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New England Revolution 0 - Philadelphia Union 1: 3 Game 2 Thoughts
The Revolution season has come to an end
The 2023 season has come to an end for the New England Revolution.
New England faced off against the Philadelphia Union in Game 2 of the First Round of the 2023 MLS Playoffs on Wednesday night. Interim head coach Clint Peay made some changes to try and inspire his squad to a win.
Jacob Jackson was replaced in net by Earl Edwards Jr. The back line also featured changes as Andrew Farrell was at right back with DeJuan Jones on the opposite wing. Henry Kessler and Dave Romney were the center back duo.
In the midfield, Carles Gil played in his typical No. 10 role with Matt Polster and Mark-Anthony Kaye playing as defensive midfielders. Tomas Chancalay and Noel Buck were on the wings with Gustavo Bou serving as the lone striker.
What do you need to know about the match? Here are three thoughts.
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1 - The waiting game
The Revolution were the victim of their own patience. Instead of testing Blake, They were waiting for the perfect chance to score instead of taking shots on net.
Especially down 1-0 in the series, New England needed an early goal. The first half ended scoreless and while it was a good half for the Revs, they needed more if they wanted to keep their season alive.
The Revs were doing well to provide service into the box but they had no one to head the ball home. They are in desperate need of a classic No. 9 with the ability to score in the air. New England was likely hoping that Giacomo Vrioni would have been that player but he has failed to live up to expectations so far.
2 - The dreaded red
The game was forever changed when Mark-Anthony Kaye was given a red card in the 45th minute. New England’s chances of securing a victory effectively went down to zero percent at that point.
The red was harsh (in a way). Initially, it didn’t look like Kaye intentionally tomped on Daniel Gazdag but the play looked much more vicious when VAR was called into play. The call was also harsh considering the circumstances of it being a playoff match but by the books, it looked like a red and that’s exactly the result that played out.
So while it might seem harsh, the red card was justified and changed the events of Wednesday’s game.
3 - Set piece sadness
The ultimate blow came in the 79th minute as the Union once again executed a perfect set-piece play. Quinn Sullivan slotted a cross into the back of the net and gave the Union a lead.
Set piece defending has always been an issue and it reamed its ugly head once again. While the Union deserves credit for a great play, Carles Gil and other Revolution players needed to do a better job of defending in that situation.
While things might have been different had Kaye not received a red card, New England also struggled defending set pieces in the first half of the match. No matter the head coach this has been a constant issue for the Revolution.
So that is it for New England. The season has come to an end and the offseason is sure to feature plenty of changes as the Revolution enter into a new era.
(Editor’s Note: While I have you, this seems like the perfect time to thank everyone who has read our content this season and has become a free or paid subscriber. We stepped into the unknown here on Substack and you showed how much we meant to the New England soccer community. Thank You!)