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Revolution v. Atlanta: Three thoughts

The Revs weren’t built to play 0-0 for a whole game, plus two more thoughts.

SOCCER: OCT 19 MLS Cup Playoffs - New England Revolution at Atlanta United FC Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New England Revolution’s 2019 season came to an end on Saturday when they lost 1-0 to Atlanta United. Here are three thoughts from the game:

  1. It wasn’t Scott Caldwell’s night. Let me start by saying that I’m a Caldwell fan. The guy understands the game and generally puts himself in good positions. That said, I don’t think he should’ve started over Luis Caicedo. Before Saturday, Caldwell played 178 minutes under Arena and only went 90 once. The Homegrown was then inserted into a critical match against a daunting opponent. The opening minutes set the tone for the day. One moment that particularly stands out was when Jeff Larentowicz pushed by Caldwell to provide Joseph Martinez with a solid look on goal. I don’t think the loss is on Caldwell, but I do think L. Caicedo should’ve started in his place.
  2. The Revs need to find new outside backs. Brandon Bye and DeJuan Jones are physically gifted but they shouldn’t be the full-time starters. Bye is constantly caught too far up the field, which is a bit odd since his crosses aren’t accurate. Jones has the pace and mentality to hack it in MLS, but he’s just too raw. I think it’s unfair to peg the game-winner on Jones because it’s a defender ends up scoring. Still, the play of the outside backs left a lot to be desired.
  3. The Revs weren’t designed to play 0-0 for a whole game. Atlanta owned the opening stanza, but the Revolution did well to play themselves into the game. From there, things opened up and it seemed that both teams had a chance at grabbing a goal (Revs on the counter or Atlanta through persistence). As the game went on, it seemed inevitable that Atlanta would get one because their talent is just too good. Things became more lopsided when Florentin Pogba entered for the home steam. The Revs’ later substitutions, Juan Fernando Caicedo, Diego Fagundez, and Juan Agudelo, looked dangerous at times but it was all for naught. I think the Revs could’ve won this one, but they probably needed an early goal to do so.