Damian Rivera Nets his First Revolution Goal as They Knock Off Inter Miami

Damian Rivera
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Foxborough, MASS– It was his first MLS start for the New England Revolution and Damian Rivera found the back of the net with less than sixty seconds on the clock. Rivera, also known as Tico, set the pace for the Revs and they walk away with their revenge. Miami ended the game down two goals and also two men. This was more like it from the Revolution!

Damian Rivera and Adam Buksa Score to Overcome Miami

Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold

Just a few weeks ago, Inter Miami prevailed down in Fort Lauderdale. Leonardo Campana started ahead of Gonzalo Higuain and scored a match-deciding hat-trick.

The Revs lost to DC United and made four changes to the XI that failed to deliver in the capital. Matt Turner made his long-awaited return in between the sticks with Brad Knighton making way. Elsewhere, Damian Rivera got his first MLS start, Andrew Farrell was back partnering Henry Kessler and Tommy McNamara graced the midfield once more. Omar Gonzalez, Ema Boateng and Justin Rennicks were the trio to drop out.

“I felt good out there. I was ready for the game”- Matt Turner on returning to the field

On the flipside, Miami came into this on a rich vein of form which is rarity. They beat Atlanta United in their last game and Phil Neville made just two changes to the starting line-up. Robbie Robinson was out of action due to injury, he and Bryce Duke being the two outgoings as such. Jean Mota and captain on the night Gregore were the duo to take their places.

Damian Rivera and his First MLS Goal

The game had only just got underway and the Revolution took an early lead. The match clock was yet to tick beyond the one-minute mark when Damian Rivera wrote the headlines. Tico hammered it beyond Dutchman Nick Marsman and then wheeled away in celebration. Coach Arena was full of praise for the youngster: “I think he’s been brought along in a manner where he can step on the field, especially in the home game and try to produce, and he certainly did tonight.”

“He earned that time out there on the pitch tonight and he rewarded us with a goal in the first minute” were the words of returning goalkeeper Matt Turner on Tico’s big moment. It seems evident that the team chemistry is still very strong in the dressing room despite the poor form on the field.

Damian Rivera, a nineteen-year-old from Rhode Island, was also very high on this moment and rightly so. When asked if he had any special people in crowd for this memorable moment, Tico replied: “yeah, a bunch of family. Bunch of friends here, actually… To score a goal tonight was, you know, very, very – I was very happy. I couldn’t describe the feeling of when I scored a goal.” The elation clearly hadn’t worn off but at the same time, Rivera “thought, ‘we have to keep working and we have to continue to press a team.”

Is This A Sign of Things to Come?

Turner being back in the side with Farrell and Kessler as that double-act just ahead of him is oh so promising for fans of the Revs. Turner himself was called into action a couple of times at 1-0 whilst the likes of Carles Gil and Matt Polster worked Marsman at the other end.

Adam Buksa drew a foul on the hour mark that saw Damion Lowe receive a second yellow. The Pole then made good of this man advantage as he doubled the Revolutions’ lead, adding to the early strike from Damian Rivera. Buksa has now scored in three consecutive games as he is on course to get back to what we saw last year. Particularly in the absence of Gustavo Bou, Buksa re-finding his scoring touch is crucial. There was then another red for Miami at 2-0, Jairo Quinteros also being shown two yellows.

With a two-goal lead and a two-man advantage, Arena was able to ring the changes. The likes of Jozy Altidore and Rennicks entered the fold with Tico and Buksa being amongst those to give way.

Here follows Arena’s breakdown on the defensive display as we saw the usual back four plus Turner play together for the first time in 2022. “They don’t necessarily limit the counter attacks, but they got to defend them well, but this is the first time this year we have had those five players together. I think getting [Henry] Kessler back in is really important. That was probably his third start of the year? He’s our best defender, so we need him in there. Getting him back in and bringing Matt [Turner] back in was important.”

Damian Rivera set the flow for the game with his goal after less than sixty seconds. Not only was it a good night at Gillette Stadium for Tico but for the whole side. Turner returned, Farrell and Kessler were back together, Buksa netted once again, and of course, the Revs got the three points. Arena and co will be hoping to keep these players fit and for this to be a sign of good things to come.

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