Revolution II: A Tale of Two Halves
The first half in this USL League One match-up was one to forget for both sides. Ft. Lauderdale CF showed great attack towards goal but ultimately was unable to get anything to fall their way. Newcomer to the Revolution II, Ryan Sierakowski believed the team was “rushing our attack a little bit.” He hit the nail on the head, as Revs II unable to put a single shot on the frame in the first half. Coach Clint Peay relayed that the team had a half-time talk where he dealt with the issues. He stated after the game, “We were too far apart as a group, and we wanted to be more collective as we pressed and as we moved the ball.”
Ft. Lauderdale CF took control in this match, creating the most passes and ending up with nearly 60 percent of the possession during the game. Whereas Revolution II defended well as a team, winning over 50 percent of the duels in the match. The Revs second team was more clinical in front of goal, challenging Luis Zamudio twice from five total shots. Meanwhile, Ft. Lauderdale gave Joe Rice one issue to deal with in the entire game while taking eighteen strikes toward the goal. The opponents did however strike the ball against the post twice in their efforts.
For Revolution II, they functioned as a unit in the second half. Ft. Lauderdale continued to try and break down the defense, but to no avail. Revs II created all of their chances towards goal in the last half of the game and finally broke through on the foot of Michigan State’s Ryan Sierakowski.
Defensive Efforts Help Finish Off The Win
In the end, the defensive effort put forth by the primary backline of Presley, Dulysse, O’Hearn, and Spaulding was enough. The center-back pairing of MLS Superdraft 2021 picks Dulysse and O’Hearn gave Joe Rice an easier time in front of the goal. Jake Rozhansky put in a decent shift for Revs II as an enforcer, easing off some of the attacks. Joe Rice was mainly untested. His passing could use a sharpener, connecting only 65 percent of his passes out of the back. François Dulysse saw his first professional match with Revolution II on Saturday. He said that it was “communication and staying locked in the entire match” that helped limit the chances at goal.
Revs II Attack Was Just Enough
Justin Rennicks and Damian Rivera were great players for Revolution II last year. Rivera and Rennicks were the weakest links on the field on Saturday. This game proved to me that Coach Peay had his Revolution II players in a good mindset. Peay said after the game, “Some of the concepts that we do with the second team are a little different than with the first team.” It was a major contributing factor to the first teamers’ slow re-integration into the team during the game.
Ryan Sierakowski was the lone goalscorer in the match in the 49th minute. While he scored, he didn’t touch the ball too often for playing 82 minutes into the game. I’d like to see him see more of the ball and make strong attacks. Hikaru Fujiwara created some major attacks with two key passes. The attacking midfielder created forward momentum leading to the goal. The entire team seemed to flow freely once the wing-backs, Connor Presley and Ryan Spaulding, roamed the wings. Their crosses were part of Revs II’s success last year and will lead to more attacks this year.
Players To Watch For Revs II
One of the new signings soared and earned his first Revolution II goal in his debut. Ryan Sierakowski was clinical in his strike on goal, once he received it in a great position from Hikaru Fujiwara. Fujiwara is in this attack section, as he was integral in the attacks that lead to the goal. Fujiwara showed us a bit of that attacking midfield style last year. It is good to see it get off the ground quickly this year.
Jake Rozhansky stepped back into the defense at times to make interceptions, play-stopping tackles, and professional fouls. I would like to see him make better tackles in the future. His Tiago Mendonça-esque controlling of the midfield is important, as Tiago won’t be available this year. Rozhansky’s replacement after he earned a yellow and a few more fouls, Dennis Ramirez did what was necessary to see the game out. I’d love to see him utilized in the same way for the season, stepping in when Jake starts to test the limits of the referee.
The bonus player in the midfield to continue to watch this season is Noel Buck. He created some great moments with his passing during the game. On a Revolution Academy contract, Buck just turned 16 six days ago and functioned well in the midfield. His vision was crisp. He will continue to help this Revolution II team achieve great things this year.
Dulysse and O’Hearn were a tandem team as the center backs on Saturday traded off winning duels. O’Hearn made great tackles on the ground. Dulysse was a force in the air. That’s what you’d like to see out of your center-back pairing. Right-back Connor Presley was hesitant to push up out of defense in the first half of the match, but once he found his style again, he was back into the swing of things. Spaulding was part of the attack against Ft. Lauderdale, just like he did last year. It will be good to keep watching him do great things.
Revolution Academy Contracts Shine
The Revolution Academy had five of their USL League One contracted players play minutes last night. Noel Buck, Michael Tsicoulias, Cole Dewhurst, Morris Matthews and Hikaru Fujiwara were all integral parts of the Revs II win.