The New England Revolution started off the month of August with some real struggles, dropping a disappointing 1-0 loss to Toronto before getting absolutely dominated by Sporting 3-0. Their fight for fifth place appeared to be flagging badly, and a few small lineup changes were warranted to try and stop the bleeding. Matt Reis replaced Bobby Shuttleworth, Chad Barrett came in for Saer Sene, and A.J. Soares took back his old starting job over Stephen McCarthy.
Whether due to the changes made, different competition, or a renewed attitude, the Revs bounced back. It started with a 2-0 victory over Chicago, and was then followed up by a 5-1 thrashing of Philadelphia, the second such time that the Revs have knocked in five goals in 2013. Though the month ended with a disappointing 1-1 draw in Toronto, the Revs proved that they were definitely not dead in the playoff race. The driving force in those three matches was none other than second-year midfielder and emerging star Kelyn Rowe.
Rowe, like much of the squad, couldn't make the breakthrough in the first match, and was largely absent against KC, but he truly exploded in the following weeks. After scoring the insurance goal against Chicago - capping off a pretty good overall performance - he followed that up with a stunning two-goal performance against the Union, including a strike that earned Goal of the Week honors. A week later he assisted on Diego Fagundez's goal against Toronto, finishing strong in a month that started rather poorly for everyone. It was his lethality in front of goal and his attacking drive that made him the first player of 2013 to pick up two TBM Player of the Month honors.
Nick: Although Rowe struggled to make a difference during a pair of early-August losses, the sophomore turned in a memorable second half, contributing three goals and one assist during a pair of crucial victories. Rowe consistently showed both finesse and toughness in the middle of the park, scoring a pair of brilliant goals during the Revs drubbing of Philadelphia and adding an insurance goal during the team's win over Chicago. Sure, he missed a sitter against the Fire and never really settled into the team's two August losses, but Rowe proved that he needs little-to-no space to find the net from distance. Plus, that celebration...
Matty: From starter, to super sub, and back to seemingly-irreplaceable starter, Kelyn Rowe has blasted through that daunting sophomore slump, and has shined. Emerging as not only a great facilitator, but also a threat from deep with his long range shooting efforts, Kelyn Rowe is proving to be more than worth his lofty #3 draft pick status.
Kelyn's Line: 5 appearances, 4 starts, 3 goals, 1 assist, 390 minutes, 13 points in TBM Player of the Month voting
Juan Agudelo, 7 points: Again, his presence and his absence both go to show just how important he is to this team. Agudelo, despite his Stoke City plans firmly in place, is still an asset to the Revs and is a driving force in their push for a playoff berth. Having Juan around also presents a hefty competition for those players such as Chad Barrett, Dimitry Imbongo, and Charlie Davies, who are looking to break into the starting XI once he is gone. It's bittersweet knowing that our time with Agudelo will soon come to an end, but it's a pleasure to have him on our side until that time comes. - Corey
Chris Tierney, 7 points: Can we give our consistently solid left back some love? Please? He's been the second best player on one of the league's best defenses (yes, ahead of Farrell) and his crosses are starting to find their marks. Remember that behind the back heel-flick golazo that Juan Agudelo scored against the Fire? That was because of Tierney's precise left leg. He opens up a ton of space on the overlap and his presence on the left side going forward allows players like Diego and Sene to cut in and cause havoc. - Jake
The Player of the Month is compiled by 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.
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