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Patrick Leal Impresses in Revolution II Debut
The former Revs Academy midfielder clocked 47 minutes in Sunday's on
New England Revolution II returned to action Sunday evening as they hosted New York Red Bulls II inside Gillette Stadium. Jacob Jackson made three saves in the shootout, but NYRB II secured the extra point as they walked away with a 4-3 shootout victory.
Despite the disappointing result, Sunday’s contest gave Revolution fans their first look at 20-year-old midfielder Patrick Leal. Leal, a Newton, Massachusetts native, inked a deal with the Revolution’s developmental club on August 4th after spending the past seven years in the Belenenses, Sporting, and Venezia youth academies. Before heading to Europe in July 2017, Leal joined the Revolution Academy in 2016. Leal appeared in 25 matches for the Revs U14s, where he netted seven goals.
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Considering Leal has had limited time to practice between Friday’s signing and Sunday’s match, Leal started the game on the bench. Things took a sudden turn in the 43rd minute when Marcos Dias had to exit the match as he experienced lower-right back pain. With Dias unable to continue, Leal suited up and made his Revolution II debut.
According to FotMob, Leal completed 22 of 26 pass attempts (85%), took 36 touches, won six of nine duels, and suffered one foul. Leal’s biggest impact of the match came in the 62nd minute as Ítalo sprung a ball down the left flank into a patch of open space. Leal turned on the jets as he and Davi Alexandre darted after it.
Leal was the first to get to the ball as he powered Alexandre off him and generated some space between himself and the defender. The recently acquired Revs II player chipped a ball into the air and across the box as Jordan Adebayo-Smith leaped into the air and headed the ball into the back of the net to give Revs II a 1-0 lead!
Leal stepped up to the spot in the bottom half of round six as he looked to net the penalty kick and award Revolution II the additional point. The midfielder looked to send a right-footed shot to the right side of goal, but it trailed too far to the right as it ricocheted off the right post as NYRB II stayed alive and went on to win the shootout.
Despite the result, assistant coach Marcelo Santos praised Leal’s ability.
“You can see that he’s not 90-minute fit, let’s put it that way, but I think he contributed, he got the assist on the goal, showed what he can be good at… I think he’s going to be a guy who’s really going to help the team,” Santos said.
When talking about what it was like to get back on the pitch, Leal stated that it was good to get on the field.
“And, I mean, I’m a little unfit, but I’ll get there,” he said. “But yeah, it just felt good. Unfortunate with the outcome, but other than that, I played well.”
Leal went on to talk about what brought him back to the club. The midfielder was looking to leave Venezia and “New England came calling.”
Leal called New England “my old club” and mentioned how he still has love for the Revolution organization.
It may take some time for him to get acquainted with the Revolution II system, but Leal is one name to keep an eye on throughout Revs II’s final seven matches in their 2023 campaign and into 2024.