The Revolution won six of their last seven games but they faced a test on Wednesday night.
D.C. United is in the middle of the Eastern Conference standings while New England looked to extend their advantage at the top of the table.
Both teams featured some rotation in their roster with some starters getting a rest. Also, New England switched up their formation.
Brandon Bye got the night off while Tajon Buchanan and Adam Buksa started the game on the bench. Also, Revs II players Damian Rivera and Collin Verfurth made appearances on the bench.
It appears as though the club is still dealing with some injury problems as both Jon Bell and Matt Polster were not a part of the matchday roster. This comes after Polster injured himself in New England’s last match against Toronto FC. Oh, and who can forget that Carles Gil still remains out of the lineup.
So what do you need to know about Wednesday’s game? Here are three thoughts.
1 - Too many turnovers
The Revolution went down early and it was completely due to some lackluster play.
The entire night New England struggled to make even the simplest of plays. They failed to connect on passes and looked a step behind out of the gate.
The poor start finally cost the Revs in the 10th minute as Maciel committed a turnover in the midfield that led to a Paul Arriola goal. The poor play in the midfield would continue with Wilfrid Kaptoum almost gifting D.C. United a second goal with a turnover. Luckily Matt Turner made a quality save to keep the deficit at one goal in the first half.
Kaptoum seemed to have the rougher night making a handful of errors. It seemed like the first night that the club truly missed Gil. Also, the performance showed how important Matt Polster is to the club. Revolution fans will be hoping that he returns to the lineup soon.
2 - Traustason is just off the mark
One of the bright spots for New England on Wednesday was Arnor Traustason. The Icelandic midfielder was one of the few players who excelled in the match.
Traustason was making plays left and right. While his finishing left a lot to be desired, he performed much better than some of his teammates.
It was a complete game for the midfielder. He did well tracking back and was also able to draw fouls to give New England some juicy opportunities in the attacking third.
The 28-year-old would be rewarded for his play as he assisted on Tommy McNamara’s goal that tied the game. It was a beautiful strike from the MLS veteran, but Traustason deserved some love on the stat sheet with how well he played.
Traustason did end up leaving the game after getting his second yellow card but overall he performed well. If the midfielder can start scoring some goals he could become a permanent fixture in the Revs starting XI.
3 - Halftime subs make the difference
Bruce Arena made three changes at halftime and they sure paid off. Tajon Buchanan, Adam Buksa, and Ema Boateng came into the game replacing Teal Bunbury, Maciel, and Wilfrid Kaptoum.
From the sound of the whistle that started the half, New England looked like a different club. They established dominance and looked like one of the best clubs in the league.
This would eventually pay dividends as Boateng and Buchanan combined for the second goal of the game for the Revs and gave the club a much needed lead.
Boateng has been an unsung hero for New England. He has made an impact in every game he has appeared in. It’s almost stunning that this was only his fourth appearance of the season.
The MLS veteran has shown that he deserves a larger role and it will be interesting to see if he is used more frequently as the 2021 season continues to progress.