The Revolution Deserve Your Attention New England

Playoff Hype

The New England Revolution are the only current team that are playing meaningful games on your TV as it stands currently. So, get off your butt and change the channel to ESPN tonight at 8:00 PM. I promise you, it will be worth it. The Revolution are a team on a mission and could use your support. In a season where they’ve been unable to have fans in their stadium, they’ve still found ways to win.

They face off against the Philadelphia Union tonight in a Round One playoff. This is the sixth time they meet this season, due to the “pod” aspect of the season this year. They are no longer teams that can say they don’t have a rivalry. It has been named by the MLS Store the “Liberty Rivalry” and there is no better name for it. The Revolution have managed to lose all but the second meeting they had. All those games were one goal matches, besides the final meeting on Decision Day.

Don’t let that fool you though, the games have been hard fought matches, with Andre Blake making ridiculous saves in each game. Here, in the playoffs, Blake has not been known to do the same, he’s crumbled under pressure in each game he’s appeared in for the Union. I hope to see New England pepper Blake with shots during the match, keep him on his toes.

Forget The Past, Focus On The Future

I’ve consistently fought the case for time for Rennicks and Buchanan. Tajon Buchanan is the only member of the Revolution this year to have finished a goal past Andre Blake. Rennicks is also one that would be quite likely to keep Philadelphia on their toes. Justin has speed and an unknown potential to strike on goal. For Bruce Arena, who has been quoted that these teams know no secrets. Employing the players who he doesn’t play all too often who have been known to make things happen.

The Buchanan and DeJuan Jones outside back show that was shown out in Montreal was a phenomenal attack minded defensive pairing. Matthew Polster was shuttled into the back-line when Tajon Buchanan would make runs up the field. The dynamic moves of the formation caused issues for the Montreal defense who wouldn’t know when Tajon would stroll down the right side.

Why They Deserve Your Attention

Who else is currently playing on a Tuesday night? The Revolution are currently your only sports team playing on a Tuesday night in the Playoffs. Make the time, watch them play tonight. They have an identity formulated through their three designated players who make game changing strikes at a moments notice. Carles Gil received a pass from Gustavo Bou and combined for the first goal of the Play-In game on Friday. Bou created his own space for his goal in the dying minutes of the game to win the play-in round.

Adam Buksa was a strong aerial presence during the Montreal game. He was inches close to making his mark on the game with his head. We will continue to see that much in this game. He has players who can give the ball an easy pass into the middle where he waits for the chance. It would be so important for him to get one in these matches, to prove to himself that he can finish the chances that matter.

The New England Revolution deserve your attention because they’re playing strong soccer at the moment. The team on the whole is entirely talented and have created a multitude of chances throughout the year. We have the runner-up of the Goalkeeper of the Year award, Matthew Turner. He’s also a shoe-in to be brought up to the US Men’s National Team as a goalkeeper. He has excelled in shot stopping this year. He’s so exciting to watch when a player goes 1 v 1 against him.

The Revolution Is Televised

They play on ESPN tonight at 8:00, make sure to tune in New England!

New England Revolution: Playoff Roster Preview Pt. 1 Forwards

Revolution Team

The New England Revolution made the MLS playoffs for the second consecutive year under head coach and general manager Bruce Arena. In contrast, their form over the last two games has not been the most promising, sloppy defending against DC United and just a lackluster performance against Philadelphia. With that being said, let’s take a look at their roster heading into the playoffs.

Forwards

The Revolution forwards have produced 22 of the 25 goals for the team this year. 88% is a significant percentage, but also shows the reliance on the forwards to produce. If they do not produce, this team has shown its struggles. While Gustavo Bou is returning from a hamstring injury, the two weeks between matches will help ensure he is up and running for the play-in round match against Montreal.

Adam Buksa had a turbulent regular season for the Revolution but ended with six goals to his credit. He gives the Revolution an excellent hard working number 9. His hold up play is pretty good, and he continues to make good runs off the ball. I think you should expect Buksa to get at least one or two goals in the playoffs, possibly three depending on how deep the team makes a run into the playoffs. With Gil and Bou coming back, the hope is that he can find more space, and they will be able to create more opportunities.

