Ema Boateng Makes Impact In 1st Start of 2023 MLS Season
The veteran left his mark on New England's 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City
Ema Boateng didn’t let the first start of the 2023 Major League Soccer season go to waste.
The 29-year-old was one of the best players on the pitch for New England in the 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City. The usual super-sub played 74 minutes and tallied an assist in the win.
Boateng used his speed to find open space and create chances for the Revolution. He was constantly sending crosses into the box and connected with Giacomo Vrioni on the striker’s first goal of the night.
The veteran finished the night with 89 percent of his passes completed while also creating four chances and recording 40 touches against SKC.
While Boateng was happy to be back in the starting XI he wasn’t happy with the way that New England played in the second half.
“It was good,” Boateng said of getting the start. “It was good to get the win. Obviously, we had a great first half as a team and we're not happy with the way we ended the game. Being up a man and still looking like we're going to give up chances wasn't the way we wanted to end it. So, we're happy we got the three points but could have been better second half.”
The 29-year-old pointed to New England’s struggle to maintain possession as an area where the team needs to improve.
“Yeah if we kept possession of the ball, I think it’s a much different game, Boateng said when asked by WPRO’s Tom Quinlan if the Revs need to be better at closing out games. “Make them run around a little bit and we would have created chances. We know we have the quality on the field. So obviously we are going to look at it, try to figure out what it is but right now what I can say is probably possession.”
Once New England is healthy, Boateng will likely switch back to his off-the-bench role but for now, he will take advantage of the increase in minutes. The 29-year-old showed once again that no matter what Bruce Arena asks of him, the veteran is able to deliver.
With the Revolution still banged up, Boateng may get another start when New England faces Hartford Athletic in the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday.