FOXBOROUGH, MA – After what felt like an eternity, the New England Revolution return to winning ways. MLS newcomers Charlotte FC disposed of the Revs last month, but this time around, the reigning Supporters’ Shield champions have prevailed. Goals from Adam Buksa and Matt Polster gave New England the lead and despite conceding late on, the team held on for three points.
The New England Revolution Return to Expectations
Adam Buksa Opens his Account for the Season in MLS
In this one, the New England Revolution return to Gillette Stadium and Bruce Arena made a number of changes following a loss at the hands of Inter Miami.
Brad Knighton remained in between the sticks but Omar Gonzalez partnered with Andrew Farrell at the heart of defence as opposed to Henry Kessler. Ryan Spaulding made way for Brandon Bye, goal scorer Adam Buksa was back amongst it at the expense of Tommy McNamara and finally, Emmanuel Boateng replaced Arnor Traustason.
Charlotte FC made just one change from the side that edged out Atlanta United. Premier League-winning defender Christian Fuchs moved over to his favoured role as left-back, with Joseph Mora dropping to the bench and Christian Makoun starting in the middle of the defence.
There was an early shout for a New England penalty as Buksa hit the turf but referee Pierre-Luc Lauziere remained unmoved. Shortly after though, the Pole did break the deadlock. Fullback Brandon Bye, back in the XI, delivered an excellent cross which Buksa strode on to and headed beyond the reaches of Kristijan Kahlina.
In the words of coach Arena; “great service by Brandon [Bye] and obviously Adam did a great job getting at the end of that ball and putting it in the back of the net. That was a real positive.”
What a dime from @brandon_bye to 🆎 pic.twitter.com/GrLKG7Gikf
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) April 16, 2022
Prior to this Buksa goal, the Qatar World Cup-bound forward hadn’t netted in MLS action. He did score a brace in the first leg against Pumas in CCL but those were his only goals to date this term. This goal is surely a huge monkey off of his back.
Conceding Late Goals Remains an Issue…
From there onwards, the intensity was there in the game and both goalkeepers were forced into decent saves.
On that intense nature, Buksa said the following: “ I think we could see in the beginning of the week of training that guys were hungry – hungry for a win. We knew that things need to change, that our commitment needs to be greater, and I think we showed that.”
One such man denied by Kahlina was midfielder Matt Polster, but he got his own back later in the game. In a similar vein to the own goal at the death in the Red Bulls game, a defensive clearance from point-blank range was fired into Polster. As little as the New England man knew about it, the ball thundered off of him and into the back of the net, much to his delight.
Always follow the rebound 🎱 pic.twitter.com/VleVCgSGFR
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) April 17, 2022
As has been the case recently, the New England Revolution return to their lesser defending in the latter stages of games. Granted, Christian Ortiz’s strike took a huge deflection on its way into the back of the net, but it is still a recurring theme.
On this pressing matter, Polster said this in his post-game press conference: “We know that as a group, we know we need to be mentally there and prepare the entire game. And like I said, that’s probably where we’ve fallen short.”
Can the New England Revolution Return to Title Winning Form?
The fixtures going forward for the Revolution are a mixed bag as they look to get back into the swing of things. These past four games (Charlotte, Red Bulls, Miami, Charlotte) were a prime opportunity to pick up a strong haul of points.
Clashes with the likes of DC, Atlanta United and Columbus could all go either way in truth. The Crew have lost three on the bounce after starting the season very well whilst Atlanta has key players such as Josef Martinez and Brad Guzan out with injuries.
When asked about the mood in the locker room, Polster stressed that it is one of concentration and determination as opposed to jubilation. “We have a lot more losses in the column than wins right now, so the boys are focused already on D.C. and what it’s going to take to get three points.”
NEEDED THOSE THREE POINTS ‼️ pic.twitter.com/Ybv7D2W5ya
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) April 17, 2022
Bruce Arena on the win
Arena spoke in detail about what this win can mean going forward.
“We’ll try to figure that out. We’ve done it before. So, there’s no reason to believe we can’t do it again. I thought we’d win another game at some point. I’m happy it was tonight rather than a month down the road. You know, winning is important for teams… It’s been absolutely a crazy start to the season. So, I can’t explain it, but I do know that there are a lot more games ahead, so you can’t be getting too high or too low at this point.”
It wasn’t the most polished performance by any means but it is a step in the right direction for the Revs. When asked about whether this was the best outing thus far in 2022, Arena replied, “well, for the year, for sure” which is indicative of where they’re at, at the moment. Regardless, the New England Revolution returns to winning ways and gets revenge on Charlotte in the process. Is this a sign of things to come?
Next game for both teams
The Revolution travels to Audi Field to face DC United next Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET. It will be shown live on MLS Live on DAZN, NBCSWA, dcunited.com, TV38, and MyRITV & CoziTV.
Meanwhile, Charlotte FC travels to face Greenville next Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET. They then travel to Colorado on Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park at 9:00 p.m. ET. It will be shown live on MLS Live on DAZN, Altitude TV, WAXN/WSOC, and Telemundo.