Teal Bunbury has another consistent year for the Revolution. He ended up with the most goals on the team with 8. With Bou and Buksa finding form, he may find his role either on the substitutes bench or more out wide than as the false number nine. His form is good with two goals against DC, but he barely saw the ball against Philadelphia. His work rate will be extremely useful in the playoffs in either roll. I expect him to chip in with at least one goal, though if he gets hot, I could see him hitting 3 or 4 depending on the run in the playoffs.

Gustavo Bou is coming in off a hamstring injury that sidelined him for almost a month. With that, he finished the regular season with five goals. You could see the rust coming off against Philadelphia, so the Revolution are going to need him to find his form and his connection with Gil. IF he can get right, the Revolution will have a potent weapon amongst the goals.

Tajon Buchanan has improved over the year and become a significant threat out wide for the Revolution. He contributed two goals and two assists in the regular season. Buchanan tormented the opposition backs and as he grew in his role and confidence, especially after netting for the first time. I think that Bruce trusts him, and he will get starting minutes throughout the playoffs. He gives you such pace and attacking threat while working back, that combined with Teal on the other wing, you get good coverage.

Kekuta Manneh, a midseason addition of the Revolution, has shown some pace and added width when he has plaid. He has had two starts and six appearances over, and outside from the first two, he has shown good energy and helped create some issues out wide. Manneh and Buksa have developed a good connection with each other’s solitary assist coming for each other. Substitute to hopefully make a late-game impact and contributing with an assist or two.

Justin Rennicks could be an outlier in playoffs for the Revolution. His time down with Revolution II will have given him confidence in his abilities. While it did look at times to be men against boys, he got valuable minutes. While I am not sure if he will make the 19 in any of the playoff matches, he could be used as a late impact attack option for the Revolution.

MLS is Back Game 1: Montreal Impact V New England Revolution

Final Score: Montreal Impact 0 – New England Revolution 1

It’s been four months since there was a competitive MLS match for the New England Revolution, and they came out of the blocks firing. While there were some stumbling blocks at times, the Revolution looked like a team that came into this tournament ready for games.

Henry was fair in his assessment of how Montreal played, yet if you look at the overall performance of both clubs, they were just overmatched and outclassed. Stats aside, the eye test showed one side showed up ready to play, and the other was not prepared. The question not only comes down to the players but the coach as well. Bruce Arena has more managerial experience and success as a manager than Thierry Henry. Yes, Henry was a fantastic player, but that does not mean he won’t become a good coach. He looked overmatched and underwhelming, to be frank.

I still stand by the statement that half of the reason the season opener went so poorly for the Revolution was the pitch in Montreal. Yes, Carles Gil was back for the Revolution, but even a blind man can see how the ball moved on the surface, compared to that joke in Montreal. I know most people joke about the surface at Gillette, but I would take that over what I saw in Montreal.

Major Talking Points

New England Goal 56′ – Gustavo Bou (Carles Gil) Mon 0 – NE 1

What a strike. The interplay between the Revolution front four was fantastic, and this goal should have been one of many. The goal started with the work between Brandon Bye and Carles Gil on the wing and just an excellent finish. The link-up connection between Bou and Gil has been in place since the middle of last season. Yes, there was some rust to knock off, but what a strike.

Overall Thoughts

I cannot commend Bruce Arena, and the rest of his staff enough for the work that they did to get this team ready for the MLS is back tournament. They looked a side who was prepared to go from kick-off. You have to look at the Revolution players, through all the matches I’ve watched seem to have the best fitness. Also, getting their injured players back on the field showed the potential this roster has.

Carles Gil’s 12 chances created were needed, and it allowed so much more freedom to the rest of the players on the pitch. You can see a difference in the flow of the Revolution attack when he was on the pitch and earlier this year when he was injured.

It was welcome to see Delamea and Büttner back on the field. Büttner played exceptionally well for someone who has not played a professional game in close to a year. He provided some much-needed leadership on the backline. He and Delamea seemed to be very much on the same wavelength with each other, even though they have had minimal time together on the field. Büttner also seemed to make things calmer at the back. His call outs and just calmness on the ball and with his positioning helped settler the backline. Nothing against Jones, but the experience difference was culpable.

