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New England Revolution 2 - Charlotte FC 1: 3 Thoughts
The Revs finally won.
The New England Revolution returned home after a stint on the road and were in desperate need of a win over Charlotte FC. New England left a rainy Gillette Stadium with three points.
Interim head coach Clint Peay took charge of his first home game and continued to implement his style of play on the first team. New England switched up their formation as they deployed a 4-2-3-1 with Bobby Wood up top.
The midfield was made up of Tomas Chancalay, Carles Gil, and Nacho Gil with Mark-Anthony Kaye and Noel Buck serving in a defensive midfield role. The back line consisted of Matt Polster, Dave Romney, Andrew Farrell, and DeJuan Jones.
But what do you need to know about the match on Saturday night? Here are three thoughts.
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1 - Young Buck blast
Buck was the hero for New England with an absolute rocket of a shot in the 64th minute. The goal really came out of no where for the youngster as he hadn’t particularly had a great game prior.
But it was exactly what New England needed. Instead of going a full month without a win, the Revs were finally able to secure three points.
It was yet another highlight in a breakout season for the youngster. After returning from English Youth National Team camp, he spent some time on the bench and this was his first goal since representing the Three Lions for the first time. The goal was Buck’s third of the season.
It will be tough to take the youngster out of the starting XI from this point forward as he continues to show that he can make an impact. When New England needed a goal, Buck was able to deliver.
2 - Chancalay continues to impress
Ever since breaking into the starting XI, Chancalay has been one of the best players on the pitch for New England.
Once again Chancalay was a driving force in the attack. Beyond his skill, he was using his speed and physicality to blow by defenders and create chances for the Revolution. The Argentine’s passing ability was on display as well with some impressive long balls.
But the 24-year-old isn’t a one-way player. His effort when defending and willingness to be physical with opponents should make him a fan-favorite and someone teammates admire.
With Dylan Borrero out for the rest of the season due to injury, Chancalay appears to be more than a suitable replacement. He was single-handedly jumpstarting New England’s attack.
This was usually a responsibility that was left to Carles Gil so having someone else who can get the Revs attack going is more than welcome. It makes New England tougher to defend and a stronger team overall.
While Chancalay was unable to find the back of the net, Revolution fans should be pleased with his performance and excited at what he could do in a full MLS season in 2024.
3 - Can we please stop playing single-strikers
Between injuries and lack of scoring, the striker position has been nonexistent for the last month. No goals have come from the position in a month.
Giacomo Vrioni has been facing a lot of criticism (rightfully so to a point) but once again the striker position was unable to make an impact and he wasn’t in the starting XI. While Bobby Wood was able to get some glancing headers, he never was a true scoring threat. The veteran striker’s night came to an end in the 53rd minute with him only recording 17 touches and two shots.
A problem that once looked to be due to Vrioni now appears to be a team-wide issue. If I was Peay (not an envious position) it seems like the easy change would be to have two strikers up top.
With Gustavo Bou making the bench, he is nearing a return to the starting XI and deploying a two-striker formation would allow for all your DP’s to play 90 minutes. If changes aren’t made, New England could continue to tumble down the table.
But with the win, the Revs did the opposite. New England now sits third in the Eastern Conference and will be looking to build off this performance as they play the Columbus Crew on Wednesday evening.