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New England Revolution 2 (8) - Atlas 2 (7): 3 Thoughts
The Revs do not quit
The New England Revolution’s Leagues Cup journey didn’t come to an end as they advanced on penalty kicks to the Leagues Cup Round of 16
Richie Williams stepped in for Bruce Arena on the touchline as Arena is currently on administrative leave due to allegations that the legendary MLS coach made insensitive and inappropriate remarks. With the staff down a coach, Revs II head coach Clint Peay joined the first team on the sidelines as an assistant coach.
Besides the touchline, New England also had to deal with the absence of star goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic who has been sitting out of full-team training due to a disagreement over transfer negotiations. That holdout has now extended to gamedays. In his place was Earl Edwards Jr.
Giacomo Vrioni and Gustavo Bou were the striker duo up top while Carles Gil, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Matt Polster, and Ian Harkes. The back line was unchanged with DeJuan Jones and Brandon Bye serving as outside backs while Andrew Farrell and Dave Romney serving as the center back pairing.
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But what do you need to know about Thursday’s primetime match? Here are three thoughts.
1 - The redemption of Andrew Farrell
Andrew Farrell did not have a good match by any means but oh did he come up big when it mattered.
Throughout the match, Farrell was feasted on by opponents. It was a difficult defensive game for him which was evident in his involvement of Atlas’ second goal of the match. He even said postgame that Edwards Jr. saved him on multiple occasions.
But after an Atlas penalty was skied off the crossbar, Farrell stepped to the spot and scored to win the game for New England. The center back erupted in celebration and ran towards his goalkeeper.
The goal is even sweeter after a late winner against the New York Red Bulls was taken away by VAR. Farrell is usually the one to race to celebrate with teammates but on Wednesday night he was the one showing how well he can celly.
2 - The Petro situation is going to get messy
With Petrovic sitting out (asfirst reported), it seems to be a point of no return for the goalkeeper. The question is now how long will he hold out?
But if Petrovic decides to sit out MLS games, he will go from being a fan favorite to being someone that is hated by some fans. It is clear that he wants out, the question is how far will he go to get his way. The longer he stays on the sidelines the more he will be disliked.
While it can be easy to attack Petrovic, he is just a 23-year-old. He clearly wants to play in Europe and while known for being an athlete he is a human just like you and I.
Unfortunately for New England, it was clear that they missed Petrovic’s goalkeeping ability. While the first goal was a beauty, Petrovic might have made a better effort on the second goal. One also thinks that Petrovic would have made some
It is also worth noting that Edwards Jr. put up a valiant effort. He was put in a difficult situation and made some impressive saves in the win.
But the Revolution showed that without Petrovic they will struggle. Whether it be a transfer or him continuing to sit out, New England will need to find a replacement for the young star.
3 - Making magic happen
It seems like every game Carles Gil pulls out his bag of tricks and Thursday followed that trend. New England’s lone goal was a direct result of some amazing footwork and skill from the Revolution captain.
With Gil drawing out Atlas goalkeeper Camilo Vargas, Gustavo Bou cleaned up the scraps to ensure that New England entered halftime with just a one goal deficit after scoring his sixth goal of 2023. Bou would save New England by slotting home a second goal in the 80th minute as he recovered the rebound from the penalty shot he took to tie the game.
That first goal wasn’t the lone moment of magic for Gil. He was constantly putting defenders on skates and creating chances for the Revs. You can almost become numb to his skill with how he is constantly making opponents look silly.
DeJuan Jones also had an impressive performance in the match. He was driving down the flank and proving to be a pest for his opponent. His crossing ability was superb and the left back was providing chances frequently for the Revolution attack.
Now New England will be facing Queretaro in the Round of 16.