I am going to make this point again, Thierry Henry can only blame his players so much. They looked underprepared and overmatched. He can talk about lack of fight, but it comes down to his staff and himself ensuring the players are ready to go, and they did not.

Man of the Match

Gil, Turner, Bou, Bruce Arena. Take your pick. Each of these individuals played a huge part in the success of the Revolution over the Impact. Gil created, and being back on the field gave Bou more freedom to play. Bou scored a scorcher of a goal, and what a save by Turner. Probably caused a couple of slight heart attacks afterward, but that is what you need from a standout goalkeeper. Finally, I have already impressed upon Bruce’s accomplishments in ensuring the team was prepped and ready to go tactically, mentally, and physically.

Playoff Excitement and Haters…

I’m super pumped for this game on Saturday. I love even more that we’re underdogs. We thrive while being the underdogs and always have. It catapults the fans to a level of hype unseen, especially when the players catch on and double it down. This #RaiseYourColors tag has also kicked my feelings up a notch. The “Mama Mama” chant has been a mainstay in the Revolution realm for years now, it’s about time they assimilated to the supporter’s culture.

Atlanta will be tough…

Yeah yeah yeah, they’ve got a couple ex-Revs looking to pay the team back. Yeah, they’ve got one of the top goal scorers of the past few years since Atlanta came into the league. I’m not going to chop this up lightly. AU will definitely come out swinging. Atlanta will be coming into this with a general knowledge of the team from the game on Decision Day, fresh in their heads. This knowledge may be fake, so lets not even focus in on that. Martinez, Gressel and Pity/Barco can absolutely tear this Revs team apart and we’ve already seen it a few times within the past year. Martinez will be playing the back line as usual, hoping to catch someone sleeping.

The biggest plus on Atlanta’s half is that they’ll have 50,000 or more fans in the crowd making noise. I’ve heard a decent section of Revolution fans may be heading down for the game, but I still think it will be less than 30-40. I hope I’m wrong. Needless to say, the New England players will have to believe the fans are making a ruckus for them up in 329, very unlikely to be heard.

The major subtraction I can take from this team, is this team is not coached by MLS Cup winning Tata, they’ve got FDB. I cannot assume the same level of ability to keep players composed in the face of the Revs coming out and scoring first. I think this is where we may have a chance to change up people’s minds. We have an MLS Cup winning head coach, they don’t.

Hype Train Rolls On…

I will start at the top. As soon as Bruce Arena took a hold onto this team, they became a different entity entirely. We’ve seen cohesion between players and even some singular players having major confidence boosts. Right here, is where I start this hype train. I know a lot of us fans are tainted by performances past, but this coach, with this team. Arena seems to make these players want to run through walls for him. He definitely makes the fans want to jump out of their seats and run onto the field and hug him.

We have MLS Newcomer of the Year, Carles Gil on our team. He has been a part of this team since during the Friedel downfall and he still came out unscathed. He scored 10 goals this season and provided 14 more people with goals. Bou and him have vibed so well together that I don’t see this game not having a Bou to Gil to Bou goal. He will lead us to victory. oh capitán mi capitán

We have LA PANTERA, Gustavo Bou. He has 9 goals and 2 assists in 13 games started, 14 games played since he joined the team. At the moment, he is likely to strike again, as he hasn’t gone two games without a goal all season. On average, he scores a goal every game and a half. With that stat, if he was here all year, he would have been closing in on Martinez’s trail with around 24-25 goals in 34 games. He is the real deal and willing to do anything and everything to try and score. I hope this panther strikes again this upcoming game!

We have Matt Turner, our Goalkeeper of the Year in our hearts. His stats are unreal, even if it’s only part of the season. At one point in the season, this guy was supposed to have let in 28 goals. He allowed 20. There were no other goalkeepers even in his range for G-xG. He is the main reason this team stands in the playoffs. He is also the reason I’m consistently ready to run through a wall. Turner has shown me that he can step up and keep people motivated to make it all happen. In most of his interviews, he is always speaking on how the team is working together and working hard. It shows!

