Despite outplaying Toronto FC for most of Saturday's match at Gillette Stadium, the Revolution settled for a hotly-contested 1-1 draw. How did the club perform against Sebastian Giovinco and Michael Bradley?
We break down the match, position-by-position, and offer an overall team grade below.
Report: Even though Toronto out-possessed the Revolution 60/40, Bobby Shuttleworth could have read a newspaper for much of Saturday's match and not skipped a beat. Toronto ripped nine off-target shots and finished its only on-target shot, a strike Shuttleworth appeared to have covered if not for a Jose Goncalves deflection. Without much to do between the pipes, Shuttleworth made a handful of strong plays with his feet and worked diligently to keep his back four aligned.
Report: With some help from Scott Caldwell and Gershon Koffie, the Revolution back line stalled TFC's attack for most of Saturday's match. Toronto completed just 51 percent of its passes in the attacking third, mostly due to aggressive play from Goncalves and his defensive teammates, who combined for 16 interceptions. This helped reduce goal-scoring opportunities for Giovinco, who took just one on-target shot (unfortunately, a second-half equalizer). The Revolution back line also went about its business without fouling the Italian forward—who draws two-and-a-half fouls per match—in dangerous spots.
On the attacking side of the ball, the Revolution benefited from superb service from Je-Vaughn Watson, who returned to his right back post following international duty and a red-card suspension. His lofting cross to Kelyn Rowe put the Revs on the board in the first frame, and his charging run late in the the match nearly resulted in a game-winner. Pencil Watson into the lineup for the foreseeable future.
Report: To isolate Michael Bradley and Toronto's pacey frontrunners, the Revolution needed a stout defensive performance from Caldwell and Koffie. Thankfully, the pair answered the call. Aside from picking up another yellow card—his third card in five matches—Koffie patrolled the middle of the park with purpose and physicality, collecting a game-high six tackles. Offensively, the Ghanian midfielder spurred the attack with clean, crisp passing. He ultimately connected on 46 of his 50 passes (92 percent).
Caldwell turned in a quieter performance, but still managed to contribute three tackles and three interceptions in an abbreviated shift. He picked good spots, hawked the ball and made sound decisions moving forward.
Report: The attacking portion of the Revolution midfield turned in a dominant two-way performance. From the opening whistle onward, Rowe played with more energy than anyone on the field. His play spoke for itself: a far-post run and finish, a game-high three chances created and a team-high four tackles (plus four interceptions for good measure).
Rowe's man of the match performance overshadowed the play of Lee Nguyen and Diego Fagundez, though both players looked sharp moving forward. Nguyen drew attention from Bradley throughout the match, which hindered Bradley's attacking efficiency (he finished with no shots and no chances created). Yet even with Bradley trailing him for 90 minutes, Nguyen found space to pester the TFC back line.
Even Fagundez, who exited for Charlie Davies in the 77th minute, had his moments, setting up a pair of goal-scoring opportunities during a quiet (but productive) shift.
Report: On Saturday, Bunbury turned in his best performance of the season in the No. 9 role. He made strong runs, looked sharp over the ball and stung three shots on frame. His finishing still needs work—he placed his best chance of the match, an open shot from 20 yards out, into Clint Irwin's chest—though he used his speed and slashing style to make a nuisance of himself in the attacking third.
After pushing Bunbury wide, Davies struggled to provide the same efficiency (seven touches, zero shots), though he still represents the long-term answer up top.
Report: With Agudelo and Davies both lacking full fitness, Jay Heaps chose Bunbury to fill the lone striker spot. He turned in a productive shift, but failed to contribute a much-needed goal, extending his goal-scoring drought to 1,089 minutes. Bunbury isn't the best—or even the second best—center forward option on this roster. But Heaps found a way to get the most of him on Saturday.
Elsewhere on the field, Heaps opted for Watson over London Woodberry. The move paid dividends, as Watson looked as strong moving forward (one assist, two key passes) as he did defending (five interceptions). Also credit Heaps for inserting Hollinger-Janzen into the match in the 89th minute. The Indiana alum nearly added the game-winning assist in extra time, and has now looked dangerous in four consecutive matches.
Final Word: Despite playing well enough to earn three points, the Revs lost their collective cool on a Teal Bunbury penalty shout, a gaffe that invited Toronto back into the match. With a little more composure, the Revs could have left Gillette Stadium with a much-needed win.