Pre-Season Match 3: Minnesota United FC v New England Revolution

Final Score: Minnesota United FC 2 – New England Revolution 2

Major Talking Points

23′ Goal – Luis Amarilla (Kevin Molino) Min 1 – NE 0

Jeremy – I will not be the only one saying this, but the center backs both got caught out on this goal. Farrell got his head to the ball, but Mancienne completely missed it at the second asking, allowing it through to Amarilla. Zahibo does not get tight to Molino, allowing the cross to happen, but the additional problem is that Penilla wasn’t tracking back out wide. Penilla’s lack of backtracking caused the two of them to be in the reverse positions one would expect. Farrel’s header does seem to slightly wrong foot Mancienne, but a defender of his experience should be able to make those adjustments. Finally, Matt Turner, in my opinion, could have come and claimed the ball, but he still gets left dead footed by the goal. Feel like it is a similar goal to the first one conceded against LA Galaxy, which has some worries. Also don’t take anything away from Am

Creighton – The major worry from this play for me, was the inability of either center back to make a play on the well-placed pass. Amarilla had the perfect run, and continued his run to be able to make this happen. If one of the “attempts” on the ball actually was fully committed, this ball does not make it to Amarilla. For me, the major fail is from Mancienne, a small change like that, definitely means that you need a heavier commit with the body to make sure that the ball is cleared. He slightly raises his leg higher, instead of just moving his body through the ball to clear it. Even so, if he gets a tip to it towards goal, Turner is there to make the stop, and he should know where Turner is located. Turner is definitely to blame here too, as usually everyone is communicating heavily enough to not allow a crazy occurence like this to happen.

28′ Goal – Adam Buska (Teal Bunbury, Cristian Penilla) Min 1 – NE 1

Jeremy – Buska gets his first goal in a Revolution uniform. The goal came from some lovely interplay by the Revolution forwards. Bou wins the ball back up high against the right side of the Minnesota defense. This gives the Revs a good counter. Penilla’s cross to Bunbury was exquisit and while Bunbury’s touch back to Buska was slightly off, if we are being nit picky, the finish by Buska was clinical. The attack looks like it is slowly coming together, and should start to scare the rest of the league. Bou’s work rate off the ball continues to be high, and Bunbury’s run was really well executed. Small note, Brandon Bye made a very good overlapping run that made the right back unable to fully commit to Penilla, giving him more freedom for the cross. Buska’s finish was clinical and good to see, hoping to see more of this going forward.

Creighton – 100% of this goal goes to Penilla’s perfect cross to Teal. Teal for once was not selfish and saw Buksa being wide open. He laid it off and Buksa, as had been seen in training, slotted the ball lower corners. We need more players to try these simple shots to get the ball on frame.

35′ Goal – Luis Amarilla (PK) Min 2 – NE 1

Jeremy – Farrell at fault here. He got beat over the top, and in an attempt to recover, run the player over from behind. No complaints on the penalty, and if this were not a pre-season game, he would most likely have seen a yellow card for the foul. Turner guessed wrong, but nothing against him for that.

Creighton – I absolutely abhor this play from Farrell. He allows a player to get in behind and cause problems. His poor positioning also leads him to stumble over himself and cause the foul for the penalty. Let’s just move on from this, because if we see this in the regular season, I will personally start “Bench Farrell” chants.

71′ Goal – Gustavo Bou (Unassisted) Min 2 – NE 2

Jeremy – Bou continues to be a scoring machine for the Revolution. Yes, it was a mistake by the Minnesota defense, but you still need to put it away. He annoyed and was a force in getting the ball turned over.

Creighton – I will love these goals over and over and over. Bou’s pressure during the preseason thus far has been on point. If he continues into the regular season, I forsee that we’ll see a few more of these pressure-caused giveaways in the back.

Overall Thoughts

Jeremy – I get this is pre-season, but Penilla needs a reality check. His lack of work on the defensive end through three pre-season games gives me doubts about the season. His lack of backtracking has directly resulted in two goals, this pre-season. His crossing has been a bright spot, but if he is a liability on the defensive end, he may need to be relegated to substitute. DeJuan Jones has earned a starting spot on either the right or left flank going into this season, in my opinion. With Büttner still having a niggling injury, he may get the start on the left, but even thinking of a combination of him and Bye on the right, with the pace and defensive awareness the two of them have, it could become a strength of this team. He also has had an excellent attacking presence, providing a number of good crosses, something he needed to improve upon this off-season. Overall, the attack looks like it is starting to come together. Buska and Bou are getting closer to being on the same wavelength, and without Gil orchestrating from the middle, the team has still looked sharp. The youth seemed extremely fluid against the Rapids, and at times, this group was running Minnesota off the pitch. Defensively I have worries. I think Delamea is a big miss so far, and after the issues, Mancienne had this past game, right now I am leaning towards Kessler and Farrell opening day if Delamea is not fit. Turner was quite vocal, which was good to see and rebounded nicely from the opening day against LA when he looked out of position at times. He made several good reflex saves, but I still think he needs to improve his presence in the air and the box.

Creighton – The major take from this game for me are Jones’ continued proving of his skill as a defensive power and an offensive support. His speed and foot skills continue to shine in each game leaving him as a young star who should see a serious uptick in time out. At this point, with players out with injury, we may see him as a starter in Montreal.

Penilla continues to make amazing offensive plays, but ends up a problem on the back end. His inability to get back and provide support creates a problem when the back is double teamed. Let’s hope in the next games that we see Arena correct this problem.

I hope to see the 2nd string that hasn’t been getting starts against Vancouver, I think it’s one last hurrah to try and prove they belong in the first team.

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