New England Revolution 1 – FC Dallas 0
Keeper Earl Edwards Jr earned his first career clean sheet as the New England Revolution opened their home slate with a victory over FC Dallas. The difference between the two sides was a first-half stoppage-time penalty from captain Carles Gil. An even and entertaining match, the overall result was a fair result of the play.
Coming into the match, the Revolution continued to be without their #1 and #2 goalkeeper choices from the previous season. Knighton is still recovering from a head injury and, while not listed out again, did not make the 18. Matt Turner continues to be out with a leg injury, as he was seen post-game in a walking boot. He was putting little to no pressure on that side. New England was helped by the return on Henry Kessler, though he was forced off with a reinjury at the half.
44′: VAR Review: Penalty Awarded
Paxton Pomykal looked to have fouled Gil as the two of them were going after a loose ball in the box. Ted Unkel did not see anything amiss in play and continued. Once play stopped, VAR intervened. After review, Unkel overturned and pointed to the spot.
Reviewing the video, Gil gets to the loose ball first, and while the contact is minimal, Pomykal does bring down his boot on the back of Gil’s foot. This causes him to lose both his opportunity to attack and his balance. It was a clear and obvious error and, as such, overturned the call on the field.
45’+2: Goal: New England Revolution: Carles Gil: 1-0
Cool, calm, and collected Carles Gil stepped up and hammered the ball past the outreach of the diving keeper. While Maarten Paes guessed right, the pace of the shot got the ball beyond him.
Nothing was done wrong by either side here. It was a VAR-reviewed pen and a correct decision. It was an excellent pen and an excellent attempt to stop it.
Earl Edwards Jr. Continues to Impress
With the injury to Matt Turner looking more severe than expected, the play of Earl Edwards Jr. continues to impress for the Revolution. While not Matt turner, Edwards Jr. has shown he is more than capable of starting for the Revolution. He continued to be quick off his line and collected and assured in command of his box. If he can continue, the job is his to lose.
It was also a special moment as it was his first career shutout, and in Revolution tradition, he brought donuts to training.
Bruce Arena All Time Winning MLS Coach
Long-time MLS head coach Bruce Arena has finally surpassed Sigi Schmid’s for most MLS wins. His 421st regular-season win was a long time coming, but he has always been humble about his achievements. Again giving credit to his staff and players, Arena will continue to raise this record and hopefully lead the Revolution to their first championship.
In the second game of the season, the Revolution kept their first clean sheet. With CCL coming this week, building from this clean sheet will be paramount for the team. While the loss of Kessler will be tough, this is where the signing of Omar Gonzalez and depth from Jon Bell will be needed. Both Bye and Jones look strong on the wings and will need to continue to improve as this team grows.
While there still needs to be things finalized in terms of continuity, the Revolution offense is slowly finding its rhythm. There were still moments when players needed to find their space and movement; it is coming. Lletget looks to have settled well and is finding his role within the team, but it still feels like some width is missing.
Overlapping runs will continue to come from Jones and Bye, but their crossing was a bit off, at least in this game. With the strength in the air between Buksa and Altidore, the crossing must be consistent. It can be a significant weapon for the Revolution and just needs to be honed and polished.