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New England Revolution Forced to be Creative With Depleted Back Line
"So, we have to be a little creative in this game in order to make up for that loss of DeJuan [Jones] being out."
The New England Revolution have had its depth put to the test depth in 2023 but now as the 2023 regular season nears its conclusion, the club will face another challenge.
The Revs were already without Brandon Bye, but the outside back depth will be pushed to the limit due to international call-ups and injuries.
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Interim head coach Clint Peay spoke to the media ahead of New England’s match against Nashville SC and ruled Andrew Farrell out for Saturday’s match. The effects of the veteran’s absence is compounded by the fact that the Revolution will be without DeJuan Jones who was called up to the United States Men’s National Team for October friendlies.
The interim head coach admitted that it will be challenging to replace Jones considering the club’s limited options.
“It's challenging. We don't have any natural right-footed players who really play that role. So, we have to be a little creative in this game in order to make up for that loss of DeJuan [Jones] being out.”
Dave Romeny on the other hand doesn’t seem to be too concerned and expressed confidence in the depth of the squad.
“Honestly, [we’re] not too worried,” the center back said. “It’s obviously nice to have a national team outside back on your gameday roster, [DeJuan Jones], and [Andrew] Farrell, but we’re very confident in the guys that we have and that we’ll be sending in to start for us on Saturday.”
Beyond Jones and Farrell, New England will also be without Noel Buck, Esmir Bajraktarevic, and Christian Makoun who are also on international duty. In terms of outside backs, Ben Sweat and Ryan Spaulding remain while Matt Poslter could be forced to continue to play an unfamiliar position.
It’s been some time since Spaulding made it onto the pitch. It has been over a month since the left back played for the first team and after New England’s loss to the first team, Peay stated that Spaulding had been left out of the squad due to a “squad decision.”
The Blazing Musket asked Peay on Thursday about how Spaulding needs to improve and what went into the decision to leave him out of the squad.
“I think at the time, we felt like Ben Sweat was playing really well and he earned the opportunity to be in the squad,” the interim head coach stated. “That was the decision there. [Ryan] Spaulding, I think, is a very good athletic player who defends really well, and I think going forward he could be a little bit more consistent in terms of providing opportunities as an outside back, whether it be crossing a ball or some of the passes that he makes. But he's a quality player and someone we'll have to rely upon as we move down the stretch.”
With all the absences this weekend, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Spaulding receive some minutes. New England will need his speed and skill up the flanks without the likes of Jones.
But with the Revolution sustained struggles since the departure of Bruce Arena, these international call-ups and injuries couldn’t have come at a worse time.