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New England Revolution 0 - Philadelphia Union 3: 3 Thoughts
The Revs left PA with no points
The New England Revolution left Pennsylvania Saturday with zero points as they were defeated by the Philadelphia Union down in Chester.
Bruce Arena’s starting XI was unchanged from the club’s last match against Inter Miami. Bobby Wood was the lone striker up top with Ema Boateng and Noel Buck on the wings. Matt Polster and Latif Blessing were the defensive midfield pairing with Carles Gil once again being looked upon to make magic happen in the middle.
But what do you need to know about the loss? Here are three thoughts.
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1 - Another bad start
After a start last week that Bruce Arena described as “disgraceful,” fans might have expected for New England to come out guns blazing to start the match.
While the Revs didn’t allow an early goal, New England once again had a rough start to the game. Their passing was poor and the Revolution struggled to create on the attack. Bruce Arena’s side failed to register a shot on target in the first half.
The Union decided to play with three center backs and this allowed for Kai Wagner and Olivier Mbaizo to get forward and attack New England’s back line. The likes of Julian Carranza were able to test Djordje Petrovic and force him to make some impressive saves to keep the score at nil-nil entering the half.
The rough start was only amplified with Carles Gil leaving the match due to injury in the 35th minute. After the whistle blew, the Revolution captain walked straight off the field and went to sit on the sidelines.
While New England didn’t allow a goal, the team needs to start performing better from the opening whistle. Philadelphia had complete control of the game in the first half and were unlucky to not enter the half with a goal.
The poor play bleed into the second half and while they had a rough start it was also a poor all-around performance on the night. The better team won with New England’s defense playing poorly and the attack failing to test Andre Blake.
2 - Capi comes off
New England’s captain had an early exit to the match on Saturday and walked straight to the bench after going down. Jack Panayotou ended up replacing Gil in the 35th minute but his quick exit has Revolution fans on high alert.
Gil already missed the match against LAFC due to an injury and the midfielder has a lengthy muscle injury history. The midfielder also missed the majority of the 2020 season with a bone spur injury.
The Revs ended up completely falling to pieces after losing their captain. A defensive breakdown by the team ended up in Mikael Uhre’s first goal from open play this season and a poor decision to extend his arms and make contact in the box (whether it is a soft call or not, Farrell needs to be smarter) led to the Union earning a penalty kick and Uhre slotting it home.
Anytime a player leaves the pitch and knows he needs to be subbed out it is cause for concern. When that player is your captain and the heartbeat of your attack it can change the course of your season.
3 - The Revs have an attacking problem
With injuries racking up (including Gil) New England’s attack has become virtually non-existent. The poor performance at striker has finally caught up to New England and the club needs to make additions if they want to maintain the early pace that they have set in the standings.
Once again deep into the game, New England failed to have a shot on target. While Wood got off to a good start, he has cooled off and looks like someone who should be coming off the bench. Giacomo Vrioni is struggling to find form and as we get closer to the one-year anniversary of his acquisition, he is currently being utilized as a sub.
Gustavo Bou is currently injured and has missed the last four games for New England and even if he returns to training it will take some time for him to be ready to play 90 minutes. That leaves the Revolution with Justin Rennicks who provides a lot of energy off the bench but hasn’t proven to be a scoring threat against MLS competition this year.
Along with needing a much better performance from your strikers, New England also has to replace Dylan Borrero. While Boateng has played well showing the ability to create chances for the Revs and provide service into the box, if New England wants to compete for an MLS Cup he can’t be your starter.
Borrero could attack defenders at will and even pull out some goals. Boateng is more of a set-up man and isn’t as imposing as the ball compared to Borrero. Even though he was one of the Revs only good performers against the Union, he is better utilized coming off the bench.
The Summer Transfer Window will be crucial in terms of finding reinforcements on the attack and even potentially making tough decisions to part ways with players. If no changes are made and Carles Gil misses any sort of time, the Revolution could start to trundle down the table.
A trip home is just what New England needs after a pair of rough games on the road. The Revs take on the Chicago Fire next Saturday and will look to finally earn some points.