The team on the whole has been legit through this run of 5 and a half months since Arena stepped into his position as Head Coach/ Sporting Director. Agudelo, Fagundez, and Penilla have all had great showings in their various starts and super-sub moments. Luis Caicedo has continued to be the backbone of the team, always ready to sacrifice himself for the greater good (tactical fouls). He has great soccer IQ and it’s awesome to see. Big Wilf has showed he can be a great asset in keeping possession. He also manages to send some great passes through from time to time. The whole back-line in the past few games have worked their asses off. From Farrell, Delemea, Anibaba, Mancienne, to Jones, they all have shown some amazing work and I can’t wait to see the pumped up version of the defense they showed a week and a half ago.

All the haters…

Beware. The underdogs are ready to go. We will show up on Saturday. We will make as many strikes on goal as we did a week or so ago. And we will score them this time. We will keep your “strikers” out of our end with great ease. We will keep our calm and strike when the moment is right. Our supporters will be partying up in 329 singing “Glory Glory”, with an amazing emphasis on the part “Undivided…F UNITED”. I can’t wait to go to the bar and annoy the regulars when I’m jumping around the lounge area screaming my lungs out.“Mama Mama, Can’t you see, What New England’s done for me…” This is the Revolution and we will not back down. “Raise your colors, Raise them up.”

Revs Look To Strike Back In Seattle

I’ve been watching a show on Netflix called “Trainer!”. I recommend it to anyone who loves soccer/football or someone just getting into the game. It touches on a few key things that a Revs fan has come to know, if they’ve spent the past 5 years with the rest of us. No matter what you do as a coach, your moves are always judged. This is the difference between Brad and Bruce. Bruce knows that you’re one hundred percent judged whether you win, lose or draw. It’s about how you bounce back. It’s what you learn from your mistakes, not who to blame or why things happened the way they did. This is why I think the game in Seattle will be one to watch.

Revs fare well in the West

New England heading to Seattle has good vibes to it this year. We have two wins and two ties in away games against the West. The two wins are most recent and are a direct correlation of the Arena era. There are two major points stemming from those games that we need to make sure happens again. Carles Gil needs to be able to find heads or feet. In the game against LA, he assisted both Penilla and Bunbury for simple goals, lets get back to that. He also added another assist to Juan Fernando Caicedo in the game against Colorado. Juan also needs to find space and to strike the back of the net again. We need a few strikers with goal confidence to kick start our attack.

Come on Revs, let’s score a goal…

The most damning stat from the game against LAFC is the shots versus shots on goal. The Revs ended up with seven shots but only one on goal. LAFC ended up with seven shots, six on goal and two in the back of the net. The boys in blue need to make us believe they can strike on goal and string together attacking play after the showing in Gillette this past weekend. I would love to see Bou with another cracking goal from distance.

Defensive Pros/Cons

Turner has been a force in these past few games. He shut down Carlos Vela all game last Saturday. Major issues in the wing backs Castillo and Bye with the inability to cross consistently and getting caught out of position. Delemea is ruled out for the game. New England will have two players, Mancienne and Anibaba to fill in that position at center back. I’m hoping to see what Mancienne can bring to the table. I think if he steps out after his injury and we make some major stops. I think it will be great for his confidence going forward if Toni is ruled out for longer than this game.

Morris will be looking to score…

Seattle’s most dangerous player at the moment will be Morris. He will be wanting to score more after his great goal in the game against Sporting Kansas City. Also, they made two great signings for the midfield in Emmanuel Cecchini from Malaga and Luis Silva (a former RSL player) from a first division Finnish team. This bolstering of the midfield positions can help the team in the final third, let’s hope we don’t see them this game. They are coming off a loss to SKC, which is a major plus for the Revs.

If you’re looking for me…

Looking for a place to watch the game? I will be at Boston Billiards Club and Casino in Nashua, NH with the Midnight Riders watch party run by Monty Rodrigues. It’s cooking up to be a great game and great time. Boston Billiards has delicious food and plenty of drink.