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New England Revolution Not Pleased After Win Over Sporting Kansas City
“Good first half. Crappy second half. Played very poorly in the second half. Give Sporting [Kansas City] credit.”
Usually, a win is a reason to be pleased but that wasn’t the case for the New England Revolution after they defeated Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night.
After scoring two goals in the opening 45 minutes, New England struggled even though they were up a man after Andreu Fontas was sent off with more than 30 minutes left in the game.
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Besides not being able to find the back of the net, the Revs actually allowed a goal to a 10-man SKC side. Kansas City executed a perfect set piece with Johnny Russell striking home a beautiful ball from Daniel Salloi after making a back post run.
“Good first half. Crappy second half,” head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena said after the win. “Played very poorly in the second half. Give Sporting [Kansas City] credit.
“We could’ve done everything better the second half, from the start to the finish,” Arena added. “It started where guys are standing around, not moving to the ball, not communicating, and it ends up with a breakaway that we can’t even convert. So, it was just a real sloppy second half. Very disappointed in that.”
If there was one player that you would have expected to be happy it would have been Giacomo Vrioni. The striker secured the first brace of his MLS career and continued to ride high after a rough start to the 2023 season.
But Vrioni actually believed he can play better.
“But I have to continue to work every day in training because I know I can do a better job,” the striker said. “I’m not thinking about my game today because I know I can do a better job helping the team during the game.”
Ema Boateng also had an impressive game against Kansas City. It was his first start of the season and the 29-year-old assisted on Vrioni’s first goal of the game.
Similar to Arena and Vrioni, Boateng wasn’t happy with the second-half performance by New England. He even mentioned that captain Carles Gil expressed his frustration to the team after the win.
“That's the bright side about it. We feel like that second half was probably our worst half we've played all season, and we still got the win,” Boateng said. “So that feels good. And then we come in here and Carles [Gil] let everybody know that he wasn't happy with it. And I feel like that echoed around the entire locker room. So, yes happy for the three points, but we have work to do to learn how to close games out.”
The fact that New England was upset as they were about Saturday’s win should reassure fans. This team doesn’t just want to do the bare minimum. They realize if they want to compete in MLS, they need to be playing at a high level no matter the circumstances. It is the difference between a contender and a pretender. Winning alone isn’t the expectation, New England wants to dominate their opponents.
Next week’s match against FC Cincinnati will be a statement game for the Revolution, especially after being blown out by LAFC earlier in the season. It is one thing to beat CF Montreal and Sporting Kansas City who are at the bottom rung of MLS but if you can beat the other top team in the Eastern Conference, fans in New England should turn their sights towards winning some hardware and possibly an MLS Cup.