New England Revolution 0 - CF Montreal 1: 3 Thoughts
The post-Petrovic era began with a loss
The New England Revolution headed up to Montreal and will return to the United States with no points after suffering a defeat on Saturday night.
It was the first match since Djordje Petrovic was transferred to Chelsea but he wasn’t the only absence on the night. DeJuan Jones, Gustavo Bou, and Andrew Farrell were all absent from the starting XI.
Earl Edwards Jr. got the start in net while Omar Gonzalez replaced Farrell. With Jones out, Matt Polster reverted back to right back, a position he hadn’t played since joining New England.
Carles Gil, Ian Harkes, and Mark-Anthony Kaye made up the midfield while Damian Rivera and Noel Buck were on the wings with Giacomo Vrioni playing as a lone striker.
So what do you need to know about the match? Here are three thoughts.
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1 - The dam finally broke
The Revolution trotted out a far from first-choice back line and to their credit they did a decent job. As stated above, Polster played at right back for the first time in New England.
While he played the position for Rangers and the Chicago Fire, it has been quite some time since he lined up out wide. Polster doesn’t bring the attacking threat that Brandon Bye or Jones presents and he also showed some rust from the lack of playing on the outside.
The match also saw Omar Gonzalez get his first minutes since July 12th and his first start since May 31st. While showing his age with a lack of pace, he did a good job defending overall as a fill-in for Farrell with his ability to knock opponents off of the ball.
But eventually the pressure was too much as New England allowed a late goal that saw Montreal secure the victory. It seemed inevitable as Montreal had constant pressure in the final third.
With the Revs struggling to create chances, Montreal ended up with the ball at their feet for the majority of the match. In the second half, they were firmly on the front foot and deserved the goal and the win.
While it was far from a pretty performance, New England’s back line wasn’t first choice and held up for as long as it could. Revolution fans will be hoping that Farrel and Jones injuries aren’t too serious as the club could begin dropping in the standings and suffering defeats without them.
2 - Doing the dirty work
While he didn’t find the back of the net — which is the job of a striker — Vrioni had a good performance. His determination when pressing his opponents and trying to create turnovers stood out as the 24-year-old looks to prove he can perform as a lone striker.
The issue was once again a lack of service for the striker. With No Brandon Bye or Jones, New England didn’t really have a threat on the wings. Compared to when the aforementioned players are on the field, there was basically no crosses into the box. The Revolution attack was running through the center of the pitch and struggled to create.
Still, Vrioni deserves some shine. With Bou expected to be out for four weeks, New England will be relying on him a lot. It is his time to show that he is worth that Designated Price tag and can produce when the Revs need him to.
3 - Welcome to MLS
Revolution fans finally got to see Tomas Chancalay make his MLS debut. The form Racing midfielder came on for Noel Buck in the 62nd minute.
Chancalay wasn’t afraid to get stuck in which was a bit surprising for a player who was expected to be an attacking threat. He had a great slide tackle in the 69th minute to stifle a Montreal attack and also forced a vital turnover in the 73rd minute.
The 24-year-old had limited opportunities to show what he can do on the attack but displayed some great skill on the ball. It was a performance to build off of for Chancalay as he looks to become a vital part of New England’s attack and hopefully play a part in the Revs finding three points instead of zero.
Now New England will turn its attention to a midweek match against the New York Red Bulls.