Adam Buksa Bags A Brace to Earn a Point Down in Atlanta

New England forward Adam Buksa scores a second-half goal at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
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ATLANTA, GA – Coming off of an emphatic Open Cup victory over FC Cincinnati, the Revolution visited Atlanta United. Atlanta was themselves eliminated from the competition at the hands of Nashville and so had a point to prove. The latter have had a better time of it in league play and the home advantage favoured them too. However, Atlanta failed to take the three points due to brilliance from Adam Buksa.

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Both teams had to manage three games in a week or so and so rotation may have been on the cards. The pair only made a single change each from their last MLS games though. Bruce Arena replaced Tico Rivera with Emmanuel Boateng on the Revs side. The reasoning behind this is that “Rivera played two 90-minute games in a row, and for a player of his age and with not that much experience at this level, it’s hard to ask him to rev it up again for the third game in a week.”

On the flipside, Gonzalo Pineda was forced into his solitary change. Miles Robinson went down with a non-contact ACL injury in the early stages of the 4-1 win over the Fire. The centre-back now joins an ever-growing list with Josef Martinez, Ozzie Alonso and Brad Guzan also being sidelined. Guzan suffered a similar injury on the same field just a few weeks ago. Alex De John came in for Robinson.

There have been a lot of changes taking place in the attacking third for New England. The one constant has been Adam Buksa, though, and after scoring a brace in mid-week against Cinci, he did the same again. The Polish forward’s double was added to by a hat-trick from Carles Gil and it was the captain who assisted the equalizer in this one.

Adam Buksa saw red after coming off the bench against the New York Red Bulls and he hasn’t looked back since. He has scored in every game since, the last two seeing him hit twice. Shifting the focus to Sebastian Lletget, who assisted the go-ahead goal and these are the thoughts of coach Arena.

“It was a great ball and a great finish. Sebastian [Lletget] is capable of that. I think he still needs to be more aggressive in the attacking third of the field, but on that play, he certainly showed that.”

How Did Things Unravel at the Benz?

It was the home side that came flying out of the blocks. Gonzalo Pineda, even in the absence of Martinez, has a lethal frontline. Ronaldo Cisneros scored a hat-trick in the aforementioned win over Chicago as well as netting against Miami a few weeks back. It wasn’t the Mexican who came to the fore at the Benz in this one though. The deadly trio of Ligue 1 winner Luiz Araujo, MLS’ most expensive player Thiago Almada and Argentine Marcelino Moreno caused issues for the Revs.

Moments after Matt Turner made a great save from an Almada free-kick, the new arrival curled beyond the soon-to-be Arsenal shot-stopper. Atlanta was the more dangerous of the two going forward but at the break, it was one apiece. Gil played a perfect curled ball into the path of Adam Buksa who made no mistake, rolling the ball through the legs of former Revolution man Bobby Shuttleworth.

Adam Buksa was again the man of the moment, flipping the game on its head. Lletget found him well and Buksa did the rest. Everything he touches turns to goals! The striker was certainly complimentary of his two assistors: “if you look closely at my goals that I’ve scored the last couple of games, most of the assists I believe came from Sebastian and Carles. So, these are the main manufacturers and why I keep scoring. These assists that they’ve delivered and that they’ve been delivering so far are great. And for me, it’s easier and they make my life easier in terms of scoring goals.”

Almada was again involved – the neat interplay between him and Araujo leading to the latter scoring the fourth goal of the game. Tommy McNamara struck the woodwork once again at the death but neither side was able to find a winner. McNamara noted that “that’s the second week now the luck wasn’t on my side. It is what it is. Hopefully, something falls soon.”

Looking Forward…

The Revolution continue to ship goals at one end. On the other, Adam Buksa and goals are two peas in a pod. Besides the cup treble from Carles, there is a worry that the team is over-reliant on Buksa scoring the goals. With Gustavo Bou and Jozy Altidore both out of the fold currently, others need to chip in. Here is Arena’s update on the former: “it’s going to take a while for him to get back in a rhythm. He’s been out an awful long time, so we just have to wait and see.”

“The positive part is I think over the last half-dozen games or so, we’ve scored a bunch of goals. So certainly, if we can be a little bit better defensively, we’ll win more games.”

Adam Buksa and the Revs will face Cincinnati once again but this time in MLS. They are yet to win on the road though so TQL Stadium could be the place to change that. Meanwhile, Atlanta also has a cup repeat of their own. They blew a 2-0 lead against Nashville and will visit the brand-new GEODIS Park once again. Can they right the wrongs in the Music City?

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