New England Revolution 1 - Columbus Crew 1: 3 Thoughts
A injury-riddled Revs drew with the Crew
Even with injuries running rampant through the starting XI, the New England Revolution drew with the Columbus Crew on Saturday night.
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Gustavo Bou, Bobby Wood, and Henry Kessler all failed to make the matchday squad. Bou and Wood picked up injuries in training while Kessler is still recovering from an injury suffered in the win over CF Montreal.
This meant that New England switched to a lone striker set up with Giacomo Vrioni receiving his first start since the 2023 season opener against Charlotte FC. Andrew Farrell also replaced Kessler which was his first start of 2023 and the veteran center back made his 307th appearance which passed Cobi Jones for fourth-most games played entirely for one club in Major League Soccer history.
But what do you need to know about the draw? Here are three thoughts.
1 - Revs defensive on display
Farrell stepped in for Kessler and did a quality job.
The fact that this is Farrell’s first start of the season illustrates how Bruce Arena has improved the depth of his defense. The veteran center back was an ironman for New England the last few seasons but with the acquisition of Dave Romney and Farrell dealing with an injury in preseason, the Revolution could rely on Henry Kessler and Romney.
Speaking of Romney, he also had a fantastic game. He made a number of key blocks that helped New England keep the lead when playing short-handed. He was arguably the man of the match with how many key defensive plays he made.
But with Kessler injured, the Revs could call upon a veteran like Farrell to step in and not miss a beat. Last season that duty would have fallen to Omar Gonzalez, Jon Bell, A.J. DeLaGarza, or Christian Makoun.
Farrell was able to help mitigate Columbus’ counterattack and exhibited some quality defensive play. He made some crucial clearances and ensured that New England wouldn’t leave Ohio empty-handed.
2 - Is Giacomo Vrioni back?
After scoring against CF Montreal, Vrioni made his return to the starting XI and performed quite well. While he didn’t find the back of the net, he showed why he can be a valuable striker.
Vrioni had some amazing runs that allowed him to get past the Crew back line. Compared to Bou who always seems to be offside, it was a pleasant sight to see the flag stay down when the 24-year-old broke the Crew’s line.
If Bou is able to return next week against Sporting Kansas City, it will be interesting to see what Arena decides to do. Could Bou play in more of a wing role with Vrioni once again alone up top or could Vrioni and Bou have to work together in a striker partnership?
But on Saturday evening, Vrioni took another positive step after a difficult start to the season.
3 - Dylan Borrero’s is dangerous
While Borrero won’t be credited with the goal, his speed is what caused it.
Out on the left flank, Borrero was having a field day against Crew defenders. He looked like he had jet packs in his cleats as he blew by his opponents.
On the own goal, Borrero was able to get by his defender and put pressure on Columbus. He sent a cross into the box and that pressure forced an own goal.
On the other end of the spectrum, Borrero’s two yellow cards which would end his night prematurely showed that he has a lot more maturing to do. The first yellow was for yelling at Chris Penso after disagreeing with the referee awarding a Columbus goal kick. Besides simply voicing his displeasure, Borrero decided to flail his arms and put on quite the theatrical performance.
The second yellow wasn’t any better. With the Crew failing to even cross the halfway line, Borrero went to ground and made a vicious tackle on Mohamed Farsi.
Arena has constantly said that Borrero needs to become a more consistent player. It looks like maturity will be added to Arena’s wishes for the 21-year-old. It will be interesting to see if there is any additional punishment as Borrero got in a scuffle with some Crew players after being sent off.
It’s hard to blame a game on one person but Borrero likely cost New England points in Columbus
Grow up Dylan....and be a team player.
Tons of talent, but very immature
Great skills only take you half-way, kid.
Borrero did, indeed, cost us that match. He is too erratic, takes too many stupid shots that have no chance of going in. Fast, but not accurate. SIT HIM.