New England Revolution II returned to action Sunday evening as they hosted Chicago Fire II. It had been a rough stretch of games for Revs II as they entered Sunday’s contest winless in their last seven matches while also carrying a four-game losing streak.
Revolution II’s skid had them entering the match in seventh place of the Eastern Conference with 26 points on a 7-7-4 record. Chicago Fire entered the affair in ninth place as they held an away record of 2-5-2.
With only six games left in their inaugural MLS NEXT Pro regular-season, head coach Clint Peay looked to use Sunday’s contest to start rightening the ship as Revs II looks for their first-ever playoff berth. When talking about where his club is at, Peay said, “guys are optimistic but also feeling it a little bit, so they feel the pressure, they know they can be better, and I think they’re just eager to kind of get out there and try to get a result.”
Clint Peay slightly adjusted the formation from their last outing as they lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation. Max Weinstein in net as Ryan Spaulding, Pierre Cayet, Michael DeShields, and Sean O’Hearn composed the backline. Trevor Zwetsloot served as the lone defensive midfielder as Meny Silva, Michel, Jake Rozhansky, and Ryan Lima were higher up. Esmir Bajraktarević was up top as the lone striker.
Fire II got a golden opportunity as they were awarded a penalty kick in the 12th minute after Michael DeShields committed a foul on Matteo Kidd inside the box. Josh Penn stepped up to the spot as he looked to give Chicago an early lead.
Penn ran up on the ball and attempted to send a left-footed shot to the bottom left corner. Max Weinstein was all over it as the 18-year-old keeper got down and made the save. A great display by the young keeper.
Despite valiant efforts from both sides, neither side generated any dangerous shots as things remained scoreless entering halftime.
Defender Pierre Cayet put his head to good use in the 52nd minute as Revs II lined up to take a corner kick. As Jake Rozhansky lobbed the corner kick into the box, Cayet generated some space for himself as he leaped into the air and connected with the ball. Cayet’s header cleared the defender marking him and sailed to the top right corner as Revs II were the first to get on to the board.
Getting on the board first was a point Clint Peay emphasized in his media availability earlier this week. Peay said, “we do emphasize the idea of scoring first and want to be on the front foot in that regard…We need to put the pressure on the other team, take the chances that we do create.”
A double substitution came in the 70th minute as Malcolm Fry came on for Esmir Bajraktarević while Colby Quiñones came on for Ryan Lima.
Michel entered the books in the 72nd minute as he received a yellow card after committing a foul on Sergio Oregel. Trevor Zwetsloot also received a yellow card in the 76th minute after committing a foul on Missael Rodríguez and Colby Quiñones received a yellow card in the 79th minute after fouling Omari Glasgow.
The final two substitutions came in the 80th minute as Academy product Brandonn Bueno came on for Michel while Ben Reveno replaced Trevor Zwetsloot.
Max Weinstein received a yellow card in stoppage time for time wasting as the young keeper pulled out the dark arts to help secure Revs II their first win since June 11.
Weinstein made two saves on the night to earn himself his first professional clean sheet. Defender and goal scorer Pierre Cayet had nothing but praise for the keeper after the match. Cayet said, “Him being able to stop the PK was massive for us in the first half. We came back, we helped him a lot, and I think he’s a great keeper.” Cayet ended his praise by jokingly requesting Weinstein to “buy me donuts tomorrow.”.
Sunday’s victory moved Revolution II to sixth place in the East as they hold 29 points on an 8-4-7 record. Revs II now sits one point behind the playoff line. They’ll look to jump the hurdle next Sunday as they travel to Subaru Park to take on seventh-placed Philadelphia Union II at 5:30 PM.