New England Revolution 1 - Inter Miami CF 2: 3 Thoughts
The Revs leave the Sunshine State with their first loss since March
The New England Revolution headed down to Florida to face a red-hot Inter Miami CF squad but came away with zero points.
Inter Miami had won four straight games in all competitions while New England was coming off a loss to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the Round of 32 in the U.S. Open Cup.
The Blazing Musket is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
With Gustavo Bou ruled out earlier in the week, Bruce Arena had Bobby Wood be his lone striker to start the match. Wood was tied with Giacomo Vrioni for the club's Golden Boot with three goals entering the match.
Ema Boateng and Latif Blessing made up the midfield along with Carles Gil in the midfield while Noel Buck and Matt Polster played in more defensive roles. Boateng would once again get another chance to show he can mitigate the loss of Dylan Borrero and Blessing was deployed in more of a winger role compared to his usual midfield role.
But what do you need to know about the loss? Here are three thoughts.
1 - Capi can do it all
Whether it is with his left or right foot, Gil can make opponents look silly. The midfielder showed off his skill once again against Miami and leveled the score.
Gil received the ball and it was almost like Miami’s defenders were begging him to shoot with his right foot. The Spaniard said thank you very much and smashed a shot past Drake Callender.
It was a key goal to level the score after Buck had his tally disallowed by VAR and got New England back into the game. Gil is now tied with Vrioni and Wood for the club’s Golden Boot with three goals on the season.
With injuries ravaging the Revs, Gil is stepping up. He is more known for setting up goals but with a revolving door at striker, the captain is scoring on his own.
2 - VAR is BAD
VAR has once again taken back a Revolution goal that many believe should have been given.
It looked like Noel Buck had scored the second goal of the 2023 season with a great individual effort. With the youngster missing out on the U-20 World Cup, it seemed like the midfielder was extra motivated and playing with a chip on his shoulder. Scoring a goal would have been quite the statement to those who left him off the roster.
But of course, VAR had to intervene. It ruled that Blessing was in an offside position and took away what was a great play by Buck.
Then in a completely opposite version of VAR being bad, a case of mistaken identity after a foul on Gil ensured that David Ruiz could stay on even though he committed a yellow card-worthy offense on the Revs captain. Eventually, Ruiz was sent off for a different offense but the fact that the call wasn’t corrected is a blatant example of VAR failing to do its job.
It seems like MLS has lost the plot when it comes to VAR. Now instead of it being clear and obvious, refs are taking multiple minutes and looking at pixels instead of fixing obvious calls. Hopefully, a happy medium can be reached where actual clear and obvious mistakes are being fixed and large amounts of time aren’t being spent looking at plays frame by frame to find an issue.
3 - Blessing and Bye were not the guys
Along with New England taking the loss, Brandon Bye and Blessing struggled against Miami. Both players like to get forward and this left the Revs open to counter-attacks and Miami took advantage.
Both Bye and Blessing missed tackles in the build-up to a play that forced Djordje Petrovic to make a save early on. On Miami’s second goal of the game, Blessing failed to win the ball in front of Petrovic, and Josef Martinez and Co. took advantage of the opportunity.
While his attacking skills and ability send balls into the box is quality, Bye’s defending can be lacking at times. While not evident against Miami, the right back can be caught ball watching at times.
Blessing just seemed like he had too much energy. He was all over the place in all the wrong ways. The midfielder was sloppy on the ball and simply struggled on Saturday night against Miami.
While the VAR call was an example of over-officiating, after the Gustavo Bou disaster Blessing should know better than to put himself in that position. It might have occurred early in the game, but being offsides cost New England some points (though they are still at the top of the Eastern Conference).
Now the Revolution will look ahead to a matchup that might have been more suited for a rivalry week match. New England will be headed down to Chester Pennsylvania to take on Jim Curtin’s Philadelphia Union.
One thing I liked about the Toronto game, I thought there were fewer fouls committed by either team. Shows respect for the game, respect for the rules, good coaching, IMHO.
That was pretty disgusting all in all. What the heck is the VAR ref doing if they thought Arroyo was at fault? Just ridiculous.