For very different reasons, both the New England Revolution and DC United are off to horrid starts to their 2022 campaigns. Ahead of their clash at Audi Field tonight at 730pm both teams are in desperate need of not just three points, but a chance of fortune and/or scenery.
But DC is going to have to beat a New England team for the first time in ten attempts and they’ll have to do it without leading scorer Ola Kamara who is serving a red card suspension.
▪️ #NERevs have won six straight vs. D.C., 6-0-3 in last nine (since 2019)— Jeff Lemieux (@jeff_lemieux) April 23, 2022
▪️ D.C. have lost three straight at Audi Field
▪️ Henry Kessler available after missing last weekend through illness
▪️ Ola Kamara (19 goals last year) suspended for D.C.
DC was a dominant team at home last year going 11-5-1 but have just a 1-3-0 record so far in 2022 and just six points to show for their dreadful start. Whether or not interim coach Chad Ashton can smooth things over in the DC locker room, as our friends at Black and Red United detail on Losada’s departure here, it seems clear that the relation between Losada and DC had soured and the poor start to the year necessitated a change.
New England’s injury woes have been well documented - Matt Turner has not played a game yet and is set to leave for Arsenal this summer with Serbian Djordje Petrovic signed ahead of the end of the primary transfer window. Brazilian midfielder Dylan Borrero is also joining the club before the summer window as a U22 Initiative signing with full credit to Gustavo Lopez for being first on that news.
Dylan Borrero published his farewell to Mineiro in his Instagram. He soon will be joining the #NERevs.— Gustavo Lopes (@TheGusLopes) April 20, 2022
Thank you everybody that believed in my report since the beginning. Also, a big Thank You to the other journalists that helped me with the informations.
For DC United, they currently sit at the bottom of the East and have taken a major step back from a team that did compete for a playoff spot last year but ended up being the first team out in the East. With head coach Hernan Losada relieved of his duties, DC is also not content to stand still and wait for results to improve. Since opening Audi Field in 2018, DC has yet to win a playoff game/series and need their DP combo of Greek striker Taxiarchis Fountas and Peruvian winger Edison Flores to find chemistry very quickly with veteran striker Ola Kamara if DC has any hope of rising significantly out of the basement.
New England finds themselves in a different predicament, with a host of MLS veterans that bolstered the side in the offseason for a CCL run that was cut disappointingly short and those veterans thought to be backups were forced into starting roles. Earl Edwards and Brad Knighton have shown well in net at times, but Petrovic could be the heir apparent to the starting job once Turner leaves. Sebastian Lletget has also done well so far but it became clear that the Revs dearly missed the speed and defensive coverage of Tajon Buchanan in midfield. Omar Gonzalez’s best role might be off the bench to help the Revs close out games with an extra centerback on the field, instead has been pressed into action as a starter and the Revs have struggled mightily to close out games in 2022.
So the Revs and DC find themselves below the playoff line early in the year but showing a sincere sense of urgency I think on the field in part due to reasons off of it. Neither DC United with their lovely new SSS wants to finally get over the playoff hump nor a rebranded New England team fresh off a Shield winning campaign are content to sit on their laurels and wait for things to get better and are instead being more proactive than usual.
So will DC United get the interim coach bump today at home in a borderline must win bottom of the table six pointer in April? Does such a game exist? I don’t know, shout out to Ben and Renny for being on point with this though:
When the #NERevs hashtag is perfectly on point @RKSwan @bensaufley pic.twitter.com/qxtJ6hbLiH— Jake Catanese (@JCatanese43) April 20, 2022
In the long run, a win today would not spell an immediate turnaround for either team. New England still has the bulk of its schedule to play against top teams in the East and dropping points to Miami, the home state of the NHL-Team-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named, and DC United does not bode well for a successful 2022 campaign. A win today could vault DC right up the standings as they’re only three points behind the Crown Loyalists who sit in 8th place.
As the Revolution get healthier they should be able to recover from their slow start but it will be a process to integrate their new pieces into the lineup. Last year Bruce Arena pushed every single button correctly when it came to squad rotation and New England desperately need that magic touch to be found again as their late game woes are well documented so far this year.