The Columbus Crew and the New England Revolution share the spoils

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Defensive woes have plagued the New England Revolution for large parts of this season. The last two results have been evidence of that, but they were able to shut out the Columbus Crew. Cucho Hernandez has been lights out since his arrival in MLS but the striker was unable to get on the score-sheet this time out.

The Columbus Crew and New England Can’t be Separated

Gustavo Bou and Dylan Borrero Don’t Make the Trip

Giacomo Vrioni was in line for his first minutes against the Columbus Crew. The Albanian forward did get on the field, but there were some notable omissions. Gustavo Bou and Dylan Borrero, who have struck up quite the partnership didn’t make the trip to Ohio. As a result, one of the men to enter the fray was a struggling Jozy Altidore.

Altidore led the line whilst there was yet another change at the back. Jon Bell dropped to the bench with the regular pairing of Henry Kessler and Andrew Farrell played the full 90. Bruce Arena was positive on the display from the former: “he’s had a tough run coming back from an injury and he needs to be more consistent, and tonight was his most consistent game since he came back from his injury.” The one other change to the XI saw Arnor Traustason replace Borrero.

This was Matt Polster’s first complete match following his worrying head injury. Here is what the midfielder had to say about that: “It was nice to get 90 minutes. It was difficult, especially with Columbus keeping the ball like they did. It was more demanding but it was nice to get through the 90 minutes. Now it’s just important to recover and now continue to put those 90-minute shifts in.”

On the flipside, the Columbus Crew came into this one off the back of a 2-0 win over FC Cincinnati. Lucas Zelarayan and Cucho Hernandez were on target at Lower.Com Field but were unable to replicate this form in front of goal. The solitary change for Caleb Porter’s men was Marlon Hairston coming back into the fold, starting at right-back in place of Frenchman Steven Moreira.

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Djordje Petrovic Keeps the Columbus Crew at Bay

As has often been the case since he arrived in New England, Djordje Petrovic had a big part to play in this rare clean sheet. The Columbus Crew had seven shots on target across the match whilst the visitors were only able to muster two, from a total of five attempts. Farrell was full of praise for the new arrival in net, “His shot-stopping ability is unbelievable, as you guys have seen. He’s kept us in so many games and had unbelievable saves. He’s just getting better and better.”

There were a few notable players to make an appearance. Vrioni got his first taste of MLS action since moving to the States and replacing Adam Buksa. “He’s great. He’s energetic. You could see within the match that he’s willing to battle up top. In MLS, there’s big center backs and you’re going to have to grind in moments. It’s not going to be easy… He has that energy among himself. He’s super nice” is Polster’s review of the newest arrival.

The Crew had their own storylines being written. Kevin Molino had a rough start with Columbus after joining from Minnesota United and that was made worse when he suffered a cruciate ligament rupture that sidelined him for nearly 300 days. The Trinidad and Tobago international came off the bench in this one as he rebuilds his fitness.

Coach Arena was in high spirits after the final result, a 0-0 draw with the Columbus Crew. “If we played like this in many games this year, we’d have 10 more points and would probably be closer to first place than where we are now, so all in all a good point on the road and we did what we had to do to close out the game and get a point.”

Last Word

Harking back to Arena’s comments and there is a lot of truth in them. Strong defensive performances have been few and far between for the Revs and so to deny a team of this calibre is a step in the right direction.

The absence of Bou and Borrero was felt in the attack so hopefully this double act can be back for the visit of Toronto FC to Gillette Stadium next weekend. The Columbus Crew have a trip to the brand spanking new Bank of America Stadium, home of Charlotte FC.