The New England Revolution kicked off the 2021 season and it sure was an interesting night. The match was filled with back and forth action that had fans on the edge of their seats. Sadly, New England was only able to walk away with a point as they drew 2-2 with the Chicago Fire.
Here’s how the Revs lined up for their first game of the season.
Here's how we line up in Chicago to open the 2021 @MLS season.#NERevs | #CHIvNE— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) April 17, 2021
With Mafla playing for Revs II, DeJuan Jones got the start at left back while Maciel announced earlier in the day that he was hoping to start but picked up an injury.
While the Revs showed some fight coming back from 2-0, a draw to start the season is disappointing. This is especially the case with the high expectations that fans had for the club. If New England wants to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, this is the type of game that you should be winning.
So here is what stood out in New England’s first game of the season.
1 - Adam Buksa continues to score
After a difficult debut season in 2020, Buksa had a promising start to 2021 with a quality preseason that saw him put the ball in the net a few times. Saturday was another pleasing performance for the Polish striker.
Buksa opened the scoring for New England with a header in the 14th minute. The 24-year-old used his athletic ability to leap above defenders and power it home.
The goal was a key one after the Revs went down 2-0 in the first 10 minutes. They desperately needed some life and Buksa provided a much needed jolt of energy.
If Buksa continues to play as he did on Saturday, Revolution fans will be very pleased.
2 - Keep Tajon Buchanan on the right
After his performance with Team Canada, Revolution fans were excited to see what Tajon Buchanan could do for New England in 2021.
Buchanan’s season didn’t get off to the best start this season. Lining up on the left side of the field, Buchanan looked sloppy. He was turning the ball over and looking like a completely different player compared to 2020.
But then Buchanan and Carles Gil switched positions and it was like Buchanan flipped a switch. After the change he even assisted on Gustavo Bou’s goal.
So it seems as though Buchanan is much better playing on the right side. Hopefully, that is where he will be for the rest of the 2021 season.
3 - Sloppy play all around
Bruce Arena wasn’t pleased with the play of the backline. It’s hard to find any reason to be excited when you give up two goals in 10 minutes.
Henry Kessler and DeJuan Jones struggled the most out of the back four. They struggled clearing the ball and had some poor touches. Overall they were rather poor under pressure.
Jones was also shown a red card after a foul on the edge of the box towards the end of the game meaning that he will miss the home opener.
New England’s back four will look to improve in their next game which is the home opener against D.C. United on Saturday, April 24th.