After battling back from an early 1-0 deficit, the Revolution appeared in good position to steal three points from host NYCFC. But a second-half red card to Gershon Koffie shifted momentum to the home club, forcing the Revs to grind out a 1-1 draw. We break down the match, position-by-position, and offer an overall team grade below.
Report: Bobby Shuttleworth didn't stop any penalties this week, but he did turn in a hard-fought, three-save performance. He stood strong for all 90 minutes, fending off a barrage of second-half opportunities from NYCFC after Tommy McNamara opened the scoring account with a near-unstoppable finish. Solid positioning and quick reactions from the veteran 'keeper helped the Revs salvage a point on the road.
Report: A week removed from a defensive meltdown in Philadelphia, the Revolution turned in a bounce-back performance along the back line. Chris Tierney and London Woodberry led the charge on the attacking front, with Woodberry using his pace to pinch NYCFC back defensively and Tierney using his service and set-piece class to create (and convert) goal-scoring opportunities.
In the center of the back four, Andrew Farell made good on his early-season struggles by tightening his positioning and flashing the athleticism that made him so successful as a center back last season. He combined with Jose Goncalves for 12 interceptions and 10 clearances. Both players did make a critical mistake—Goncalves' lackadasical defending of Tony Taylor, which led to David Villa's "assist" off the crossbar, and Farrell's poor marking of Patrick Mullins in the box, which almost resulted in a game-winner—but the pair's chemistry was evident throughout.
It wasn't a perfect defensive showing, but Jay Heaps will certainly sleep better than he did last weekend.
Report: Heaps' decision to slide Teal Bunbury out wide paid dividends, as the Akron grad used his pace to run by NYCFC's defense for much of the match. His efficiency forced Patrick Viera to make a rare first-half substitution to add a fourth defender. Bunbury's highlight came in the 75th minute, when he released Charlie Davies on a well-struck through ball, the Revs' best scoring opportunity of the second half. With more polish in the attacking third—Bunbury continually over hit both crosses and shots—he could evolve into a significant attacking threat.
The rest of the Revolution midfield struggled to contribute offensively, with a suspect red card to Gershon Koffie forcing the unit to take a defensive approach. The tactic worked, as the Revolution midfield collected a combined 10 interceptions in a strong defensive outing.
Report: While replacing Teal Bunbury in the No. 9 spot, Juan Agudelo added a much-needed physical presence to the Revolution attack. His back-to-goal passing helped the Revolution win the possession battle (before Koffie's red card) and created space for Bunbury to dominate the flank. Substitute Davies looked equally sharp, though his best goal-scoring opportunity—a one-on-one with Josh Saunders—was undone by a heavy touch. Heaps will need more goals from this unit down the stretch, but the pair solidified their value up top (and Bunbury's value out wide).
Report: Shorthanded and without playmaker Lee Nguyen, Heaps went for a full three points—and he nearly accomplished his goal. Woodberry and Agudelo turned in starting-worthy shifts. Davies kept the NYCFC defense honest with a pair of goal-scoring threats. Teal Bunbury settled nicely into a wide midfield role. And Femi Hollinger-Janzen, a surprise contributor, brought value in the waning moments, drawing an attacking foul during a sound two-way performance.
Heaps needed a win in a big way, but his aggressive approach on Saturday helped make the best of a tough-luck red card.
Final Word: Even down a man, the Revolution continued to scope out goal-scoring opportunities, nearly stealing a late game-winner during a resilient road performance.