Revolution Drop First Preseason Game 3-0 to New York Red Bulls
Caleb Porter: “It’s about growing every single game that we play."
The New England Revolution played their first preseason match on Wednesday, losing 3-0 to the New York Red Bulls.
The game, which was a closed-door affair, came 10 days after the Revolution held their first training session on Jan. 15. Head coach Caleb Porter noted after the final whistle that today’s outing was part of the process.
“I think the progress has been good overall,” Porter said. “We’re nine, 10 days in. We’re not trying to peak two weeks in, right? We have a lot to learn, a lot to work on. We worked attack then defending this week, and then we played a little bit of an intrasquad one week, and then now we played Red Bull today.”
The Revolution’s starting backline featured Henrich Ravas, DeJuan Jones, Dave Romney, Henry Kessler, and Andrew Farrell. In front of them were Noel Buck, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Ema Boateng, Carles Gil, Nacho Gil, and Tomas Chancalay.
The Revs made changes at halftime. Porter stated he “played two different groups 45 minutes.”
The head coach also said his players didn’t pick up any injuries during the friendly, though they do have a “couple guys nicked up that didn’t play today.” Those players are expected to be “back in the next couple days.”
The Revolution conceded an early penalty and allowed one more goal before halftime. The Red Bulls got their final tally during the second 45 minutes.
Porter complimented the Red Bulls after the game.
“I thought honestly, Red Bull executed better than we did today,” Porter said. “They’re a very good team defensively. It’s easier to destroy than to create. We’re a team that wants to create, and I thought they destroyed us pretty good at times in the buildup and were able to play their game, you know, which is press-counter.”
Wednesday’s game provided Porter with feedback. He plans to watch the tape and identify areas where the team can grow.
“There’s no failure, it’s just feedback,” Porter said. “So, for me, the feedback we got today was really important. We needed that feedback. We needed to struggle a little bit. We needed to find some mistakes to then now go back, show the film, look at it, work on it, and we’ll be better for it.
“There are not many teams that play the way Red Bull play, that press the way they press, and when you look at how we wanted to play out today and their press, again, I thought they executed better than we did today, so we’re better for playing this game.”
Porter said that there was “some really good stuff” that he saw from his team before recognizing that they gave up a penalty and “gave up a couple transitions.” These are areas that he wants to work on.
“Now we’ll look at the film, we’ll focus on what we need to improve on,” Porter said. “We’ve been kind of focusing mostly on our two-week tactical periodization – defending, attacking, putting it together – and then now we’re going to focus on the areas where there are holes, you know? Where we think we need to improve.
“So, clearly, we’ll focus on the playing out piece a little bit more, because in the past they’ve been a team at times, I think, that relied on going direct, sometimes too direct, as a solution. I think you saw today that when they tried to play through the pressure, there were times we struggled at it. So, that’s going to be an evolution a little bit. That’s going to take some time.”
The Revs have four more preseason games left on their docket with their next one coming on Thursday, Feb. 1 when they play FC Cincinnati. Each of these games gives Porter a chance to assess his team.
“It’s about growing every single game that we play, and eventually, yes, the result does matter as we get closer to the end of preseason where we’re playing guys major minutes and physically, we’re in a better spot,” Porter said.
Porter and the Revs will continue to train in Florida as they prepare to play CA Independiente in the Concacaf Champions Cup on Feb. 21.
The Revs’ first MLS regular season game occurs on Saturday, Feb. 24 when they travel to face D.C. United.