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Revs Win, Lose, and Draw, and A Strong Team Character Forms Amidst the Chaos

ROBC Vol. 1 No. 10. July 14, 2023

Source: David Silverman, via revolutionsoccer.net


Matt: The last three games have had a little of everything. While the results – 4 out of a possible 9 points, with PRO admitting they took one for themselves – aren’t that encouraging at first glance, the character of this team is emerging as the final adjustments to the roster come into view. The Revs have added Harkes and Chancalay, and Latif Blessing went to Toronto in exchange for Mark-Anthony Kaye.


Josh: It’s ideal to find those gaps and have those learns before the Summer transfer window, so the fans can hope that the Front Office makes the right decisions. First moves are promising and I agree - the play on the field is showing signs of a system forming - even when the Officials can’t restore points to the standings chart. Harkes already got a strong start at Gillette, and Kaye & Chancalay are starting training!


Matt: In Cincinnati, who entered the match having always won at home, the Revs were up 2-1 at the half (robbed of a 3-1 lead by a stubborn post on Bou’s direct kick in first half stoppage time). Cincinnati’s relentless attack paid off in the 55’ when they dissected the Revs defense to tie it up, and then the score held. When you consider Cincinnati’s leading the Revs on Shots (22-9), Shots on Target (7-2) and Corners (12-8), Cincinnati fans surely feel robbed. The Revs owed this win in large part to Bou and, of course, Petroviç.


Josh: La Pantera is emerging in confidence, in placement and timing, and Revs fans can feel validated in putting the offense on his shoulders. The two goals against seemed uncharacteristic of Petroviç, but Cincinnati showed their strength and New England held their own. You know I love spoiling a streak, so it was a great point split that all of us should be celebrating.


Matt: Now to the Red Bulls…


Josh: ugh, the Red Bulls.


Matt: …whose chaotic press pulled the Revs apart and made it more of a match than it had any right to be. While the Revs were down 2-1 in the 85’, they were outright robbed of a 93’ goal that Farrell banged in at the end of a set piece. The call was so egregious that PRO issued a statement of error a few days later. The stats are lopsided on this one as well: Red Bulls led Shots (22-7), Shots on Target (7-2), and Possession (58%-42%), yet needed a suspended Carles Gil, a deserved red card to Latif Blessing in the 60’, and PRO’s error to pull off a win. Did the Revs miss Gil? Were there close misses by the Revs, including Bajraktarević’s volley in the 9th minute and Boateng’s chance in the 37’? Yes, yes, and yes, and I think at the end of the season we’ll look back at this and the Cincinnati games as the crucible where this team’s character solidified.


Josh: The Revs always miss Gil, but there was a lot to appreciate about the rest of the team stepping up to fill in his gigantic cleats. I don’t think they were missing Blessing in the second half - which should be obvious with the stats you cited and the goal during stoppage time. Coach Arena has not been quiet about his distaste for this season’s officiating, and I’m betting he’s all but filing a protest after the nonsense against NYRB.


Matt: The Revs were more than ready when Atlanta arrived and pressed hard right from the kickoff. It paid off, with Polster and Vrioni scoring to go up 2-0 BY THE NINTH MINUTE. Atlanta squeaked one in in the 93’ to take away Petroviç’s clean sheet, but that goal was largely due to Farrell having trouble corralling the ball so he could clear it. The stats are similar to the other games: Atlanta led the Revs in Shots (24-16) and Shots on Target (11-6). Yes, Giakomakis was injured and Miles Robinson out on international duty, but with Blessing on suspension and reportedly on the way to Toronto, this was a much-needed win that the Revs earned. Last time I mentioned Blessing needed to be his best self on the pitch, and I wish him all the best in Toronto.


Josh: About time! Our Revolution deserve some early match-minute goals, and it felt good to get the security goal and be able to enjoy the gameplay for most of the time in Atlanta.


Matt: Three things to watch: 1. Arena is bolstering the offense - he’s added Kaye, who is more of an attacker than Blessing was, and Harkes, who had a strong outing against Atlanta. Chancalay looks to be Borrero’s replacement, and his skill set appears to be a blend of the positives brought by Borrero, Gil, and Bou. This is also important given the defensive issues that keep rearing their heads. 2. The youth movement: at this point Buck will be back after the Leagues Cup – they’ve missed him. The team also needs to allow minutes for Bajraktarević, Rennicks, and Panayotou so they can continue to develop and compete with the first team. 3. Overall the schedule is favorable. There are no more away games in the summer heat of Texas & Florida, and after the away game in Nashville on August 20th the strong Revs opponents are all coming to Foxborough.


Josh: My three would be sending Officials to retraining during the Leagues Cup, or at least a reset of “clear and obvious” - more and more Bou - and incorporating the three new faces into the lineup.


Matt: Looking ahead to Saturday’s match against DC: as long as the Revs can keep an able body on Benteke, this matchup looks favorable for the Revs. I’d like to see a similar starting lineup from Atlanta again this Sunday – I’d sub out Spaulding for Jones (if he’s available) and Rennicks for Bajraktarević. Bou and Gil are always dangerous, and Vrioni needs more time on the pitch to become an integrated part of the Revs attack. Then the inaugural group stage matches of the Leagues Cup follow, with the Revs visiting the Red Bulls on July 22nd and hosting San Luis on July 26th.


Josh: Great chat with the commentators on how the Revs have spent a lot on Vrioni and he’s not starting, or spending a lot of time on the pitch to earn his salary - they agree with you! Three points in DC and the roller coaster adventure that will be the Leagues Cup - it’s going to be a fun time for our Revolution!


Matt: If the Revs have another showing like they did against Atlanta on Saturday, and then use the Leagues Cup to tune up their new additions, I think this team can make a good showing in the playoffs. Let’s go Revs! Bring the Fight!


Revs Slyde-ing Scale of 1-10 for Games 19, 20, & 21

Final Score on the Revs Slyde-ing Scale: 7.33/10 - A chaotic stretch that will hopefully yield dividends.


Twitter and Instagram: @RevsCoasts



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