The New England Revolution had a somewhat bumpy June, going unbeaten, but doing it with a 1-0-3 record. In fact, the Revs haven't won since June 2nd against Chicago, and twice in a row now have had to come back from 2-0 down just to salvage draws out of what many would consider winnable games. However, the Revs have also kept two clean sheets. Furthermore, they've scored six goals in their last four games, and a lot of that is down to the play of Benny Feilhaber.
Benny kicked off the month in style, tallying a goal and an assist over a five-minute period against Chicago, linking up with Kelyn Rowe to put what had been a frustrating game to bed for the Revs. Following that, he had strong showings against Columbus, Toronto, and Seattle, despite making no mark on the score sheet.
For me, Feilhaber's runs and passing have made all the difference lately. He's playing with a renewed purpose and I think a little chip on his shoulder, but also remaining much calmer in the face of adversity than in past months. It's probably no coincidence that this upward trend in form happened when he was moved centrally again, and I doubt we'll see him shuffled out wide again in the near future. Now, let's hear what the rest of the TBM staff has to say:
Corey: Is he going to be a long-term Rev and eventual captain? Or will he be on his way out of Foxboro soon? Can the Revs provide him with enough for him to make an impression with Jurgen Klinsmann and hopefully play in another World Cup? How much more can the Revs get out of Shalrie Joseph before Benny steps in as the main main in the middle? Lots of questions surrounding Benny, but there's no doubt that when he is on, the Revs are a force to be reckoned with. In the beginning of the season we saw a lot of the 2011 Benny, hot tempered and out of sorts. Back in the middle he's been lighting it up while also keeping his cool, something that rubs off on his teammates for sure.
Matty: It's amazing what a position change will do for a guy's confidence. Back in his familiar role at CAM Benny has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance in the month of June. Benny is back to creating opportunities for his teammates, and unlocking opposing defenses with his great vision.
Abram: A move to the center has made all the difference. Since his sole goal of the season, Benny may not have scored nor had another assist, but he has opened up defenses repeatedly. His defense is much improved, and he has cut down on taking himself out of the game when calls don't go his way. If people can start finishing the chances he has been creating, then the playoffs are only the beginning for this team.
Benny's line: 4 Appearances, 4 starts, 1 goal, 1 assist; 10 points in TBM PotM voting
Stephen McCarthy, 8 points: Purchased my bandwagon tickets. In the last few games McCarthy's performances have been more than solid, through some stretches he seems like the only guy winning 50/50 balls in the air. His size has been invaluable and his distribution has been spot on, as it was Macca who released a 30 yard bomb right at Cardenas which led to game tying cross that Diego headed in against Seattle. First two games in June his passing accuracy hovered in the 50% range. He finished June strong improving to an 83% average in the last two games. #improvement. (Brendan)
Fernando Cardenas, 6 points: As a starter he has done well, but as a sub he has been a game changer. Heaps has mastered using the chaotically quick style of Cardenas to run at tired defenses and create havoc. (Abram)
The Player of the Month is compiled by all five members of The Bent Musket's staff. Each writer selects his top three Revolution players for the month, who are assigned point values - three points for the #1, two for the #2, and one for the #3. Then, points are totaled and the player who received the most points in the voting is named Player of the Month. Honorable mentions go to the next two players in the voting.