The New England Revolution played their first game of 2017 on Tuesday when they tied Minnesota United 1-1. Eugene Starikov struck in the 39th minute, giving the MLS newcomers a lead until Kei Kamara leveled the score in the 78th minute. There wasn’t a stream for the game, but that won’t stop me from having three thoughts.
- The rookie was energetic. It didn’t take long for Brian Wright to have an impact, as the University of Vermont product drew a penalty in the 12th minute. Teal Bunbury stepped up to the spot, but had his attempt blocked by John Alvbage. Bunbury’s miss, which he should’ve put away, shouldn’t distract from Wright’s positive moment. It’s unlikely that Wright will start many games this season, but I can see him using his size and quick feet to cause chaos off the bench.
- Kei Kamara scored a classic Kei Kamara goal. It was a big deal when the Revs traded for Kamara at the midway point last season. The assets the team traded—their highest first round draft pick in 2017, highest second round pick in 2018, an international roster spot for the 2016 season, and approximately $500,000 in GAM/TAM—is proof that the Revolution had high exceptions. Unfortunately for them, Kamara would end the season with only seven goals and two assists—12 goals if you count those scored while he was with Columbus. Now that he’s had time to adjust, which will include a full preseason with the Revs, we could see the Kamara that almost won the Golden Boot in 2015.
- The Revs are being patient with Xavier Kouassi and Benjamin Angoua. While Antonio Mlinar Delamea made his debut playing alongside Je-Vaughn Watson, two other newbies watched from the sidelines. Kouassi was kept off the field while he continues to recover from last year’s knee surgery. Meanwhile, Angoua is dealing with a minor knock he suffered during his last game in France. With the season opener on Mar. 4 being the most important date on the calendar, it’s totally understandable that the club wants to ensure that both players are at full health before putting them in a game situation. That said, hopefully both individuals will get some reps before the end of preseason.
- Bonus thought: That was a nice assist by Donnie Smith. If he ends up being an MLS contributor then kudos to Jay Heaps.