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Revs Utilize New Tactical Approach In 2-2 Draw With The Fire
Gonzalez: “For only having really trained it a couple of days, I think we looked pretty good."
The New England Revolution introduced a new tactical setup during Saturday’s 2-2 draw against the Chicago Fire. The change came after a good week of training under interim head coach Clint Peay.
The Revs lined up in a 4-1-4-1 with Matt Polster and Noel Buck coming in for Andrew Farrell and Ian Harkes.
Polster, who was listed as a left back, had a unique role as he frequently stepped into the midfield while the Revs had possession.
“Matt is a guy that we think is important and we wanted to be able to incorporate him in a way that would play to his strengths when we had the ball, but also could help us in terms of how we wanted to defend and give us width across the back,” Peay explained.
He added, “I think it’s something that he’s adjusting to and open to doing. I think with time it will get better, but overall, I thought he did a good job the first time out and trying to accomplish this difficult task of being an inverted outside back.”
Peay completed his first full week in charge of the Revolution in the lead-up to the game in Chicago.
The time allowed the former Revs II coach to integrate some of the ideas that he’s used in the past, including playing with an inverted outside back.
“It was something that was presented to us earlier in the week,” Omar Gonzalez explained. “The way it is working right now, Clint is very collaborative. He asked us if we wanted to play this way and we took a look at it. We played elevens during the week and it looked great. Everyone felt comfortable, so the group was all in. We said, ‘Let’s go for it’.”
The game started positively for the Revs as Tomas Chancalay put the visitors ahead with his powerful shot in the 16th minute. The Fire equalized within two minutes when Brian Gutiérrez finished off a cross.
Chicago grabbed a 2-1 lead in the 54th minute via a Gaston Giménez strike. The Revs brought the game back to level terms five minutes later when Carles Gil’s deflected shot settled in the back of the net.
The Revs finished the night with 55% possession, 85% passing accuracy, and 13 shots (three on target).
“I thought tonight we had moments where we were moving the ball well, when we were moving it quick and playing simple, and we were able to find spaces breaking the lines and getting around them, playing into soft pockets and creating chances,” Gonzalez said.
While the Revs certainly wanted three points, the draw was enough for them to clinch a spot in the playoffs. It’s their fourth trip to the postseason in the last five years.
The Revolution will now return to the training ground to work on honing Peay’s vision. They have five games left in the regular season, including next Saturday’s home game against Charlotte FC.
“For only having really trained it a couple of days, I think we looked pretty good and now that we’ve already clinched, we can focus on really working on it, and getting it right so that when we head into the playoffs, we can be even stronger,” Gonzalez said.