New England Revolution II returned to action Sunday evening as they faced Toronto FC II inside Gillette Stadium as New England’s second team looked to righten the ship and keep themselves above the playoff line.
It’s been a tough stretch for Revs II. They entered Sunday’s contest winless in their last five matches with a 0-3-2.
Despite the recent setbacks, Revs II had managed to keep themselves in playoff contention as they occupied fourth place with 26 points. Toronto FC’s second team was on Revs II’s heals alongside Inter Miami’s as both squads held 23 points on the season.
There were five changes to the lineup from Revs II’s last outing which saw them suffer a 4-1 defeat to Columbus Crew II. Academy goalkeeper Max Weinstein made his professional debut for the Revolution as he replaced an injured Jacob Jackson in goal. José Ítalo, Pierre Cayet, Ben Reveno, and Sean O’Hearn composed the backline as Michel, Trevor Zwetsloot, and Jake Rozhansky made up the midfield. Ryan Spaulding, Marcos Dias, and Ryan Lima provided the attack.
Weinstein was put to work early by the Toronto offense as the young goalkeeper made a clutch save in the 15th minute, followed by two more in the 17th minute.
Ryan Spaulding was the first of many players for both sides to enter the books as he received a questionable yellow card in the 21st minute.
Kobe Franklin came close to finding the back of the net for Toronto in the 27th minute, but his shot was too far right as it bounced off the post and away from the goal.
Ryan Lima entered the books in the 34th minute as he received a yellow card. Lima then nearly put Revs II up, but his left-footed shot to the top left corner was just a tad too high as it sailed out for a goal kick.
Ben Reveno received a yellow card in the 52nd minute after committing a foul on Themi Antonoglou.
Pandemonium erupted on the pitch in the 56th minute after Michel’s foul on Rohan Goulbourne as players from both sides rushed over and started exchanging words and shoves. Things intensified when Trevor Zwetsloot ran into the fray and trucked a TFC player. After a few minutes of shoving and separation, Zwetsloot saw straight red while Marcos Dias and Toronto’s keeper were handed yellow cards for their involvement in the altercation.
Paul Rothrock found the back of the net for Toronto in the 68th minute as he got on top of a ball lobbed forward and drove into the box. The backline attempted to apply pressure to Rothrock, but it was not enough as he sent a right-footed shot to the bottom right corner.
Defender Colby Quiñones returned to the pitch in the 69th minute as he came on for Ryan Lima. Quiñones last appearance with Revs II came on June 4th. His absence wasn’t easy for the outside back.
“It’s been a rough few weeks, but the team’s kept me in a positive attitude and my family’s kept me in a positive attitude, so I was happy to get back on the field tonight,” he said.
Rothrock notched himself a brace just minutes later as a bad pass forward from Sean O’Hearn led to Toronto intercepting the ball in the Revs II defensive half. After a series of passes, the ball traveled to Rothrock, who drilled a right-footed shot to the top right corner.
A pair of substitutions came in the 77th minute as Hikaru Fujiwara and Michael DeShields entered for Jake Rozhansky and Ben Reveno. Another pair of subs came in the 83rd minute as Academy product Brandonn Bueno made his professional debut as he and Malcolm Fry replaced Michel and José Ítalo.
It looked as if Toronto was going to notch a third goal in the 87th minute as a deflected pass led to Hugo Mbongue alone darting up the field. Weinstein came off his line and shortened the distance between himself and Mbongue. Mbongue slowed down and attempted to sneak a shot past Weinstein, but the young keeper stood tall as he blocked the ball out of play.
Revs II’s winless streak extended to six games as they fall 2-0 to Toronto FC II. Sunday’s loss dropped Revolution II down to fifth place in the East and below the playoff line for the first time this season.
Despite the loss, it was an impressive debut for Max Weinstein. The U19 MLS NEXT Cup Best Goalkeeper ended his first professional appearance with five saves. Head coach Clint Peay praised Weinstein after the match.
“Max did really well for his first game, made a couple of good saves, looked confident, was vocal,” Peay stated.
Revolution II will look to re-enter the playoff picture next Sunday as they travel to DRV PNK Stadium to take on Inter Miami CF II at 7:00 PM ET.