While Cincy featured a lineup of the likes of Geoff Cameron, New England brought out the big guns for the Round of 32.
The back line was at full strength and both Carles Gil and Adam Buksa started as well.
Djordje Petrović made his first team debut after allowing four goals in 45 minutes with Revs II on Sunday with Maciel and Arnor Traustason also making their way into the starting XI.
But let’s get right into this U.S. Open Cup edition of three thoughts.
1 - Back line problems are back
There are no more excuses for New England’s back line. Their play has been a problem and they are currently leaking goals.
It didn't take long for Cincinnati to find the back of the net as Alvaro Barreal scored after a defensive breakdown in the 12th minute.
A ball was chipped over New England’s back line who struggled to mark their men. Petrovic was left out to dry and Cincy had the lead.
Arena didn’t trot a back line filled with youngsters on Wednesday night. The entire back line was composed of starters and Andrew Farrell and Brandon Bye’s defending did not look good on the play.
If the back line continues to struggle, the Revs will find it hard to get out of the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
2 - Capi comes through
Carles Gil took the bull by the horns and saved the day for the Revolution. Gil scored two goals against Cincy and once again showed why he is the reigning MLS MVP.
While Gil’s first goal was from the spot thanks to Traustason earning a penalty, his second goal displayed the midfielder’s skill. Veteran Tommy McNamara showed his experience and laid the ball off for Gil at the top of the box and the captain picked his spot and hit the ball perfectly.
But Gil wasn’t done there as he scored his third goal of the match in the 54th minute. Gil finished the night with 66 touches and completed 53 of his 56 passes.
It was a special night for Gil as it was his first multi-goal game for New England since March 17, 2019 at Toronto FC and the first time he ever recorded a hat trick since coming to MLS. It was also the first hat trick that has ever been scored in the U.S. Open Cup in Revs history.
3 - Buksa is on fire
When it comes to headers, no one is better in MLS than Adam Buksa. The Polish striker is on an impressive hot streak and it continued on Wednesday night scoring two goals.
Buksa has scored a goal in his last five games. With his beautiful strike in the 58th minute, he has found the back of the net six times in the same span.
If Buksa continues to score at will as he has in the last five games, his interest from Europe will only continue to increase. On the other hand, he has been a crucial part of New England’s attack this season and has been their leading scorer.
New England is now in the Round of 16 and will return to MLS play on Sunday when they face Atlanta United down in Georgia.
Arnor Traustason looked really good playing all 90 minutes. While it was against a lesser FC Cincy side, he might have earned some extra minutes when New England returns to MLS play. The midfielder completed over 80 percent of his passes and had over 50 touches.