able to sneak past them by a goal.
Matt: I say 4 points, hopefully 6 in the next two weeks. Bring the Fight! Go Revs!
Revs Slyde-ing Scale of 1-10 for Games 5 & 6
Final Score on the Revs Slyde-ing Scale: 7.5/10
Twitter and Instagram: @RevsCoasts