Foxborough, MASS– having struck back and turned the game on its head, it appeared that the Revolution would make it three wins in-a-row at Gillette Stadium. It wasn’t to be though as, once again, they conceded late on. It wasn’t the most exciting game despite the score line and the headline story is that New England drop points once again, this time to Columbus.
New England Drop Points as Columbus Come to Town
New England Drop Points but Extend Unbeaten Streak at Home
Columbus beat D.C. United 3-0 in their last outing after drawing 0-0 with Sporting Kansas City. Caleb Porter made just one change from the XI that beat D.C. and he was forced into it. Steven Moreira left the field early in that one with an injury and so Marlon Hairston was in from the start in Boston.
Talking of the Athens of America and the home side didn’t make a single change. The Revs beat Inter Miami 2-0 on home turf in the previous fixture and so Bruce Arena decided to stick with the same players. This included the likes of Matt Turner, Tico Rivera and Tommy McNamara.
Tonight's Starting XI ⚽️🙌 pic.twitter.com/hA3hTLT52V
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) May 7, 2022
The Revs had two goals and two red cards in their favour against Phil Neville’s last week but it wasn’t quite as straightforward this time around. There was no goal in the first minute from Tico this time around and instead, it was the away side who took the lead. It seemed all too easy as the Crew passed the ball across the pitch and back again before Miguel Berry converted his second of the season.
It was a pretty lackluster first half from New England and it needed to be a big half-time team-talk from Arena. According to fullback DeJuan Jones, the message was “continue to be patient, but also have time to be aggressive.” Talking of Jones and he was the man to find the equalizer. Ema Boateng entered the game as a sub and his deep cross was met perfectly by Jones. Adam Buksa then popped up with the go-ahead goal, heading over Eloy Room to make it four games on the bounce.
Closing Out Games Seems to be an Issue
A big decision ensued that saw Arena send on center-half Omar Gonzalez, a troubled man thus far this season. New England drop points once again as Gonzalez got caught on, fellow substitute Erik Hurtado turning home Etienne’s cross at the death. Three points swiftly became one and with Carles Gil and Tommy McNamara both striking the woodwork, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
Andrew Farrell, with a yellow card to his name, made way for Gonzalez and this was a decision that Arena was probed about after the game. His reasoning being as follows: “you’re at the end of the game, you have a goal lead, you went from three to a back four. Common sense, it is safety, and it shouldn’t backfire the way it did. So, that’s the reason for that.”
. @MiguelBerry92 opened the scoring and Hurtado equalized late. @detienne_10 provided both assists in the Crew's 2-2 draw with New England. Relive the drama ⬇️#Crew96 | #NEvCLB pic.twitter.com/XVpC2XfvI1
— The Crew (@ColumbusCrew) May 8, 2022
In terms of the general dismay around the error-ridden conclusion that saw New England drop points. Coach Arena saw the positives in it all: “really pleased with the ability to come back from being down a goal… We certainly could have done better on both of their goals, so that’s very disappointing.” Quite a contrast of emotions indeed.
Where to go From Here?
Writing about a game that sees New England drop points feels somewhat familiar now, especially when compared to last season. It isn’t all doom and gloom though with the team now unbeaten in three in front of the home crowd.
Attentions now turn to a mid-week cup game for the Revs, a competition that saw Columbus dumped out at the first hurdle. USL side Detroit City FC advanced against the MLS opponent thanks to a brace from Maxi Rodriguez.
— Detroit City FC (@DetroitCityFC) April 20, 2022
On the other hand, this will be New England’s first taste of the tournament this year and it is quite a swift turnaround. Midfielder Sebastian Lletget, who assisted Buksa in this one pointed out that, “it kind of takes us back to when we were playing in the Champions League, so we obviously have to manage guys, manage the loads.”
Seba then went on to say: “I think it could be a good opportunity for some youngsters or for some other guys who maybe haven’t got as many minutes, but again it’s a competition we want to win, so we got to take it very serious.”
New England drop points once again but against a hit-and-miss Columbus side, it’s not the end of the world. Buksa is in a rich vein of form in front of goal and the defense needs to do their part. The Revolution will face fellow MLS side FC Cincinnati in the US Open Cup on Wednesday night. Fast forward to the weekend and whilst Columbus will face NYCFC in the big apple, the Revs are in Atlanta.