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Revolution v. Orlando City: Three Thoughts

Center back chemistry is so important and two other thoughts.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Revolution recorded their fifth draw of the season on Sunday afternoon, as their game against Orlando City SC finished 2-2. Here are three thoughts from the game:

1. Center back chemistry is so important. When news hit that Jose Goncalves was going to miss Sunday's game, there was a cause for concern. The veteran defender has spent over a year forging a quality partnership with Andrew Farrell. With Goncalves sidelined, Watson came into the middle and it was clear from the get-go that he hadn't played many minutes with Farrell. The duo was caught in an awkward position less than a minute into the game, as neither defender properly took care of Julio Baptista. Both Revs players took swipes at the ball with Watson eventually stepping on Baptista's foot. Whether the contact was truly enough to earn a PK is debatable, but the play as a whole showcased why chemistry is so important. To the credit of both players, things settled down from there.

2. The Revs are finding success from the flanks. In the 37th minute, Teal Bunbury scored an absolute sitter to bring the game level. The catalyst for the goal was Chris Tierney, who offered--you guessed it--€”left-footed cross. The tally comes one week after Kelyn Rowe scored a header off a Watson cross. The scouting report is out on the Revolution. Opponents know that the team likes to play quick, short passes through the middle. As a result, they're clogging up the middle and leaving the peripheries open. The trend of early crosses will likely continue as the Revs hope to get their opponents out of their defensive shape.

3. The refereeing is getting embarrassing. I saved this one for last because I'm tired of talking about it. Referee Baldomero Toledo had a shocking final ten minutes. First, he missed Kevin Molino's handball that led to an Orlando goal. Moments later he whistled for handling offense that actually grazed the shoulder of an Orlando player. After deeming that the infraction occurred outside the box (which simply wasn't true), Toledo took the advice of his assistant referee and opted for a PK. It was a comedy of errors during a season where referees are already being highly scrutinized. Was a tie a fair a result? Probably, but it shouldn't have happened in that way.