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Revolution v. Crew SC: Three thoughts

Gregg Berhalter had a good night and two more thoughts.

MLS: Columbus Crew at New England Revolution Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Revolution lost 1-0 to Columbus Crew SC on Saturday night. Here are three thoughts about the wet and sloppy affair.

  1. It was a good night for Gregg Berhalter. The Revs first faced Columbus on Apr. 21 in a wild match that could’ve easily produced eight goals. Instead, they each scored two to split the bounty. The second go-around was quite different as both coaches made changes in hopes of tilting the chess match in their favor. The Revs opted to go with wing backs to neutralize Crew SC’s wide players. Meanwhile, the visitors worked hard to counter the Revs’ high press by staying organized, closing gaps, and going long when necessary. It was an effective strategy, as most of the Revs’ best chances came from afar. Crew SC looked patient throughout the night and they were rewarded with three points. To me, this game was an advertisement for Berhalter, who I believe is one of the brightest minds in MLS.
  2. The Revolution need to sign someone in the summer transfer window. The high press has been excellent so far, as many opponents have had a hard time dealing with the Revs’ ability to quickly transition after winning the ball. However, this strategy isn’t going to work every week. Teams that go long (Philadelphia) or avoid losing the ball in bad areas (Montreal) have found success against the Revs. When this happens, Brad Friedel needs to change things up and I think that’s going to require adding another player or two.
  3. The Revs lost on a set piece goal. It’s natural to have negative thoughts after a loss and I’ll admit that I’m a bit concerned that the Revs have already dropped two games at home, which was their total for the whole of 2017. That said, the Revs lost this game on a late set piece, something that they could’ve easily accomplished themselves. It’s also worth noting that Brian Wright had a late PK shout that we’ve seen given in the past. It’s not all doom-and-gloom in Foxboro. Despite playing more centrally, which I think goes against his natural skill set, Cristian Penilla had a few good moments. The Revs also did a fine job of limiting a team that had gone 3-0-1 since their last meeting. Let’s not forget that Friedel was forced to burn a sub after Antonio Delamea suffered a head injury. It’s perfectly fine to have concerns about this team but remember that the season is still young.