For the fourth straight year, the New England Revolution failed to score in their home opener as they tied D.C. United 0-0 on Saturday afternoon. The game might not have yielded any goals, but it did produce some talking points. Let’s take a look.
1. Je-Vaughn Watson is sensational. Heading into the season, there was an open competition between London Woodberry, Jordan McCrary, and Darrius Barnes for the right back spot. Watson immediately jumped to the front of the pack when he joined the Revs and it’s easy to see why. The veteran is sound defensively, helping to lock down the right side of the field. He’s also sharp offensively, using his speed and footwork to create opportunities. Watson was responsible for a cross in the 55th minute that led to Lee Nguyen hitting the post. Watson connected with Nguyen again in the 78th minute, but the midfielder’s shot was saved by Travis Worra. If Watson continues to put in performances like he has, he could be a frontrunner for team Defender of the Year.
2. It was interesting to see Teal Bunbury play as the lone striker over Juan Agudelo. When Charlie Davies went down with a hamstring injury, all eyes turned to Agudelo. While the 23-year-old did enter the game, he lined up on the flank with Bunbury moving up top. It wasn’t necessarily a bad move since Bunbury scored three goals this preseason, some of which came while he played as a forward. Also, Bunbury’s speed had the potential to cause headaches for the D.C. defenders. That said, Agudelo is an out-and-out striker that isn’t overly effective defensively, a skill needed when playing on the flank. With Davies potentially missing next week’s game, it will fascinating to see who Heaps turns to against the Philadelphia Union.
3. Keyln Rowe has to put his 93rd minute shot on frame. One week after grabbing a dramatic last-minute goal, it looked like history was going to repeat when Nguyen played Rowe into space. Rowe took a touch then shot, with his effort going well wide of the goal. While the chance wasn’t a sure-fire goal due to the angle and the approaching defender, Rowe needed to do better. Moments like that can be the difference between three points and one point or worse one point and none. At the very least, Rowe has to force a save from the goalkeeper, especially one as inexperienced as Worra.