Having conceded a late goal on the weekend to the Columbus Crew, the US Open Cup provided the chance for a swift bounce-back. FC Cincinnati were the team to visit Gillette Stadium and form favored the visitors. It was not only Bruce Arena against his son Kenny, but also against a familiar face in Pat Noonan. It was the New England Revolution that prevailed.
The New England Revolution Come from Behind and Dispose of Cincinnati
Did Either Manager Ring the Changes?
It wouldn’t have been surprising to see Arena give chances to a few squad players. This wasn’t really the case though, his reasoning for this being: “We’re fortunate that we’re playing Sunday and they’re playing Saturday. So, they had to be a little bit more concerned about that team and being rested because they had to travel and then they have to go to Chicago. We had a little bit of an advantage there.”
Djordje Petrovic came into the team for the New England Revolution to make his first start for the first team in between the sticks. This of course meant Matt Turner gave way and the same goes for Matt Polster and Sebastian Lletget. Maciel came into the middle of the park and “Arnór [Traustason] came in because he’s an experienced guy and I wanted to give [Sebastian] Lletget a rest.”
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) May 11, 2022
Alvaro Barreal was the difference maker in the last round for FC Cincinnati. An added-time brace saw them overcome the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and he was on the score sheet once again in this one, netting the opener. Barreal wasn’t in the XI that overcame Adrian Heath’s Minnesota United on the weekend though. Amazingly, the same goes for nine of his teammates with the experienced Geoff Cameron being the only constant in the Cincinnati side.
That’s More Like It from the New England Revolution
As previously mentioned, Barreal’s strike was the first goal of the game and it was a slow start for the New England Revolution. Coach Arena admitted that his side was slow out of the blocks: “I thought we played poorly for about the first 25 minutes. I think we were lucky to get ourselves back in the game in the first half.”
This was a sentiment reinforced by the captain Carles Gil: “I think we didn’t have a good first 30 minutes. We were a little bit slow and we didn’t win some tackles but I think after the first goal, we started to play well, win tackles, and the first 15-20 minutes in the second half were very good.”
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) May 11, 2022
After a poor start though, the New England Revolution were able to turn it around. The game on paper favored the Revolution given the mass changes made by Pat Noonan. You still have to get the job done though and that is exactly what happened. It ended up being somewhat of a romp in fact!
Adam Buksa came into this fixture with goals in his last four. The Polish international saw red versus the Red Bulls but then followed that up with goals against Charlotte, DC, Miami and Columbus. He made it six-in-five last night with a brace, and one was even with his foot too!
Carles Gil Hits A Hat-Trick
Gil has scored all of his goals thus far from the penalty spot in 2022 and whilst the equalizer did come from twelve yards out, his second and third were open play goals. The hat-trick sealing goal was particularly special for him: “The third one was my favorite because everyone was involved. I saw Arnór [Traustason] followed Brandon [Bye] very well and he held the ball well, waiting for me to finish.”
The diminutive Spaniard certainly sees this a turning point in the season, more so regarding results than performances. “I think we needed a game like this today, scoring goals. [Winning] 5-1 is a very good result. I think we are [playing] in a good way in the last two or three games. We feel better and hopefully we continue like this.”
We did it together tonight. pic.twitter.com/UJwNwwxLI2
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) May 12, 2022
FC Cincinnati look the real deal in MLS and currently occupy a playoff spot. They won’t be too fussed about this Open Cup exit one would imagine given the strength of the line-up they went with. On the other hand, the New England Revolution can use this as a springboard for league action as well as potentially targeting another honor under Arena.
The New England Revolution are through to the next round and will meet one of Charlotte FC, NYCFC or the New York Red Bulls. When it comes to MLS, Cincinnati have a trip to Soldier Field around the corner whilst the Revolution will visit an injury-stricken Atlanta United at the Benz.