BRONX, NY – After a couple of weeks without MLS action (besides SKC vs Austin last weekend), Matt Turner and the New England Revolution were back with a bang on the road! The Euros and Copa America continue to roll on so teams across the league are missing players but the various qualifiers in the international break have been put back on hold. It was huge weekend across the league, Columbus playing their final game at Historic Crew Stadium whilst Austin FC finally opened their brand new Q2 Stadium. Focusing on the Revs though and it was quite the clash for them at Red Bull Arena.
Matt Turner Heroics Lead Revs Past NYCFC 3-2
New England came into this trip to the Big Apple as the leaders in the East, the fact they had conceded just seven goals in eight games being crucial to their early success. Matt Turner heroics had been a big part of that to date.
NYCFC on the other hand may be hovering around the playoff line, but the threat they provide going forward could strike fear into any backline. Just ask Bob Bradley, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored in the dying embers for the New Yorkers at Banc of California Stadium prior to the brief hiatus to give the ten men a huge three points.
Tommy McNamara spent a few seasons in the sky blue of NYCFC and he was in the XI to go up against them, meanwhile Tajon Buchanan, Adam Buksa and Henry Kessler made way for Maciel, Gustavo Bou and Jon Bell. On the other hand, Brazilian teenager Talles Magno started for NYCFC for the first time, a big game with the chance to prove himself beckoning.
The kits of all 27 MLS teams looked different this weekend and that was a nod to Juneteenth, a sort of commemoration of the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the US. It carries great significance and this is another sign of MLS being ahead of most leagues around the world, long may their work towards inclusivity continue!
Back to the action on the pitch and the game started at a furious pace, NYCFC looking very likely on home soil. Jesus Medina forced experienced defender Andrew Farrell into making a challenge and the Revs man gave away a penalty, Taty Castellanos being the one to step up. It wasn’t a bad attempt from the Argentinian but Matt Turner got down very quickly to deny him from the spot, further cementing himself as one of the best keepers in the league.
Having squandered this golden opportunity to take the lead, if one expected that their heads would drop then you’d be wrong. Medina continued to look very dangerous but when NYCFC came close again, he wasn’t involved. A perfect ball in from Maxi Moralez was met by Castellanos who was unable to atone for his earlier error, Turner again proving his worth tenfold. The home side were getting a lot of space but it was New England that broke the deadlock, Gustavo Bou with a hit on the swivel catching Sean Johnson off-guard. Despite their early pressure, NYCFC were trailing the Revs!
That Bou goal took the sting out of Ronny Deila’s side and their flow, half-time being a much-needed sense of respite. New man Magno was replaced at the break and another debutant came on in his place, Thiago Andrade. Whilst the former was unable to leave his mark on the game, it didn’t take long for the latter to endear himself to the fans with a rolling shot in off the post levelling the game.
Bruce Arena’s immediate reaction to the equalizer was to make a double sub, Buksa and Buchanan replacing Maciel and Traustason. Buchanan fresh off getting some good minutes under his belt for the Canadian national team looked as enthusiastic as ever, his pace and sharp feet causing issues. Carles Gil had been relatively quiet up until this point but his cross towards Buksa was met by Bell, heading New England back ahead. Shortly after, Buksa had a chance to make it 3-1 but Sean Johnson, in response to the earlier heroics of his opposite number, kept out the Pole from close range.
As previously mentioned Tajouri-Shradi was the man of the moment last time out against LAFC and he was on hand to peg back New England once again. Andrade’s original shot was saved by Turner but his frustration was evident when the NYCFC wide-man was the first to react to the parry. the whole game was truly played on a pendulum with proceedings swinging back and forth, Johnson replacing Turner as the seething shot-stopper just moments later! A mix of a good cross and lax defending allowed Tommy Mac to turn home against his former employers, Buchanan’s great work was integral in the fifth goal of the game.
Given that five goals had been scored to date, to say that New England goalkeeper Matt Turner was the talk of the town would seem strange. He was already having a superb game and then Moralez’s goal bound shot looked certain to breach the New England goal. Turner had other ideas though, he reacted with lightning-fast pace and he impressively kept the game at 3-2, it truly was a sensational stop. This was then how it finished, the three points going with the Revs back to Foxborough- Buchanan provided a new outlet off of the bench but Matt Turner was the deciding factor in keeping side atop of the conference standings.
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) June 19, 2021