The New England Revolution rotated their squad on Sunday night and that meant a lot of players returned to the field after brief absences. One of these players being Jon Bell.
Bell’s last appearance came at the end of September in New England’s last match against Orlando but he only got one minute under his belt. Up until Sunday, Bell’s last 90-minute appearance was a September match against the Chicago Fire.
But Bruce Arena decided to give Henry Kessler a rest meaning that Bell would get to go toe to toe with Orlando City’s Daryl Dike.
While Dike was able to find the back of the net, the goal was from the spot. Bell did quite a good job defending one of the best strikers in MLS. The 24-year-old also had 45 touches, 7 duels won, and one chance created.
Both players were not afraid to use their physicality and had plenty of great battles on the pitch. Bell was asked about going up against Dike and the center back said that he was pleased with his performance.
“I think he’s a great player,” said Bell. “We talked a little bit after the game. I just told him ‘keep going, keep doing your thing’ because we both represent the DMV, coming from there. He’s a great player. He’s really strong, really physical. You have to defend really smart against him because he has that skill and ability to turn you really quickly. He actually caught me one time with it. Overall, I thought I did pretty well handling it against him. He got the PK, which I couldn’t do anything on that. But overall, I felt like I did pretty decent matching up against him.”
While Bell’s performance hasn’t catapulted him into the playoff starting XI, it should get fans excited. The 24-year-old is a very serviceable third center back.
With Andrew Farrell not getting any younger, New England needs to ensure that they have some depth on the back line, With Bell graduating from Revs II and the likes of Collin Verfurth and Francois Dulysse currently gaining valuable playing time with the second team, New England seems to be in a good spot.
So Revolution fans will be pleased with the performance from Bell. The center back will be hoping to get some playing time on Wednesday when New England plays the Colorado Rapids at Gillette Stadium at 7 p.m.