After going goalless in three straight games, the New England Revolution have now scored four in two. The success in front of goal isn’t due to any type of tactical switch. Instead, it’s just the team regaining the rhythm they had last season.
Let’s take a look back at Revolution’s first goal of 2015 (I mean, why not?).
Daigo Kobayashi intercepts a pass with smart positioning. The midfielder doesn’t keep the ball at his feet for long, opting to move it forward to Lee Nguyen. Nguyen cuts back, finding Kelyn Rowe at the top of the box. Rowe then takes aim and fires a long-range shot that deflects off the back of a San Jose Earthquakes defender. While it’s a fortunate bounce, the play itself is classic Revs.
Last season, the Revolution established themselves as a team that likes to move the ball quickly. Not necessarily concerned with possession, players have found a lot of success on the counter.
Just watch the highlights from last year’s 5-0 drubbing of the Seattle Sounders (again, why not?).
The first goal is created when Kobayashi steps in front of a pass. Kobayashi actually goes backwards with his pass, but it takes less than 20 seconds for the ball to find its way into the back of the net.
The fourth goal is more of the same. The Revs win the ball in their defensive third before urgently pushing the ball forward. In approximately 11 seconds, three players have touched the ball and a goal is scored.
This attack-minded style has become the trademark of the Revolution. The high-pressure defense helps force turnovers. Although this strategy sometimes leaves the back line exposed, it also creates opportunities. This past weekend was no different.
In the 18th minute, Rowe offered a hard tackle to Sam Cronin. The Washington native then picked up his head and hit a diagonal cross to find Juan Agudelo. A bit of skill from the 22-year-old gives him his first goal of 2015.
The floodgates appear to be open for the Revolution but it’s not because the team has developed a new mindset. Rather, the team has just returned to playing the way they did last season.