Foxborough, MASS– After tying the 2021 MLS Cup runners-up Portland in the first game of the season, New England Revolution notched a further three points. FC Dallas were in town and with the Revs in action in front of their home fans for the first time this year, the Texans left empty handed. Carles Gil converted a penalty on the brink of half time and whilst it wasn’t a perfect display, New England did enough to get the win.
Carles Gil penalty is the difference in Foxborough
Bruce Arena made just one change from the XI that played out the 2-2 with the Timbers. New boy Omar Gonzalez dropped to the bench with Henry Kessler replacing him at center back alongside Andrew Farrell. Talking of replacing though and the former Toronto man came into the game with Kessler injured and unable to continue.
Reining MVP Carles Gil was joined by Adam Buksa and Gustavo Bou in the attacking third whilst Earl Edwards continued in the sticks, this being his first taste of Gillette Stadium. On the other side, FC Dallas began the game with the exact same team that drew with Bob Bradley’s Toronto last time out.
Captain. MVP. And now a soon-to-be Dad. ❤️
Congrats to Carles & his wife, Maria! pic.twitter.com/V3hQP43GRm
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 5, 2022
The visitors managed just one shot on target and in truth, it was hardly the most open game. Arena said after the game that “in the second half we had some chances, we could have got the second goal and made the game a little easier so there are certainly areas to improve.” They managed four shots on Maarten Paes’ goal, one of which of course being the effort from Carles Gil from twelve yards out. Gil himself was the man to hit the deck and despite the referee being adamant there was no foul, a VAR review saw Paxton Pomykal punished for the challenge. Gil stepped up just before the break and bagged his first of the season.
How did Carles Gil and co perform?
As previously mentioned, it was far from a perfect performance from the defending Supporters’ Shield champions but it hasn’t been the smoothest ride to date in 2022. The likes of NYCFC and the Rapids played their CCL games interrupted whilst the Revs experienced difficulties, something which both Bruce and captain Andrew Farrell have highlighted. After the final whistle in Foxborough, the latter said “without the two games with Cavaly it set us back a bit but I think guys are getting there and I hope we’re going to get there for the stretch.”
On a slightly different note and there were a number of things to be applauded beyond the three points. As well as Matt Turner having a gender reveal of his recently announced baby on the pitch, there were “a lot of celebrations with Carles announcing that he’s having a baby and Bruce with his accomplishment for being the best” (Farrell). The head coach even joked about his departing goalkeeper adding a young boy to his family and said that he hopes he will be a goalkeeper.
On the topic of Bruce and he has surpassed a friend of his, the late great Sigi Schmid, in most MLS regular season wins. After fondly talking on his relationship with Sigi, he said the following with a big smile on his face: “It’s an honor to be associated with him, the record is nice and again if I had a bunch of lousy teams I don’t think I’d have the record.”
These positive vibes have often been cited for the Revolution’s success, a sentiment echoed by Jozy Altidore: “You see those types of celebrations, people having baby reveals on the field that shows the camaraderie and the group itself.”
High praise for FC Dallas
Altidore was full of praise for fellow striker Adam Buksa, commenting that “he’s a sponge, he soaks up everything. He’s there after training trying to get better at his finishing, it’s a pleasure to play with players like this.” The former USMNT talisman was speaking highly of Buksa, meanwhile, their coach had a lot of good things to say about today’s opponents.
“I thought they were good, they’re very quick going forward, I thought the CBs did a real good job on Adam. There is good pace in the attack with Obrian and Arriola, Ferreira is a good player,” Arena continued, “the game I saw them place last week against Toronto I was very impressed so I think they are a team that is going to contend to be a playoff team.”
1 – Following his 241st regular season win, Bruce Arena is now the all-time @MLS leader among coaches in:
🥇Regular Season Wins (241)
🥇Playoff Wins (35)
🥇MLS Cups (5)
🥇Supporters' Shields (4)
🥇Coach of the Year Awards (4)
— OptaJack⚽️ (@OptaJack) March 5, 2022
It wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies for Carles Gil and co though, with centre-half Kessler going off injured as previously mentioned. The New England head-coach is often very coy and keeps his cards close to his chest but, he did have some details on the sincerity of it all. “We obviously haven’t got it right at this point, we have to see, he said it’s not as bad as what it was originally so we just have to wait and see but it certainly looks like he’s going to miss some games in the near future.” This came after Bruce mentioned that the hamstring injury was sustained about six weeks ago, so speculation suggestions that he could return to action after this tumultuous stretch of four games in two weeks.
The Revolution may have had some champagne in the dressing room after this one, as revealed by Altidore, but the celebrations will be cut rather short. Pumas will visit Boston on Wednesday evening before the reverse fixture in Mexico City the following week, an MLS clash with RSL being sandwiched in between the two-legged CCL affair. On the other hand, Nico Estevez will have the whole week to prepare his FC Dallas players for a fascinating affair as the formidable Nashville SC lay in wait on home soil.