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Revs v. Pumas: Three Thoughts

Earl Edward Jr. provided the game’s best moment, plus two more thoughts.

SOCCER: MAR 05 MLS - FC Dallas at New England Revolution Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New England Revolution defeated Pumas UNAM 3-0 on Wednesday night. Here are three thoughts from the match:

1. Earl Edwards Jr. had the moment of the game. The Revs attackers should be complimented for their outburst of goals (more on that in a moment), but let’s start with the unlikely hero. Matt Turner was expected to star in the CCL games before heading to Europe in the summer. A foot injury altered plans, paving the way for Edwards Jr.’s memorable moment. The Revs had a 1-0 lead when the netminder made his body big to deny a point blank header. The Revs soon collected two more goals, putting them in a strong position as they head to Mexico City. Edwards Jr.’s heroics reminded me of what Cameron Porter did for the Impact in 2015.

2. Adam Buksa had a good night. Buksa had two goals on Wednesday night to become the first Revs striker to score in 2022. His timing on both goals was impeccable as he patiently waited for Carles Gil to work his magic. I’d also like to highlight his hold-up work. Buksa drew defenders with him by dropping back, opening up opportunities for players like Gustavo Bou and DeJuan Jones. Buksa has really become a well-rounded no. 9.

3. The midfield takes a different shape. The Revs have lined up in a 4-4-2 this year, but it hasn’t always looked the same. It was more of a 4-2-2-2 when the Revs hosted FC Dallas as Tommy McNamara often stayed back with Matt Polster. The Revs went with a diamond against Pumas with Arnor Traustason slotting in for McNamara. I liked seeing the Revs push higher up the field because it put Pumas under pressure, which made it difficult for the visitors to move the ball beyond their back line. Polster, Gil, and Lletget were excellent while Traustason had enough good moments that I’d like to see more.

One other tactical wrinkle to mention is that the Revs favored the left side. This put a spotlight on DeJuan Jones, who is an absolute star. The Pumas right back will likely have nightmares about Jones until next Wednesday.