The New England Revolution defeated Columbus SC 1-0 on Sunday night showing that they are not a team to be taken lightly. Gustavo Bou was also able to make a statement against the Crew.
Adam Buksa will get a lot of love and he deserves it. His goal won the game and it should serve as a much needed confidence boost.
But Buksa didn’t get the start. Gustavo Bou got his first start since returning from injury and had quite the performance.
While Bou was unable to score, he did rather well as the lone striker. Before being subbed off in the 89th minute, Bou tallied 22 touches along with two chances created and one shot.
Also to Bou’s credit, he was much more active defensively. He wasn’t sitting back and put some pressure on his opponents.
Head Coach and Sporting Director Bruce Arena was pleased with the striker’s performance after the game.
Arena said, “Gustavo [Bou] played a good game tonight. That’s a position he doesn’t play that often, but we think that’s a position he can play is a single nine. We’ve been playing him as a double nine with Adam [Buksa] at the start of the season. I thought he did a good job. He held the ball up, he had a few looks at the goal against a team that’s really difficult to play against. I think it’s a good start with him playing that position tonight and I thought overall he had a solid game.”
The 4-2-3-1 is an interesting formation as it allows Carles Gil to operate more centrally. So far it has seemed to work well for New England. Bou and Gil connected on some great plays against the Crew.
With Bou as the lone striker, he had to do much more than if he was playing alongside Buksa. He did a good job of holding up defenders and gaining possession. If he can continue to do that, Bou could play as a sole striker.
Buksa seems to think differently. He believes that the Revolution are best served playing Bou alongside the Polish striker.
He said, “We understand each other very well. I love playing with him because he’s a quality player. In my opinion, having us both on the field at the same time is a good solution – is the best solution. We can see in the first half that Gustavo [Bou] as a single number nine didn’t really have too many touches, which is not easy for a striker to be fully focused if you’re not involved in the game. It’s always the way we play. We were a little bit deep in the first half. As a single number nine, you’re best not left alone up front. I think having an extra striker under would be very helpful for the team. Having Gustavo besides me is great, and I really like playing with him.”
With Bou playing well and Buksa getting his goal, it will be interesting to see what happens when the Revs play the New York Red Bulls on Saturday. Will Bou and Buksa be next to each other or could the Argentinean start another game by himself up top?
No matter how the Revs line up, they know that Bou will be looking to compete and score. Midfielder Matt Polster touched upon Bou’s competitiveness after the 1-0 win.
Polster said, “He’s a competitor. He wanted us to get up the pitch and put pressure on the midfielders and help him high up the field. Obviously, he wants to score goals and his hold-up play is good. He tries to run it behind and create chances. That’s the kind of guy he is and that’s the kind of player he is. He’s a competitor and he wants to win. I thought he played well tonight.”
The Revolution currently sit at the top of the Eastern Conference standings and if Bou continues to play well, they won’t be going anywhere.