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New England Revolution 2 - Toronto FC 2: 3 thoughts

A still short-handed Revs team faced a mid-week challenge

MLS: New England Revolution at Toronto FC Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Revolution had a difficult mid-week clash against Toronto FC in a crucial match for both sides as the regular season inches towards its conclusion. Luckily for Revolution fans, their side didn’t leave BMO Field empty handed.

The Revs were still without Gustavo Bou, Giacomo Vrioni, and Dylan Borrero as they dealt with injuries. New England was also without Henry Kessler due to health and safety protocols.

Due to the absences of the Revolutions DP’s, Justin Rennicks got another start up top but was joined by Ema Boateng and Carles Gil on the wings. It was Rennicks’ fourth straight time in the starting XI.

DeJuan Jones and Brandon Bye comprised the outside of the back line while Andrew Farrell lined up alongside Christian Makoun (getting his first start in New England) and Omar Gonzalez.

Matt Polster returned to the match-day squad after dealing with an illness with Wilfrid Kaptoum and Tommy McNamara making up the midfield.

With Toronto looking to surge up the Eastern Conference after acquiring Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi. The Canadian side entered Wednesday 3-0-1 since the Italians debuted.

So what do you need to know about Wednesday night’s draw? Here are three thoughts.

1 - Omar was good

When Revolution fans saw that Gonzalez was in the starting XI they were likely concerned. The veteran center back has struggled this entire season and has made plenty of mistakes

Wednesday was the center back’s best performance. He was strong in the back, played clean soccer and helped New England secure three points.

Gonzalez even had a goal line headed clearance to maintain New England’s 2-1 lead.

The same can’t be said for Christian Makoun. He was the reason that Toronto FC got an early led with his tackle inside the box. Once Kessler is able to play again expect Makoun to be relegated to the bench.

The second goal that New England allowed can’t be blamed on Gonzalez, Makoun, or even any Revolution player. It was a spectacular volley from Domenic Criscito that Petrovic simply couldn’t stop.

Gonzalez’s performance was a step in the right direction and Revolution fans will be hoping that he can maintain this level of play for the rest of the season.

2 - Assist god

While Rennicks scored the game-winning goal for the Revolution, the real star of the play was Gil.

Gil has quietly made his way once again towards the top of the MLS assist ranks. He added to his total on Wednesday night.

The midfielder saw an opening in the box and served a beautiful pass to Rennicks. The striker was able to find the back of the net from an awkward angle on a goal that Alex Bono will want back. Gil now has 13 assists this season.

After winning an MVP, Gil is being held to high standards yet somehow the midfielder continues to impress fans and leave you feeling lucky that you are able to watch him play.

3 - Mr. Reliable

McNamara isn’t the flashiest player or even the best player on the pitch but he can always be relied upon to put in a solid performance when thrust into action.

The midfielder got the Revolution back in the game with his 37th-minute goal. It wasn’t the prettiest as McNamara fought for a poor rebound let up by Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono and round the back of the net. McNamara now has two goals and four assists this season.

While ideally, McNamara would be serving a bench role at this point in his career and with the talent that New England possesses, he has been a great addition to the Revolution roster ever since Arena made the move to acquire him.

With the draw, New England is above the playoff line in 6th place and will be looking to add more points when they face CF Montreal on Saturday.