Last week, the Revolution chose to a good time to play their best match of the year. With Diego Fagundez leading the charge once again, the Revs stomped on table-leading Toronto FC 3-0 at Gillette. With the win, the Revolution got into a tie for 6th in the Eastern Conference at 5-5-5, good for 20 points. Cody Cropper has continued to impress, getting his fourth shutout of the year, all of which came at home. At 20 points, the Foxboro squad are tied with the New York Red Bulls and just 2 points behind Columbus Crew SC. So last night, the Revolution looked to remain undefeated at home for the year, and even move up in the standings. Just two months ago, the Chicago Fire beat the Revolution 3-0 in Chicago. So the Gillette side will be looking to get their revenge.
Now on to last night’s game itself. The Revolution started the match with a peculiar lineup. Agudelo was on the bench, there was no Kouassi, and they came out in a 4-2-3-1, unlike their normal diamond formation. Coming off a US Open Cup victory against Rochester on Wednesday, the Revolution would come out sloppy. The midfield was incapable of maintaining ball possession for much of the first half, and the defense looked confused. With Bastian Schweinsteiger playing as essentially a third center-back for the Fire, the Chicago side was throwing an offense at New England that they were not expecting. This would pay dividends quickly as Nemanja Nikolic would bury his 13th goal of the season early in the 1st half. It appeared as if Chris Tierney lost him down the sideline and Delamea was too late to provide help, leading to a breakaway goal for the Fire.
It wouldn’t be until the 30th minute or so where the Revolution would start controlling the ball more, leading to some optimism entering half down 1-0. At the half the Revolution would bring Agudelo on for Caldwell, changing their formation to their regular diamond. The intention here was to capitalize on their ball control from the end of the previous half. Unfortunately for New England, they wouldn’t be the first to strike in the half, as Chicago would score in the 61st minute off a Solignac goal thanks to an excellent assist by de Leeuw. The home unbeaten streak was now in incredible jeopardy. In the 70th minute Lee Nguyen put a cross into a cluster near the goal, Agudelo would get his head on it, and then Delamea would knock it in for his first MLS goal.
In the 80th minute the Revs would bring Teal Bunbury on for Kei Kamara, and this move would pay off. The Revs would dominate possession for the last 10 minutes of the match and get countless chances at goal. Unfortunately for them, none of these chances would result in an equalizer and the Revolution would lose at Gillette for the first time this season.
There were two huge takeaways from this match. The first being that it is incredibly important for the revolution to learn how to win on the road. The other being that the Revolution are in need of a real star to be able to win games like this. The Revolution’s next match will be this Friday in Toronto, against the same team they beat 3-0 last week. This is a crucial match for their season, and getting at least one point is incredibly important.
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