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Revolution v. Dynamo: Three Thoughts

Penilla is a dangerous man and two more thoughts.

SOCCER: JUN 29 MLS - Houston Dynamo at New England Revolution Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New England Revolution earned a come from behind victory on Saturday night, besting the Houston Dynamo 2-1. Here are three thoughts from the game.

  1. The Dynamo were finding success in wide areas. The Revs went with a new formation, opting to line up in a 4-4-2 diamond. Dynamo exploited the Revolution’s lack of width by having their outside midfielders play high. As a result, Brandon Bye regularly found himself having to deal with Romell Quioto’s pace. The Dynamo continued to work the wide areas even after the Revs switched their formation at halftime. In the end, the Revs only allowed one goal, which isn’t bad given the circumstances. The modest score line can at least partially be credited to Matt Turner, who made several great saves.
  2. Cristian Penilla is a dangerous man. Recognizing that his team wasn’t good enough in the first half, Bruce Arena made changes after the break. First, he moved to a 4-1-4-1 formation with Justin Rennicks and Diego Fagundez playing on the peripheries while Juan Agudelo moved centrally. Next, he inserted Teal Bunbury for Fagundez (57th minute) and Penilla for Rennicks (61st minute). The subs changed the games, as the Revs now had speed on the flanks. Penilla was especially excellent as he showed a willingness to play direct soccer. As a whole, Penilla is a weapon who creates plenty of chances the Revs.
  3. I can see Juan Fernando Caicedo’s quality. I think this will be controversial point as many people have expressed negative reviews of the Colombian. That said, I can see Caicedo’s quality. He was involved in at least four solid chances on Saturday night. He had a forward pass that was too far for Rennicks. He had a good 1v1 opportunity on the right side that resulted in a pass that didn’t find its target. He was also combining well with Penilla and Carles Gil. Of course, his crowning moment was when he held the ball up for Penilla in the play that ultimately led to the goal. Listen, I think Caicedo is overpaid, but I can also see why he was brought in. The guy has the skills you want from a striker but needs to be quicker and sharper. He also needs to stop falling over.