The Revolution took advantage of a short-staffed Minnesota side on Saturday, scoring early and often en route to a 5-2 win. Goals from Juan Agudelo, Chris Tierney, Lee Nguyen and Kei Kamara led the way for the the home side, while heady defending from Benjamin Angoua & Co. kept Loons forward Christian Ramirez at bay.
Who stood out from this crowd of high-achievers? Here are two players whose stock rose—and two whose stock soared—during the Revolution’s home-opening win.
The Wellesley, Mass. native made his 200th Revolution start count, assisting a 4th-minute, Juan Agudelo goal with a lofting cross into the six-yard-box. He scored a goal of his own from the penalty spot 49 minutes later.
All of this came after a quiet offensive start to the season for Tierney, who struggled to offer accurate service in the Revs’ first two matches. On Saturday, he connected on 62 of his 66 passes (94 percent) and had the Loons back line scrambling to protect the left flank. Performances like this one play a crucial role in the success of Jay Heaps’ attack.
After making a pair of critical mistakes in the season’s first two matches, Angoua ran into bad luck on Collen Warner’s first-half goal (Angoua’s clearance ricocheted off Scott Caldwell, setting up a long-range finish for Warner). Yet even that bad luck wasn’t enough to mask Angoua’s strong defensive showing. He picked great spots, spaced himself well beside Antonio Delamea and made confident decisions over the ball.
Angoua’s chemistry with Delamea has grown each week, and the two looked especially in-sync during Satuday’s win.
Stock Way Up
In the box score, Diego only earned credit for an assist, a cross-field ball to Agudelo that resulted in a near-post finish. But Diego accomplished infinitely more against Minnesota United. He dominated possession in the attacking third, taking a team-high 94 touches, and constantly threaded passes into tight spaces (including a ridiculous hockey assist on Kei Kamara’s goal).
As dangerous as Diego looked moving forward, he matched it by offering a high defensive work rate. The 22-year old looks poised for a breakout campaign.
It’s no surprise that Agudelo, who prides himself in making something out of nothing in front of goal, finally made an impact while playing in a more advanced attacking position. He hounded Minnesota’s back line throughout his 81-minute shift, scoring two goals (he would have scored three, if not for a poor finish in the first half) and taking three shots on goal (he did not record an on-target shot in the Revs’ first two matches).
Clearly, Agudelo has work to do on the defensive side of the ball; he set up Minnesota’s second goal with a sloppy touch in front of goal. But his attacking progress bodes well for a strong 2017 season.
Whose stock rose the most vs. Minnesota United?
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