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One More Thing: Revolution v. Union
The Revs got a big 2-1 win on Decision Day.
The New England Revolution snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday night when they defeated the Philadelphia Union 2-1.
Not only was it a win, but it was a good win.
The Revs were better in expected goals (2.08 v .83), expected goals from open play (1.3 v .79), total shots (16 v 11), tackles won (7 v 3), duels won (44 v 31), and successful dribbles (14 v 6).
This is the type of performance you want to see on the eve of the playoffs, especially since the Revs will play the Union in a best-of-three series.
Apparently, it’s a league rule that the Revs and Union must play each other seven times per year.
Okay, let’s get into the article.
I cheated and gave you several stats in the introduction, but here’s one more.
After making three subs at halftime in two straight games, Peay only made one against the Union: Justin Rennicks entered in stoppage time to see the game out.
Obviously, the conditions of the game play a major role in what substitutions are made. Peay probably wasn’t itching to use his bench since his team had the lead.
That said, it was interesting to see Mark-Anthony Kaye as an unused substitute because he started the previous ten league games. Similarly, Nacho Gil started the last two games but didn’t play against the Union.
I’m curious to see what in-game changes Peay makes during the playoffs.
Before Saturday, it had been a long time since a Revolution striker scored. Giacomo Vrioni’s last tally came on Aug. 30, Bou’s was Aug. 3, and Wood’s was Jun. 24.
Bou ended the drought on Saturday when he scored a penalty in the 25th minute. He collected a second goal—this one from the run of play—17 minutes later.
After the game, Bou noted that his confidence is growing and we know a confident Panther is a dangerous one.
“Well, like I’ve said in the past, a forward lives on goals. Personally, I really wanted to score. It has been a while for me with the injury. I’ve played a few games but I’m still getting my rhythm. I’m lucky that I asked to take the penalty kick. I had to score. I know Carles [Gil] will always be there to support me. He didn’t doubt me. The striker has to score goals. I’m thankful to Carles. And on the second goal, it was a great goal and play. I’m gaining confidence.”
Bou’s second goal of the night was a good one, but it’s also worth highlighting what happened before it.
After the Revs lost possession, Matt Polster and Tommy McNamara were quick to get behind the ball. This helped prevent a counterattack. The two central midfielders know each other well and they always put in full effort.
I think it was a smart move by Peay to have Polster and McNamara play in front of the backline. I think it’s something we could continue to see in the playoffs.
How will the Revs match up against the Union in the playoffs?
The fifth-seed Revolution will now face the fourth-seed Union in a best-of-three series.
Honestly, I’m not sure how these games will go. The Revs can obviously keep pace with the Union, but they’ll need to win a road game if they’re going to advance. I’m particularly curious to see how Jim Curtin tweaks his tactics.
That said, Bou, Carles Gil, and Tomas Chancalay are game-changers. If the Revs give their best effort while playing simple and disciplined soccer, they could make some noise in the playoffs.