It was a tale of two halves for the New England Revolution on Wednesday night.
The first 45 minutes could not have been worse for the Revs. The team was extremely sloppy and that’s exactly why New England went down a goal.
This caused Bruce Arena to make some changes, one of them being Ema Boateng. It’s safe to say that move paid off.
Boateng played 45 minutes before being replaced by Christian Mafla in the 90th minute. The MLS made the most out of his 125th appearance in the league. He tallied an assist on Tajon Buchanan’s go-ahead goal as well as recording multiple key passes.
The 27-year-olds pace continued to cause problems for opponents. He was blowing by defenders and creating plenty of chances for New England.
After the match, Boateng’s teammate, Tommy McNamara was singing his praises.
McNamara said, “I mean, Ema [Boateng] is a great player. He’s super dangerous and he’s really good with the ball. He’s very quick and he’s decisive one-on-one to get around outside or to come inside and make a play. He came in and he brought a ton of energy. He brought the ability to take players one-on-one and put the ball in the box and he put a lot of really dangerous service in. So, it [adds] a really good dimension to the team. The only other player on our team kind of like that is Tajon [Buchanan], so it’s good to have multiple different options that do different things in games. And then it’s up to the coaching staff to kind of figure out how to best utilize everybody.”
With how well he has performed off the bench, Revolution fans are wondering if Boateng deserves a larger role. After the match, Arena wasn’t ready to commit to Boateng seeing more playing time.
The Head Coach said, “Well, it’s one game. I’m not going to be worrying about that stuff right now. Tonight, he did his job. I thought we needed a little bit more quickness in the midfield and inserting him and Tajon [Buchanan] I thought helped us in that regard. We needed a little bit more width on the left side of the field and more of a natural left-footed player to put a couple of crosses in. And obviously, mission accomplished on that first goal, for sure. So, Ema [Emmanuel Boateng] did very well. Give him a lot of credit.”
Boateng was also asked about his role in the club after the match and he said that decision is up to Arena.
Boateng said, “That’s up to the coach. I’m just going to come in every day and work hard. Obviously, games that he feels like he needs me, just do my best to be ready and to help the team. So, I’ll just keep working hard in training and when I get my chances, I’ll try to do what I can to help the team.”
With a quick turn around it might be unlikely, but Revolution fans will be hoping they see Boateng back on the field sooner rather than later.