The New England Revolution defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-0 on Wednesday night. It was a win that spread optimism throughout the fan base as Gustavo Bou’s worldie was followed by goals from Diego Fagundez, Carles Gil, and Teal Bunbury.
To find out if this enthusiasm is warranted, we got an outsider’s perspective of Wednesday’s performance by speaking to Ian Jones of Eighty Six Forever.
1) You don’t see a lot of 4-0 scorelines when it comes to soccer. How excited should Revs fans be about last night’s performance given the current state of the Whitecaps?
No, you definitely don’t often see soccer scorelines like the one we had Wednesday night. The troubling thing for us Whitecaps fans is that these types of results are becoming incredibly prevalent. In the last four games alone, at a point in the MLS season where a team’s playoff fate is arguably determined, the Whitecaps have been outscored in four losses, 14-1.
The Whitecaps’ listlessness shouldn’t lessen a positive result, as there’s always a reason to be excited for a blowout win, particularly one where the club holds court with relative ease. Nevertheless, by no means should Revs fans remain satisfied. A match against an on-the-road, 2019-edition Whitecaps side should always have been the Revs to lose, heightened further by the in-form play dating back to mid-May, just before the hiring of Bruce Arena.
But when I say Revs fans shouldn’t remain satisfied is in knowing that the club’s arduous start to the season could yet keep them out of the playoffs, with NYC FC currently holding games in hand. There’s always cause for celebration in a 4-0 win; there’s just no time for complacency when the playoffs are still out of reach.
2) Last night marked the debut of new Designated Player Gustavo Bou. What did you think of his play?
Bou’s start may have been understandably inauspicious, given how it was his first match after only joining the club a week ago, but he unquestionably introduced himself to the league with that wonder volley at the end of the first half.
It wasn’t just the fantastic goal, though: he was making smart passes without ever conceding in troublesome areas (5 Key Passes in your first game in the league?!), and he seemed to a likeminded intuition with Carles Gil that allowed for the Revs’ play to greatly spread to the wings and up the pitch. The fact that his heat map was just one big blob in the Whitecaps’ end of the field should say everything.
Speaking to the quickly developed relationship with Gil, a post-match interview with Bou revealed that Gil was quick to point out the Whitecaps’ lack of concern outside the penalty area on corner kicks, so it speaks volumes that a current player could trust a new signee with a difficult, unpracticed deadball play that clearly made a statement on the match.
3) What other player(s) stuck out to you?
Primarily Brandon Bye. Man, could he fly down the wing. I don’t know if it was a direct result of having both Gil and Bou in the midfield for the first time, but he was making fantastic runs throughout the first half, less so in the second but that felt like it had more to do with the Revs’ overall stranglehold on the game.
Bye played exactly like a wingback should, and I’m sure that’s part of the reason as to why he’s started every match this year.