It was a big night for the New England Revolution on Friday.
New England’s depth would be tested as they had three players away at international competition. Revs fans would also find out that Gustavo Bou would be unavailable due to a knock that he picked up.
Carles Gil and...... Luis Caicedo would start the game off on the bench for New England to the delight of fans. Also besides the return of those two, Brandon Bye returned to right back while DeJuan Jones slotted in on the left flank. It was also a memorable occasion as Edward Kizza would get his first MLS start and Matt Polster would make his 100th MLS start.
Also with Matt Turner away at World Cup Qualifiers, Brad Knighton would get the start in net. If this wasn’t a test of New England’s depth I don’t know what would be.
So what do you need to know about Friday’s matchup? Here are three thoughts.
1 - Set piece success
Set pieces aren’t usually New England’s cup of tea. That is especially the case without Gil and Bou.
But set pieces would give the Revs the advantage and a lead entering the half. Arnor Traustason would send a curling ball towards the back post and Polster would put his body on the line to score a goal.
Making his 100th MLS start, Polster seems to like scoring against Philly as it was his second goal against the Union this season. He really has been an unsung hero for New England.
The assist for the Icelandic midfielder was his sixth of the season. While Traustason’s performance has been underwhelming this season, hopefully his performance on Friday night will spark a string of quality performances.
2 - Another late start
While New England wouldn’t go down a goal like in some other matches, the Revs did get off to another slow start.
Bruce Arena would say at halftime that the Revs weren't quick enough and they weren't doing the basics. They struggled to complete passes and really get anything going on the attack. Philadelphia was in control of the match and looking as if they could strike soon.
But luckily New England was able to turn things around and that’s why they entered the half with the lead. Still, these late starts should concern Revs fans cause in the playoffs one bad start can end your season.
3 - Arnor’s in the dog house
While Traustason played a role in New England’s lone goal, ultimately his night ended early due to some poor decision making.
Traustason acquired his second yellow card and was ejected from a match for the second time this season. It was a dumb foul that Traustason didn’t need to commit. The Union were far away from goal and the Revs had defenders tracking back.
With the Revolution getting healthier and healthier, it seems like the Icelandic midfielder could be spending some time on the bench. He has proven to be an unreliable player and a real letdown since coming over to MLS.
But New England was able to walk away with three points and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.