The New England Revolution were forced to accept a home draw after a late goal from the Columbus Crew.
It was a dark and gloomy night at Gillette Stadium as New England looked to find their second straight win. This would be the first time that the Revs did so all season.
New England brought out the same exact starting XI that they had against Inter Miami CF. After scoring the first goal of his career in his MLS debut, Rivera got his second career start.
Maciel and Noel Buck replaced Wilfrid Kaptoum and Justin Rennicks on the bench.
But let’s not waste any time, here are three thoughts from the match.
1 - Back line woe returns
The New England Revolution back line has had its struggles but that was partly due to the fact that the club was dealing with some injuries. Against the Crew, that excuse didn’t exist.
New England allowed the first goal for the first time in five matches. Miguel Berry gave Columbus the lead in the 27th minute.
Nearly every member of the Revs back line could be blamed for the goal. The play started with Brandon Bye deciding not to follow Sebastian Lletget’s lead and press the opponent. Bye sat back and gave Pedro Santos plenty of space to run.
Matt Polster attempted to make a tackle but unfortunately the ball stayed on Santos’ feet. That was more bad luck than anything.
Derrick Etienne got the ball on the wing and pulled DeJuan Jones away from the box leaving Henry Kessler and Andrew Farrell all alone in the box. Kessler did a good job of marking his man but berry was able to sneak by Farrell and score the goal.
With Matt Turner leaving soon, New England’s back line will need to step up their play.
2 - Don’t shoot, don’t score
The Revs attack wasn't that great Saturday night either. In the first 45 minutes, New England failed to register a shot on net and had only one shot attempt. It took 70 minutes for a shot on net to occur.
While the Revs were able to do a great job of getting near the box, it was almost as if a force field existed on the boundaries. New England struggled to find ways to get into the box and spent more time going side-to-side than forward.
The Revolution looked much better in the first half but still struggled to find the back of the net. Columbus playing defensive soccer up a goal on the road only made things harder for New England.
3 - Sub Success
Bruce Arena made two changes and a formation change in the 67th minute and it paid off.
Jozy Altidore and Ema Boateng came on for Damian Rivera and Andrew Farrell. Farrell racked up a yellow card prior to being subbed out.
Because of the changes, Polster and Kessler were the center back pairings. Boateng and Jones attacked the flanks with Jones playing higher up the field than he is used to.
In the 71st minute, Boateng sent a cross into the box and Jones blasted a shot past Eloy Room to tie the game for New England.
Not all subs were a success as poor defending from Omar Gonzalez allowed Erik Hurtado to connect with a ball from Derrick Etienne to tie the match.
Bringing Gonzalez on in the 84th minute proved to be a mistake and a costly one at that.