The New England Revolution had a solid outing at the MLS is Back Tournament. They were able to grab five points, going 1-0-2 in the group stage. Pretty good for a team that started the season 0-1-1. The Revs now hold the ninth spot in the Eastern Conference, only seven points away from first place.
So what should Revolution fans focus on? Here are the 3 thoughts from the MLS is Back tournament.
1. Adam Buksa, Gustavo Bou, and Carles Gil looked great. Bou was able to score his first goal of the season on a beautiful effort. Also we saw Buksa score his second goal of the season when he showed off his athletic ability to head the ball to give the Revolution a lead against D.C. United.
Buksa has really impressed since coming to New England. It will be interesting to see just how well he can do now that he is meshing with his teammates. More team will lead to more success.
Gil on the other hand only appeared in two games but when he was on the field his pace and skill were evident. The 2019 Newcomer of the Year showed why he is one of the great players in MLS. New England is a completely different team when he is on the field. They are much more confident and it’s evident in their play.
2. Matt Turner had amazing efforts. He single-handedly ensured that the Revs won their first game with some amazing saves against the Montreal Impact near the end of the game. In total he made 13 saves throughout the entire tournament. He also recorded two shutouts during his time down in Orlando.
Turner has really made himself in recent years. He earned himself a call up to the USMNT and he has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in MLS. He deserves a lot of credit for the team’s success down in Orlando. It’s quite likely that the Revs fail to make the knockout stage if he wasn’t on the field.
3. The Revs face familiar struggles. They failed to take advantage of opportunities and made too many mistakes. This is one of the main reasons they were knocked out against Philadelphia. The Revolution had 18 shots but only five were on target. That isn’t accurate enough to win games.
Even in group stage games the Revolution had chances to put games away with great goal-scoring opportunities but failed to challenge the opposing keeper.
Also, we saw too many mistakes occur. From the tournament there were two glaring issues. Antonio Delamea made a terrible pass back to Matt Turner against D.C. United and it directly led to a Federico Higuian goal. If this didn’t occur there is a good chance that New England finishes in the top of Group C and near the top of the Eastern Conference.
Then there is the Round of 16 goal that ended up knocking out the Revs. Bou made a poor effort passing the ball to Tajon Buchanan and Philadelphia gained possession. Then New England’s back four failed to recover and Turner was left helpless.
So Revolution fans should be pleased that they made it to the knockout stage but the team could have done better. Hopefully it will be a teaching moment and they will come back firing once the regular season resumes.