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Clint Peay on Giacomo Vrioni: "I Think He's Fine Either Way"
The striker continued to struggle when alone up top but interim ehad coach Clint Peay doesn't appear to be worried
Giacomo Vrioni’s struggles on the road continued as the New England Revolution fell to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday evening.
While Vrioni has performed well at home, the same can’t be said for his output in away matches. The striker has yet to score a goal on the road in his MLS career while he has seven at home.
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It should be said that the travel in MLS is a lot more extensive compared to playing in Europe, the numbers are quite stunning. This is especially the case for a designated player who New England should rely on for quality performances night in and night out.
As of late, Vrioni has also struggled when performing as a lone striker. While part of this is due to injuries to Gustavo Bou and Bobby Wood, interim head coach Clint Peay had a healthy Wood as an option to pair alongside the 24-year-old.
But once again the DP striker was alone up top and he struggled. In 77 minutes played, Vrioni tallied just 14 touches and two shots. Also boasting an xG of 0.01 and completing 5 of his 8 passes, it is safe to say that the Albanian international had a rough night.
While former interim head coach Richie Williams admitted that Vrioni is best served in a striker partnership, Peay doesn’t see it that way.
“I think in some respects, it was a difficult game for him [Giacomo Vrioni], in terms of the amount of service he got in front of the goal, obviously, in the first half, and I thought in the second half, things started to pick up. He was able to get a little bit more involved, but in terms of striker partners, I think he's fine either way. He can be productive either way. I think he's shown that.”
Vrioni was far from the only player to struggle against Colorado. The majority of the team did outside of Carles Gil. New England struggled to provide service to Vrioni and it showed on the scoresheet.
But fans might disagree with Peay’s assessment of Vrioni’s style of play. The 24-year-old isn’t superb at hold-up play and has struggled to consistently get in and behind opposing back lines. With a striker partner, the DP could focus on what he is good at instead of trying to be a complete striker (which he isn’t yet).
It was a disappointing night for both Vrioni and the Revs. If both don’t improve, the 2023 season could have an unceremonious end.