The New England Revolution had an interesting matchup on Sunday night. They had an opportunity to defeat DC United for the third time this season. They were rather successful.
So what stood out from Sunday night? Here are three thoughts from New England’s performance.
1. Carles Gil returns to the starting XI
Even before the game kicked off, Revolution fans had something to be excited about. Carles Gil was starting his first game since July.
This is crucial for the club with the playoffs approaching. With an in form Gil, the Revs can go far. He is the heart and soul of their attack and is great at distributing the ball.
But that wasn’t all from the lineup announcement for Sunday night’s game. Gustavo Bou returned to the bench after not making an appearance since October 14th.
If the Revs have all their Designated Players ready and in form for the playoffs, this club can go far. Revolution fans should have some optimism headed into the postseason.
2. Back four struggles early on
The two goals that New England allowed early in the first half were rather disappointing. They were plays that could have been prevented meaning that the Revolution could have had a lead entering half time.
DC’s opening goal was the result of some poor defending. New England’s back four didn’t apply any pressure and Alexander Buttner left his man wide open.
Then New England allowed the second goal of the game off a set piece. The team as a whole has struggled in this area and sadly they have not improved. Henry Kessler tried to clear the ball before it crossed the line but was unsuccessful.
If the Revs want to make a run in the MLS Cup Playoffs, they will need a much better performance from their back four.
The Revolution would allow another goal but it’s hard to blame it on the back four with the official failing to use VAR to call an obvious foul on DC United.
3. Attack wakes up in second half
Compared to the first half, the Revolution were a much better team. They completely controlled the game and were destined to score.
Bruce Arena made a sub to begin the half that brought Bou onto the field. New England had all three of their Designated Players on the field for the first time since July.
With Adam Buksa, Bou, and Gil healthy this team can go far. Their attack can strike fear in opponents.
All of New England’s hard work eventually paid off with Tajon Buchanan connecting with Teal Bunbury and the Revolution were able to grab the lead. Bunbury had his 7th goal of the season.
Then with the Revolution having conceded a goal Bunbury was able to put the team up late in the game. New England clearly brought their scoring boots on Sunday and that’s why they were able to walk away with three points.