Revs Preseason Is Over - Let the Defiance Begin!
Updated: Feb 22
ROBC Vol. 1 No. 2
Matt: The Revs preseason seemed to be everything it could have been. Getting guys into game shape, a few knocks (i.e., Maciel, Nacho Gil), Gustavo Bou waiting for paperwork to finally clear, young and new players getting game time with the team (looking at you, Panayotou!), different formations, and mixed results with losses against Cincinnati and Philadelphia, a draw against Miami, and wins over Nashville (1-0) and Orlando (2-1). Goal scorers over this stretch were Vrioni (2), Borrero (1), Panayotou (1), and Gil (1).
Josh: Impressive summary of an exciting Preseason! So glad that we finally got word on Bou coming back before the season opener. However, at the end of last season, it felt like there were some communication challenges down in the opponents’ 18, so I wouldn’t expect him to start yet, while he connects with this new and impressive talent pool up front.
Matt: Just as important: the Defiance Kit. The team looked fantastic in their new away jerseys against Orlando. I enjoyed the Revs hype video, but had to see it in action before I was sold. While I miss the presence of Revs blue anywhere (like maybe a little bit of trim?), I noticed that many of this year’s MLS kits are full-color themed, almost like a color rush. The Defiance Kit, along with LAFC’s Smokescreen, Colorado Rapids New Day, Charlotte’s Crown Jewel, and Galaxy’s LA Kit give the teams a unified color stream when they’re in action, and I like it.
Josh: I’m always here for Kit Talk! For sure - red & white are a classic Revs combo and I appreciate the take they’re using to Bring the Fight! to social issues and the greater Boston community. It really stood out on the field - very obvious where the Revs are and how they’re moving - and they looked great. The dark blue washes on the turf, to my eyes. But maybe that’s my distaste for the Carson green-on-green. The Defiance Kit will match your Earthquakes away jersey from a few seasons back!
Matt: So we actually got to WATCH a match, the last one of the preseason against Orlando. There was good and bad. I’ll start with the bad so we can end on a positive note. Bad: Orlando ran all over the Revs in the first half. In addition to some impressive fast breaks in the first 45, Orlando City effectively exploited the Revs left side, which found themselves running after the play way too often. This could have been in part due to Dejuan Jones’s “minor muscle injury.”
Josh: So jealous - only three Preseason games made it on MLS Season Pass and the Revs made the cut! It was great to have the Revolution on my TV again - it’s been too long!
Matt: I finally activated my MLS Season Pass this week. Don’t forget readers - the entire opening weekend will be available for free in your Apple TV app!
Josh: Oh right, but you asked me about gameplay - I did get to see the left side challenges. I really hope it is a minor injury - Dejuan Jones is key to the Revs and fun to watch. Also, up front there were a lot of passes overshooting Borrero and ending up out of touch. Thankfully, Rennick played a little more in and down field to set up that strong second half.
Matt: The good: Petrovic made some fantastic aerial saves, including an amazing diving stop in the 11’ and a stunning double-stop in the 64’. It was the kind of play that answered any remaining questions you could have about why keeper training includes multiple ball-sequences. I think at least 24 out of 29 MLS teams’ GK would have conceded there, but Petrovic wasn’t having it.
Josh: The commentators and I agree that Petrovic is one of the best playing in MLS right now. Hopefully he sticks around for the season and more. Please all good players - stay in MLS! We want high-quality soccer in our backyards! Another player on trial out there was Boateng, who put on a good show. We’ll see how the roster adjusts as games roll through the coming weeks.
Matt: Another good: young players including Panayotou, Rennicks, Buck, and Rivera played significant minutes. Panayotou scored in the preseason, and Buck and Rivera are looking more comfortable on the field. As was Rennicks, who didn’t let Gallese take full control of a contest for the ball on the 68’ and almost got a goal or assist out of it. That play was an excellent combination of skill and competitiveness on Rennick’s part, and I’m ready for more.
Josh: Don’t forget my new biased-favorite Joshua Bolma - great first name and a Terp! He started, saw minutes, and is growing his right wingback legs. Seeing the young players challenge the vets, and push to demonstrate why they’re in consideration, is one of my favorite things of preseason. I think Panayotou and maybe Bolma have a chance to start, but I bet most of these fresh faces will be fantastic 60th-minute subs; at least until April.
Matt: I think Bolma is bringing his skills into a great situation, playing along with and learning from Carles Gil, Latif Blessing, Tommy Mac, and Matt Polster.
Josh: Great group to learn from! You know I love me some Tommy Mac.
Matt: My other three takeaways were: 1. With Farrell injured, the backline against Charlotte is likely identical to the Orlando game, from L to R Jones, Kessler, Romney, and Bye, 2. Vrioni scored a brace in the second half as the Revs refused to go quietly in Orlando, and 3. Brandon Bye, though involved in the play resulting in the sole Orlando goal, came up HUGE for the Revs over and over. He was in control of his area of the field on the right side, and at times even more. I was a Bye fan before, and even more after the game.
Josh: I agree, and Vrioni will be exciting to watch. I agree on Bye. Based on what we saw from Borrero, we won’t see him on field pulling Dejuan Jones out of position, and the back line can be more solid against Charlotte and into the season.
Matt: So…Charlotte. This one counts. Charlotte is hungry for goals with their DP trio of Swiderski, Józwiak, and Copetti and they are feeling confident about the team’s flow and chemistry at this point in the preseason. I am sure they will also be looking at what Orlando did on the Revs left side and ready to take advantage. My prediction for this game: Revs defeat Charlotte 3-2. While Charlotte will be a tough opponent at home, the Revs have the offense, growing chemistry, and GK Superstar Djordje Petrovic to come out on top.
Josh: Charlotte is definitely going to be hungry and I bet that stadium is going to be rocking. You know me, I love a bold take. How about 1-0 with, as you said, “Superstar” Petrovic starting the season with a clean sheet.
Matt: I hear you loud and clear. Another thing I am looking forward to hearing loud and clear on Saturday is the commentary from Brad Feldman and Charlie Davies via 98.5 “The Sports Hub.” It was just announced that for home games, Apple TV would have the option of listening to Feldman and Davies calling the game, and I’ll be looking for that toggle Saturday night. Oh, and one more thing: for real, the Revs need to sign Ema Boateng. Seriously. No more waiting. The man is a 100% fire supersub. Let’s do this. Bring the Fight! Go Revs!
Twitter and Instagram: @RevsCoasts