Revs II had their fair share of attacking opportunities in Sunday’s 3-0 loss against Greenville Triumph SC at Gillette Stadium, but poor decision-making on the attack proved to be their ultimate pitfall. The result marks Revs II’s second straight loss, keeping them deep in the USL League One standings with a 4-6-1 record.
For large portions of the match, Revs II controlled the ball, pinning Greenville back into a defensive shell. Revs II out-possessed the visitors, 59.1% to 40.9%, but it was meaningless given their offensive woes.
The hosts were overreliant on attacking through wide areas, a tactic that never seemed to work for the team. Passes out to the channels were often intercepted by Greenville’s defenders, and when the ball was able to get successfully wide, the service into the box was poor.
“We were able to get the ball in good wide areas, but we weren’t able really turn them, especially after giving up some goals,” Peay said postgame.
The game was begging for Revs II to attack through the middle, but combination play in the middle of the park was infrequent. Justin Rennicks and Ryan Sierakowski are largely to blame; the forwards need to offer stronger hold-up and combination play. They also need to create their own shots. And they need to be more clinical when they do have opportunities.
“I didn’t think we were good enough in the final third with the quality of our shooting, the quality of our final ball, and then the effort and determination to get on the end of service when service was delivered in a good way,” Peay said.
Rennicks and Sierakowski should’ve taken a page out of Marios Lomis’s playbook, Greenville’s forward who scored a hat trick (goals in the 29th, 35th, and 83rd minutes) on the afternoon. Lomis made creative runs going forward, pounced on loose balls in the box, and single-handedly crafted his third goal of the night.
Combined, Rennicks and Sierakowski have just two goals through 10 games. This lack of production has put extra pressure on players like Noel Buck––just 16 years of age––to step up as a goalscorer. Buck is the highest goalscorer on the team with three goals, and Pierre Cayet (defender) and Michael Tsicoulias (18 years old) are tied for second with two goals apiece.
Revs II aren’t without talent. Cayet, a center back, continues to impress in his early days as a professional. Ryan Spaulding is strong in his left back role. And Jake Rozhansky and Michel are promising midfielders who have the keys to unlock this Revs II team.
If Revs II wanted to find success on Sunday, there needed to be 1) tactical adjustment on the attacking end, and 2) more ideas and production from the attacking unit. Hopefully, those deficiencies see improvement on Friday, July 9, when Revs II face Toronto FC II at home. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 pm.