Ahead of Independence Day, the New England Revolution faced off against FC Cincinnati at Gillette Stadium and headed into the holiday with only a single point.
It was a night of returns as Sebastian Lletget, Brandon Bye, and Henry Kessler returned to the starting XI. Matt Polster continued to miss out as he deals with a head injury and Tommy McNamara was suspended due to yellow card accumulation. With Bye and Kessler returning, it was the first time New England had a full-strength backline since May 15.
Due to their absences, New England had a new look midfield as Wilfrid Kaptoum and Maciel started the match. Gustavo Bou started up top once again flanked by Dylan Borrero and Lletget.
So what do you need to know about Sunday’s match? Here are three thoughts.
1 - Borrero balls out
Ever since he has come to New England, fans have seen the talent that lies within Dylan Borrero. He once again showed that off on Sunday night.
The 22-year-old scored the first goal of the match with a rocket of a shot past Roman Celentano. It was the second goal of his young MLS career.
Borrero’s speed is his biggest weapon. He blows by opponents when making runs and has also shown some great movement off the ball since joining the Revolution.
Comparisons have been made to Tajon Buchanan, and the more Borrero plays the more that comparison seems to be correct. Beyond the speed and ability to find the back of the net, Borrero is also drawing fouls. In the first half alone, the Colombian drew four fouls and completed 88 percent of his passes.
Borrero did not return after being helped off the field near the end of the half.
2 - The haircut effect
The old saying states that if you look good you play good. Bou proved that on Sunday evening.
The striker scored his fourth goal of the season on a glancing header in the 55th minute after getting a cut earlier in the day. The goal would be enough to give New England the victory.
A lot of pressure has been put on Bou ever since Adam Buksa left for France. In his last six starts, he has four goals and an assist.
As a Designated Player, he is expected to show up night in and night out which hasn’t exactly been Bou’s forte. Sometimes the striker can disappear for entire matches (and sometimes in those same matches he strikes a goal out of nowhere).
On Sunday night, Bou once again answered the call.
3 - Young PETROVOZ
Djordje Petrovic is legit. The man is a shot-stopping machine and Revolution fans need to get on the Petrovoz (Shoutout @bensaufley on Twitter).
Petrovic has quickly shown that he possesses some superb shot-stopping ability. The 23-year-old had two jaw-dropping saves that kept New England on top of the scoreboard at the time.
While he allowed a goal, it’s hard to blame the young keeper. The ball glanced off Henry Kessler in what was an unlucky play. The same can’t be said for the second. Petrovic made a poor decision rolling the ball out to Damian Rivera and while Rivera could have had a better touch, the blame lies mostly with the keeper.
It’s easy to forget that Petrovic is still quite young. He still needs to develop and become a more well-rounded goalkeeper. The 22-year-old also performed quite well in a midfield that was missing key players such as Polster and McNamara.
With the draw, New England is now 7th in the Eastern Conference and faces NYCFC next at Yankee Stadium on July 9.