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One More Thing: Revolution v. Union (Game One)
What can we learn from game one against the Union?
One positive thing about an 11-day break between playoff games is that I had plenty of time to put this article together.
The New England Revolution lost 3-1 to the Philadelphia Union on Oct. 28, making Wednesday’s game a must-win. The second meeting between the two Eastern Conference foes will take place at Gillette Stadium.
It was a rough start to the postseason for the Revolution, who once again conceded three first-half goals. The game also saw captain Carles Gil depart early.
But Wednesday presents a new opportunity because aggregate goals don’t count in this series. Plus, Gil has been active on the training ground.
This rendition of One More Thing will look back at game one as we prepare for game two.
The Revs have conceded three first-half goals in three of their last four matches. It’s worth noting that they’ve come back to score at least one goal in each of those outings (3-2 loss vs Orlando, 3-2 loss to Nashville, 3-1 loss to Philadelphia).
Simply put, the Revs have to keep it tight on Wednesday. If they stay tough defensively, they have the offensive weapons to score on the opposite end of the field.
On Monday, our own Sam Minton asked interim head coach Clint Peay if he’s named a starting goalkeeper for Wednesday. Peay said, “Yeah, no decision has been clearly made at this point. We’ll roll a goalkeeper out and whoever it is will be ready to go on Wednesday.”
Jacob Jackson is the incumbent, having started the last three games. The second-year professional has good athleticism, though he’s sometimes a bit eager to leave his line.
Earl Edwards Jr. is a seasoned veteran who got the starting job once Djordje Petrovic was sold. Perhaps he returns to the net.
Tomas Vaclik, who signed after Petrovic left, hasn’t made an appearance for the Revs. He did recently post a reel of him making saves on the training ground.
Carles Gil was a marked man during the Revs’ first game against the Union. The former league MVP was fouled in the second and sixth minutes. Gil would ultimately exit in the 23rd minute.
Talented players are always going to draw more fouls, but they also need to be protected. For Gil to be on the receiving end of two hard hits so early in the game is a bit much, especially since the referee didn’t issue a yellow card.
On Monday, Matt Polster was asked about the need to remind the referee to protect Gil. The defensive midfielder said:
“We do need to protect him as a team and as an organization. He’s our most important piece within our team. He makes us go as a group. We need to make sure the referees are aware, and I think the league should do that as well. It’s not been the first instance where he’s been targeted on the field, and taken out of games because of that. A few of us ran over to the referee after he did get hit, and I don’t think that influenced him at all. We need to be more aware, and maybe even a little more forceful, on our side as players to maybe do something similar. We need to start targeting their players to an extent, obviously not to hurt like what happened to Carles, but protect him and make sure it’s not okay just to keep hitting our players.”
On Monday, Peay noted that Carles Gil, Ian Harkes, and Henry Kessler are “all available.”
With this in mind, I’d like to see a backline of DeJuan Jones, Dave Romney, Henry Kessler, and Andrew Farrell.
This defense is full of experience. Also, I tend to prefer Jones on the left, even though he’s naturally right-footed.