Cincinnati, Ohio — Up to this point in time, the New England Revolution were winless on the road. They beat FC Cincinnati convincingly in the U.S. Open Cup several days ago but Pat Noonan made a number of changes. In a typical back-and-forth game for the Revolution this time around, they were able to come out on top. Brandon Bye’s brilliance saw his side take the lead three times and eventually hold on to one of them.
Brandon Bye’s Brilliance Makes the Difference in Cincinnati
The Revolution Finally Win Away from Home!
The Revolution finally win away from home and it has been a long time coming. After five failed attempts in MLS, as well as that capitulation in Mexico City against Pumas, New England will return to base with all three points. Bruce Arena’s men drew 2-2 at both Portland and Atlanta whilst conceding three against Pumas, Charlotte, Miami and D.C.
Arena spoke on the relief over breaking this duct. “Listen, games on the road are hard. We got a break tonight. We haven’t had a break all year, basically… We scored in the last, I don’t know how many road games, we score at least two goals a game. Tonight we had three. So, we’re in position to win games.”
There were some interesting changes to the XI that tied with Atlanta, Omar Gonzalez coming in for Henry Kessler, who is injured again. Also the suspended Matt Polster made way for Wilfrid Kaptoum and Tico Rivera returned to the side in the place of Emmanuel Boateng.
Tonight’s Starting XI 🙌⚽️ pic.twitter.com/Iby25hNxwB
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) May 21, 2022
On the flipside, Noonan stuck with the eleven that won last time out at Soldier Field. A late goal from Luciano Acosta, his fifth of the season, changed one point into three for Cincinnati versus the Fire. They were unable to deal with Brandon Bye’s brilliance, after the weather delay that is. There were storms in and around TQL Stadium that led to the game kicking off an hour or so later than expected.
Brandon Bye’s Brilliance Spearheads the Revs
As previously mentioned, the man of the moment was somewhat of a surprise. Brandon Bye’s brilliance made the difference as he assisted all three goals in Ohio. The scoring began with Sebastian Lletget, Bye crossing from the right to his fellow American. The former Galaxy man pulled off an acrobatic finish to make it 1-0 as he continues to improve since making the move across from the west coast.
Talking of Lletget and his manager described his strike as an “excellent goal.” Going on to say that “we had to take him out of the game at halftime, because he felt a little tightness in his hamstring, which we discovered is not a problem.”
Injuries were rife at the start of the season but this has become something of the past and hopefully it stays that way.
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) May 21, 2022
Ten minutes after Lletget netted the opener, in-form striker Brandon Vazquez headed down and beyond Matt Turner to draw things level. This was his seventh of the season, putting him joint second in the scoring charts alongside five others, all of whom are trailing FC Dallas’ Jesus Ferreira. One of the five goal scorers also on that tally is New England talisman Adam Buksa. The Pole made it seven games on the bounce with a goal in all competitions, flicking home a Bye cross to showcase just how confident he is currently.
Once again, it was the home side that struck back. 2-2 has been a common score line for the Revs recently and Alvaro Barreal was the man to score the fourth of the game. He was on target in the 5-1 defeat in the Open Cup as well as scoring the brace in the previous round. The final twist was orchestrated not only by Tommy McNamara, but through Brandon Bye’s brilliance also. The defender got his third assist of the match and McNamara, who has struck the woodwork in the last two games, put it the right side of the post this time around.
Is This a Sign of Things to Come?
There are a number of talking points across the pitch for the Revs and Bruce Arena. Starting first with the comparisons between 2021 and 2022, something which Bye isn’t particularly fond of: “It’s a new year. I hate talking about last year, to be honest. You know, it’s in the past honestly and we look to move forward. But yeah, honestly, it’s nice to get the road win and move forward as a team.”
Next to the injuries and general squad management. Turner will soon depart for England and so the pressure will be thrust upon the shoulders of Djordje Petrovic. Beyond that, Gustavo Bou, Jon Bell and Dylan Borrero were all subbed into this game. The latter got his first taste of MLS whilst Bou and Bell made their first appearances since being injured.
“Gustavo [Bou] did well. I think Dylan [Borrero], for his first game, did well. Obviously, he has to get used to this league, or team, all of that” said Bruce, going on to highlight that “Gustavo looked like a real veteran out there. So that was a real positive.”
He's backkkkkk! pic.twitter.com/RBwcXijzer
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) May 22, 2022
It took a while for the Revs and Bruce Arena but they were finally able to see out a win away from Gillette Stadium. It was a game of good goals from Lletget, Buksa and McNamara with thanks to Brandon Bye’s brilliance for all three assists. New England will be playing in mid-week once again as they face NYCFC away from home in the next round of the Open Cup.
In terms of league action and while Cincinnati will go north of the border to face CF Montreal, the Revolution will host a stuttering Philadelphia Union side.