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Revolution v. D.C. United: Three More Thoughts

The Revs found success in wide areas, plus two more thoughts.

SOCCER: AUG 13 MLS - DC United at New England Revolution Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New England Revolution earned a 1-0 win over D.C. United on Saturday. My colleague Sam Minton provided three thoughts after the final whistle and I have three more for you. Let’s take a look.

1. Revs find success in wide areas

D.C. United’s passing chart from last night’s game highlights that the visitors played narrow. The Revs were able to exploit this by using their wide players.

The Revolution’s outside backs were the primary beneficiaries in this game as Brandon Bye created four chances, including the game-winning assist for Carles Gil. DeJuan Jones also had a good night, creating five chances. Ema Boateng, who operated both inside and outside, had three chances.

2. The team has balance

Earlier this year, the Revs were playing a 4-4-2 that had players frequently bombing into the final third. It’s a tactic that helped propel the Revolution to their first-ever Supporters’ Shield. It’s also a tactic that required a lot from Matt Polster. Operating as the midfield anchor, Polster was often overwhelmed in the middle.

The Revs later switched to playing with two defensive midfielders. This helps protect the backline and provides coverage for Bye and Jones when they go forward. This also limits how often the team is relying on emergency defending.

This tactical switch happened a while ago, but I’m mentioning it now because the Revs have now gone 371 minutes without conceding a goal. The main question is, what does this team look like when Giacomo Vrioni, Gustavo Bou, and Dylan Borrero are all healthy?

3. A lot of players deserve shoutouts

The Revs were certainly undermanned last night as Vrioni, Bou, Borrero, Polster, and Maciel were all unavailable. That said, the team played for each other to earn three important points. Let’s highlight some players.

First, let’s continue to recognize how good Petrovic is. He’s allowed 11 goals in 11 games and just became the first Revs goalkeeper to collect four consecutive clean sheets since Bobby Shuttleworth in 2013. He doesn’t just preserve points, he gets the Revs points.

Tommy McNamara deserves some recognition for his pass that ultimately led to the game-winning goal. McNamara had two assist in last weekend’s win over Orlando City SC.

Noel Buck was excellent in his Revolution first-team debut. The 17-year-old made a nice run that almost led to a goal. He later hit a picturesque pass that led to a dangerous opportunity.

Finally, Andrew Farrell put in another good performance. One thing that’s underrated about the 30-year-old is his ability to pick out a long pass (see below). Farrell’s experience could be essential next week as Frank Dell’Apa of the Boston Globe is reporting that Henry Kessler, who was also quite good, could miss out on the trip to Canada due to vaccination issues.