The New England Revolution back line has gone through some ups and downs in 2022.
With injuries running rampant, New England has had a full cast of center backs getting playing time compared to Bruce Arena just relying on Henry Kessler and Andrew Farrell.
Kessler missed some time due to a hamstring injury but has been able to play 90 minutes in New England’s last three matches. He still seems to be finding his form as Kessler made a crucial mistake and pushed down a Philadelphia Union player in the box and Daniel Gazdag slotted the penalty to give the Union the victory.
The 2020 SuperDraft selection put in a solid shift against the Columbus Crew on Saturday. He completed 86 percent of his passes and had 56 touches. Kessler also won all three of his tackle attempts, two clearances, and an interception. The center back also won four out of his five ground duels.
Arena talked about Kessler after the match and talked about his performance against the Crew.
“Well, first of all, he’s had a tough run coming back from an injury and he needs to be more consistent, and tonight was his most consistent game since he came back from his injury,” Arena said. He missed a big part of the season so he’s still in the early part of the season for him, and he’s getting fitter, getting sharper.”
Andrew Farrell also talked about building chemistry with Kessler now that the young center back is now on the field.
“Henry is one of our best players defensively and on the ball, and he’s a good leader,” Farrell said. “It’s good to see him back healthy and then obviously with my suspension, I missed being out there. We’ve just got to build that chemistry that we had last year with the backline that we had with DeJuan [Jones] and Brandon [Bye]. There haven’t been a lot of minutes where we’ve played together. He’s been out, I’ve been out, certain guys have been out. To get that consistency and get that consistency in front of Djordje. And Polster, Polster was out for a while. We’ve had some injuries. Obviously, that’s not an excuse, but we need to get back to getting that flow of togetherness back on the field. I think tonight was great. When we’re firing on all cylinders and working defensively, we can put in performances like that.”
With the Revolution sitting in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, Kessler will need to continue to be consistent while also staying healthy. He is a key part of the back line and with points being a premium commodity. Saturday was a good step forward for the 24-year-old.