The New England Revolution were finally able to turn things around as they defeated Charlotte FC to end a four-game losing streak in MLS.
It was a dark and dreary night at Gillette Stadium. The conditions almost being symbolic of how the team has performed as of late.
Revs fans got some good news prior to the match as Matt Turner was seen taking shots in net prior to both teams taking the field for warmups.
Matt Turner is taking shots in net #NERevs pic.twitter.com/WWA3p7KthV— Sam Minton (@sam_minton22) April 16, 2022
Bruce Arena trotted out a lineup with some changes as Omar Gonzalez, and Ema Boateng entered the starting XI. Brandon Bye and Adam Buksa also returned to the starting XI after missing out on the Miami game. Jeff Lemieux reported that Kessler missed the game due to an illness.
Kessler (illness) unavailable so it’s Farrell and Gonzalez in central defense. Bye returns from injury at right back, Buksa returns from suspension to partner Rennicks up top.— Jeff Lemieux (@jeff_lemieux) April 16, 2022
Breaking it all down on #NERevs Pregame Live shortly! https://t.co/sBg327RtUC
But let’s not waste any time, here are three thoughts from the win.
1 - Buksa is Back
Buksa made his return to the starting XI after being suspended for the game against Inter Miami and he do so with a bang. It took the striker just eight minutes to establish himself in the game as he tallied his first goal of the 2022 MLS season.
It was a great display of what makes Buksa such a talented striker. He jumped up in the air and headed the ball past Kristijan Kahlina. Buksa finished the first half winning six of his seven aerial duels.
With DeJuan Jones and Brandon Bye providing some quality service into the box, the return of Buksa came at a perfect time.
Also, the fact that Buksa scored so early was great for New England. It got them on the right track and propelled them to victory. It also doesn’t hurt that the Polish National Team coach was in attendance to witness the goal.
2 - Lady Luck is back
The second goal that the Revolution were able to score indicated a shift in their season. Luck was finally on their side. Matt Polster deflected a clearance in the 72nd minute that found the back of the net.
Polster really had a good game. He completed nearly 80 percent of his passes and had two interceptions. The midfielders game isn’t conclusive to the highlight reel but he has been a great addition for New England.
Polster does a great job of getting stuck in and making some important tackles. He also does a great job of stopping opponents’ counter attack.
So while it might go down as the easiest goal of his career, it was a well deserved goal from Polster.
3 - Unsung Heroes
The Revolution also got some great performances from some players who don’t exactly receive enough love.
Brad Knighton was in net once again and had a fantastic game. He made two saves off of free kicks that were superb and kept New England in the game. With the Revolution desperate for points, Knighton made sure that happened.
It’s hard to blame Knighton for the lone goal that was allowed. It was a beautiful goal and one that no goalkeeper could likely stop.
Justin Rennicks also continued to play quality soccer. He played 88 minutes and finished with 30 touches and drew three fouls. Rennicks also completed 86 percent of his passes.
Rennicks does all the small things. He made some great runs and was able to draw fouls. On Saturday night he was the perfect partner for Buksa.
Finally, Boateng did not let his first start of the 2022 MLS season go to waste. He continued to provide great service into the box and used his pace to his advantage.
Boateng played 74 minutes, completing 90 percent of his passes as well as having two key passes.
The losing streak is over and New England can now focus on getting their MLS season back on track.