New England Revolution 1 - NYCFC 1: 3 thoughts
The New England Revolution only secured one point against their rivals.
The New England Revolution faced off against NYCFC on Saturday and were able to secure one point over their recent rivals.
Ever since the 2021 playoff defeat, New York and New England have played in some feisty matchups. The Pigeons look a lot different in 2023 with the likes of Sean Johnson and Alexander Callens departing but they have also brought in Richy Ledezma and James Sands on top of Santiago Rodriguez and Talles Magno already being on the roster.
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New England trotted out Gustavo Bou and Bobby Wood up top once again with the back line also remaining the same. Bruce Arena continued to play the kids as Noel Buck and Jack Panayotou once again got starts. It was Buck’s sixth start and Panayotou’s second straight start.
Christian Makoun also got his first start of the season with Matt Polster out due to an illness while Carles Gil made his return to the starting XI. It was his first start since March 4.
But what do you need to know about the Revs draw? Here are three thoughts.
1 - Carles Gil works his magic
In his first start since the beginning of March, New England’s captain once again worked his magic. He scored the crucial goal for the Revs and it was a beauty. The midfielder placed a low curler into the net for his first goal of the season and his 22nd of his MLS career.
It was another display of the magic that Gil can make. If you give him an inch of space, he is able to take advantage.
When Gil is playing, the Revs always have a chance to win. He is a top-tier player who the Revolution are lucky to have.
2 - Henry Kessler is hot
New England’s back line continued to perform well. While they allowed a goal, it’s more on Buck than the back line.
Henry Kessler has been particular impressive this season. He has started all six games and has been nearly perfect.
The center back completed over 85 percent of his passes while making some impressive tackles and was the anchor of the back line. Dave Romney also looked good making some key plays late in the game.
With how Romney and Kessler have been playing, it will be hard for Andrew Farrell to find his way into the starting XI.
But Kessler deserves to be commended. After a difficult 2022 season, he has bounced back in great fashion in 2023.
3 - The kids show their youth (but are still alright)
Buck and Panayotou continued to look good but they did show their inexperience. Whether it be turnovers for Buck or poor touches from Panayotou, the youngsters didn’t look as great as they did in the prior game.
Still, the youngsters played decent. Buck made some great defensive efforts and once again showed off his passing ability. The 17-year-old tallied five recoveries and completed over 80 percent of his passes in the first half.
Panayotou also showed some great movement and looked strong on the ball. He completed over 90 percent of his passes and had 22 touches in 45 minutes played.
But NYCFC was able to draw even thanks to an error by Buck that led to a corner. On the corner, Buck also failed to mark Magno who scored for the Pigeons. It was a reminder that these players still have some ways to go as professionals.
While New England got a point, they will be ruing the missed chances they had in the game.