The New England Revolution earned a critical 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday night. Here are three thoughts from the match.
- Guys, this team can actually pass. Okay, I will fully admit that there are times when players are giving the ball away in bad areas, particularly in the middle third. That said, the passing now is so much better than what we saw under Brad Friedel. Under Friedel, the Revs heavily relied on press. Even when they tried to play with possession, they rarely moved the ball in a way that disturbed their opponent. It got to the point that I actually believed that the players weren’t good enough to move the ball properly. Insert Bruce Arena, an experienced coach with a firm understanding of the game. The Revs are now creating dangerous opportunities after stringing together multiple passes. The attackers look more comfortable swapping spots, which creates confusion for defenders. In short, the style of play is much better. Is there room for improvement? Sure, but things are definitely better than I thought they could be. If you need an example of what the Revs can do on their best day then re-watch the their first goal on Saturday.
- The Revs let Chicago hang around too long. The Revolution found themselves in a positive position as they scored first against a team lower than them in the standings. Oh, and they were playing at home. The game returned to level terms in the 41st minute when Francisco Calvo scored on a set piece. The moments that followed were testy until Gustavo Bou hit an absolute banger that will make fans forget about the moments that proceeded it. That said, the Revs should’ve had better control of this game.
- Bou might be the game-changer this team had longed for. MLS is a league where a single player can sometimes perform a bit of magic to secure a result. That player has to have the ability to create something out of very little. The Revs haven’t really had that in recent years, but they could have it now in Bou. On Saturday, Bou forced a giveaway during the latter stages of the game. He then looked towards goal, ultimately scoring his fifth goal in seven games. Bou offered similar brilliance a week earlier when he scored a late equalizer against the Red Bulls. Moments like these are what you need when trying to grab a playoff spot in a competitive conference.