FC Cincinnati look to strike back as the Revolution visit TQL Stadium

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FC Cincinnati and the New England Revolution went toe-to-toe just a week or so ago. The former took the lead before last year’s Shield winners fired back in impressive fashion. It has been a tough season so far for Bruce Arena and co so to see his side put five goals on the board would have been a pleasant sight, in spite of the FC Cincinnati team selection.

Will the team from Ohio be able to secure their revenge?

Will FC Cincinnati get Their Revenge After that Open Cup Annihilation?

Two Teams Differing from Expectations

The same was written a week or two ago when the pair met in the US Open Cup. FC Cincinnati have gone above and beyond any realistic expectations while the Revolution have suffered a major fall from grace. Focusing on the home side first and they are no longer a shoo-in for the wooden spoon in MLS. There has consistently been turn over both on and off the field with the current crop seemingly working out.

Pat Noonan is enjoying his first foray into management following coaching spells with the Galaxy, the USMNT, and most recently, the Union. FC Cincinnati bounced back from the cup hammering, piling on the misery in Chicago in the process. Along with a Rafael Czichos own goal, Luciano Acosta was on target with his fifth of the season to further the woes of the Fire and Ezra Hendrickson. This win tightens their grip on a playoff berth but the two sides behind them, Atlanta and D.C. United, were not in action.

On the flipside, the Revolution have enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence in recent weeks.

Following the draw with Atlanta United last time out, forward Adam Buksa analysed exactly this: “Yeah, maybe you’re right. But I think things are improving very, very slowly. It’s been 10 weeks since the beginning of the season, and we’re not happy with the amount of points that we’ve gained and I think things need to improve much, much quicker than they have.”

The ability and desire of the players is evident as they are yet to rest on their laurels in spite of this upturn in form.

In all competitions, Bruce Arena’s men are unbeaten in their last four. The last defeat came at the hands of D.C. thanks to some magic from their new signing, Greek international Taxi Fountas. In this run, they have of course beaten FC Cincinnati along with Miami, whilst they have had two 2-2 draws against Columbus and the aforementioned Five Stripes.

The Revs have had the Number of FC Cincinnati to date!

It goes without saying that the previous meeting between this pair provides little to read into. FC Cincinnati have had a far superior start to this season and this was reflected in the line-ups of the Open Cup clash.

This was embraced and acknowledged by coach Arena: “It will be very different. [FC Cincinnati] will have, I would think, eight new players on the field from the team we saw a couple weeks ago.”

When it comes to that cup exit for FC Cincinnati, despite the weakened XI, Revolution midfielder Sebastian Lletget believes they will be eager to hit back.

“More than anything, we learned that they really want to beat us now after taking a beating like that. I know I would if I was on their side, and we have to think about that.” His general assessment of the fixture ahead is as follows, “we understand that they might put out a stronger team and are definitely going to remember how we beat them. So, it will be tough.”

Since FC Cincinnati joined MLS in 2019, the Revolution have enjoyed a lot of dominance over this fixture. Their very first meeting went the way of Cinci but since then, New England have won four in-a-row with an aggregate score line of 12-2.

Polish forward Adam Buksa has scored five in three fixtures against Cincinnati, including a brace in the recent cup triumph. On top of this, Buksa is experiencing a rich vein of form in front of goal currently and so will back himself to continue thwarting FC Cincinnati.

Arena was very positive when discussing his star forward, “He scored an unbelievable goal for the first goal in Atlanta, not that the second one wasn’t a great goal, but two goals with his feet, which has been unusual this year. So, a real plus for him.”

How has Sebastian Lletget Fared thus far in New England?

Along with Jozy Altidore and Omar Gonzalez, Sebastian Lletget was one of the new signings in the off-season. The first two have flattered to deceive whilst Lletget is already a key piece in Arena’s team. “I’m still adjusting and things like that, but I feel like I’m getting the hang of it a little bit more,” Lletget said on his time so far in Boston.

Meanwhile, he was asked about his spot with the USMNT and whether he can make the World Cup squad. “I’ve got to control what I can control, and just kind of go from there. I don’t really get too worked up about it, because then I’m just adding more pressure on myself. So, absolutely, I truly believe I can, but only time will tell.”

Another new face in New England is Dylan Borrero. As well as training for the first time, the Colombian also spoke to the media.

Lletget spoke very highly of the youngster regarding his first impressions: “He’s a very energetic guy. He just has a good aura man. He has good energy… It just adds another element to our game. So, I’m very happy about it. I’m very happy about him joining the group and I think it’s going to go well for him.”

Beyond the man who is hoping for a spot in the USMNT pool, Arena has some big personnel decisions to come. In the words of Arena, “There’s certainly going to be changes with three games and eight days.”

Following this league meeting with FC Cincinnati, New England have an Open Cup tie with NYCFC in the big apple and then a return to MLS action against high-flying Philadelphia.

FC Cincinnati would have been left with a sour taste in their mouth following that one-sided Open Cup result. With key players such as Acosta and Brandon Vazquez set to return to the starting XI for Noonan, they will be keen to strike back. Will the Revs win for the first time on the road or can Cincinnati secure revenge?

 

 

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