The New England Revolution celebrated their 2022 home opener with a win over FC Dallas.
This was New England’s first win over Dallas since 2012.
The Revs trotted out a similar lineup from the season opener with Henry Kessler joining the back line and Omar Gonzalez landing on the bench. Arnór Traustason also returned after missing the matchday lineup.
Earl Edwards Jr. got his second straight start and Jacob Jackson made the bench.
But let’s not waste any time, here are three thoughts from the match
1 - Press success
Both teams did a good job, but New England especially found success pressing their opponent and forcing turnovers.
Brandon Bye and DeJuan Jones got forward (as they usually do) and helped make life really difficult for Dallas’ back line. They struggled to get the ball out of their own third and also struggled to maintain possession.
This appeared to get under Dallas’ skin as in the 20th minute Andrew Farrell and Jader Obrian getting into it and Paxton Pomykal getting a yellow card after shoving DeJuan Jones.
While it took a penalty in the extra time for New England to find the back of the net, the Revs dominated possession. They ended the first half with 56 percent of the possession but struggled in their own final third.
2 - Congrats Capi
Carles Gil deserves congrats on multiple fronts. After scoring from the spot in the 45th minute, Gil celebrated by announcing that he has a baby on the way. The midfielder confirmed the news at halftime with Naoko Funayama.
Gil continued to show how impressive he was. The 29-year-old had 50 touches and completed 78 percent of his passes in the first half.
The captain is what gets New England’s offense going. His ball distribution and touch is hard to match. It really is a treat for Revolution fans that they get to watch him play week in and week out.
3 - Defensive doubts
While the back line wasn’t as bad as the season opener, there are still some worrying signs among the group.
Way too often are players finding space in between the back line and getting some quality scoring chances. Dallas got a boatload of scoring chances but failed to convert. While Dallas had more shots on net, the Revs had more shots on target.
The center backs improved with Andrew Farrell and Omar Gonzalez looking well. While it was a short time, Kessler also looked promising in his first start.
DeJuan Jones continued to get involved and was one of the more active players on the afternoon. Unfortunately, this was mostly on the attack.
If one player disappointed it was Brandon Bye. On top of struggling with the ball he had some poor movement. Without Tajon Buchanan, New England needs Bye to get more involved on the wing.
Also Bye continued to have issues defensively which are quite alarming as well. The right back needs to improve or the Revs could have some problems.
But New England secured their first win of the season and move on to Concacaf Champions League play as they host Pumas on Wednesday.