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New England Revolution 2 - FC Cincinnati 2: 3 Thoughts
Skyline Chili is bad
The New England Revolution headed to Ohio and drew with first-place FC Cincinnati on Saturday evening.
With DeJuan Jones on international duty, Ryan Spaulding once again started at left back. The starting XI and bench were the exact same as it was against Toronto with Gustavo Bou paired with Bobby Wood up top and just like last week, Noel Buck was missing from the matchday squad.
But what do you need to know about the draw? Here are three thoughts.
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1 - Rapid response
Another game, another poor start for New England. After giving up yet another early goal against Toronto FC, the Revolution once again did the same against Cincy.
Dominique Badji put FC Cincinnati up 1-0 in the 11th minute. It was a great counter from Cincy and some poor defending from New England.
Andrew Farrell was caught looking and Badji was able to get in behind him and give Cincinnati the lead. Luckily that lead didn’t last for long.
Bou blasted a shot from outside the box and while Roman Celentano was able to make the save, the rebound deflected off Badji and into the net to tie the game.
While New England was able to tie the game up, they need to stop shooting themselves in the foot by allowing these early goals. While picking up a point on the road was likely the goal for the Revolution, they could have won the match if it wasn’t for the poor start.
2 - Bou balls out
Speaking of La Pantera, he had a heck of a game against one of the best teams in MLS.
Besides having an impact on the own goal that tied the game, Bou put the Revs up 2-1 with a close-range strike that snuck past Celentano. It was Bou’s fourth goal of the season which sees him tied with Vrioni.
At 33 years old, Bou is getting up there in age but he still has the ability to create goals out of thin air. With his contract up at the end of the season, New England may move on from the striker but they would need the likes of Vrioni to step up in a major way.
Vrioni came on in the 66th minute but failed to make an impact. He struggled to get in sync with the game and more importantly, failed to find a goal after replacing Wood. Part of this was due to the fact that Cincy dominated possession and the Revs were forced to bunker down for a majority of the second half.
But focusing on just this season, Bou is still a dangerous striker and a crucial part of the Revolution attack. He showed that on Saturday and it likely won’t be the last time he does in 2023.
3 - Disappointing duo
Saturday was not a pleasant night for Andrew Farrell in Cincinnati. The defender struggled mightily and was one of the poorer players on the pitch for New England on the night.
We already talked about the first goal but the night didn’t get any better for Farrell. He continued to let opponents get in behind him and if it wasn’t for Djordje Petrovic, New England would have lost this game.
With Henry Kessler injured, it is hard to see Farrell moving out of the starting XI but he needs to improve his play. It seemed as if Kessler leapfrogged him in the starting XI to start the season and that will likely be the case when he returns from injury later this year.
But Farrell wasn’t the only player who struggled on the night. Latif Blessing once again had a poor showing.
After an impressive start to the season, Blessing has struggled for months now. Whether it be poor touches, turning the ball over, unnecessary yellow cards, or poor defending, the MLS veteran has been a shell of his early 2023 self. Even when he does cause a turnover, he was unable to do anything with the ball once he gets it.
Similar to Farrell, Blessing could see his spot in the starting XI disappear. When healthy, Buck seems to be a much better option than the 26-year-old.
New England will hope to get back to winning ways when they face the New York Red Bulls next Saturday.