New England Revolution Fixing Mistakes of 2022
“Last year, you would say you either get a point or potentially lose that game. So, credit to the players. We shored it up, for the most part, defensively."
No one wants to remember the 2022 season, and the New England Revolution are making sure to not repeat the mistakes that doomed them just a season ago.
New England’s defending in the final moments of the game was not a point of pride. While the Revolution had the ability to secure a lead with the likes of Adam Buksa and Gustavo Bou scoring at an impressive rate, New England struggled to keep those leads.
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The Revolution ended 2022 having dropped 29 points from a leading position. This was by far the most in Major League Soccer and made New England’s failure to make the playoffs sting even more.
This season, things have appeared to change. So far this season, the Revs have three clean sheets in four games and are second in the Eastern Conference.
When speaking to the media on Tuesday, assistant coach Richie Williams expressed his happiness with New England being able to close out its latest 1-0 win over Nashville SC.
“Last year, you would say you either get a point or potentially lose that game,” Williams said. “So, credit to the players. We shored it up, for the most part, defensively. And not just the defense, when the time is right to defend the attacking guys help chipping in and are doing a good job. So, a credit to the players and to the team overall and it’s important on the days when maybe it’s not perfect or you don’t play your best, you still get the results.”
Revolution right back Brandon Bye also pointed out the importance of being able to close out games, especially after last season.
“I think it’s important,” Bye said. “Honestly, a couple bounces go our way or a couple bounces don’t go our way. That’s what happened last season and that’s what’s going for us this season. So, I think you make your own luck and that’s something we’re doing a little bit more this year.”
Whether it be not playing a complete 90 minutes or plain bad luck, New England simply struggled to grind out games and secure points. What looked like guaranteed wins ended up being draws (or even worse, losses).
Center back Henry Kessler pointed to grittiness and determination in the Revs win over Nashville.
“We were under it a little bit at the end, up 1-0, and I think last year, maybe we draw that game, or we don’t get three points out of that game, so I think it was good, and we’re winning in different ways,” Kessler said. “Against Houston, it was more comfortable and then against Nashville, it was less comfortable, so I think that’s good.”
Now New England will turn its attention to Wayne Rooney’s D.C. United. D.C. has had a complete opposite start to 2023 with only one win so far and the club is currently 10th in the Eastern Conference.
But Williams isn’t expecting an easy match. With Christian Benteke leading the attack, the Revs back line will be put to the test once again.
Whether it be Benteke or the fact that New England is facing a conference rival on the road Williams is expecting a challenge.
“It’s always a tough game,” he said. “First of all, you’re on the road and D.C. is a conference team and we’ve always had good battles with them. So, it’s not going to be easy. They changed up their team quite a bit. We’ve just got to be ready, we’ve got to continue doing some of the things we do well, improve on some of the things we keep talking to the guys about, and we’ll go down there with the mindset of getting three points.”