The New England Revolution only just lost in New York to the Red Bulls, yet attentions shift onwards already. A mid-week clash with Houston beckons and everything is still to play for the Revolution. Carles Gil returns to the fold following the birth of his child in what is a major positive for Bruce Arena.
Carles Gil Returns For a Must-Win Clash
Form Favours New England Plus Carles Gil Returns
New England have a lot more on the line in this one than their opponents. The Dynamo recently had a change in manager, Paulo Nagamura being shown the door. At the same time, Houston have been eliminated from playoff contention. That doesn’t make things any easier, as Henry Kessler alluded to.
“One of the challenges is we’re not exactly sure what to expect from [them]. New coach and eliminated, they might try some new things… That being said, no matter how they line up, we should focus on ourselves and know our game plan.”
Matias Vera saw red in their last outing, a goalless draw with Sporting Kansas City. They have won just one of their last nine, a surprising victory over LAFC in which they picked up another dismissal. Amongst these results, the Philadelphia Union put six unanswered goals on board, something they have made a habit of this campaign.
Like Darwin Cerén told me in an interview a week ago: “And people though bringing HH was going to solve everything and save the ship”… Nagamura was dealt a terrible roster. This season is 100% on the F.O. https://t.co/TrROH5dT9J
— Michele Giannone (@MicheleG3) September 5, 2022
When it comes to the Revs, the fact that Carles Gil returns is at the heart of it all. As well as highlighting his happiness for the Spaniard and his family, Tommy McNamara outlined Gil’s importance to the team. “It makes, obviously, a huge difference in the group when he’s available, and so we’re happy to have him back.”
On the topic of McNamara and he was once again on target versus the Red Bulls. It was the opener in fact, but Bruce Arena’s men still walked away empty-handed. Their results are so up-and-down with three of each in the last nine games. If this continues for the final stretch, New England will surely miss out on playoff football.
The Revs Dominate This Fixture
Carles Gil returns at a perfect time for Arena, he is the star of this team. In McNamara’s words, “He’s obviously one of the if not the best player in the league.” Due to covid restricting cross-conference games, the former Aston Villa man has only faced the Dynamo once, in which he was named Man of the Match.
This was a 2-1 win at Gillette Stadium and New England are unbeaten in seven MLS clashes, winning six of these, dating back to 2014. The ever-present in the side has been defender Andrew Farrell, a true stalwart. Kessler discussed his relationship with Farrell, in spite of the injuries endured by the pair this term. “We’ve played so many games together that I think we’re still very familiar with each other.”
Capiii, now Daddy. pic.twitter.com/iM16siY30n
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) September 12, 2022
Whereas Farrell is a long-time Revolution man, Giacomo Vrioni is one of the newer faces. The Albanian international entered the fray off of the bench in New York so Carles Gil returns as well as Vrioni.
McNamara and Kessler both spoke highly of the former Juventus man, here they are respectively. “The characteristics that he brings are different than our other attackers. It’s very good to welcome him back into the group and hopefully he can start having an impact.” Now to the latter: “You can see his quality in training and in the spurts that he’s had in the few games that he’s played. And then as a person, he’s an outgoing guy, a nice guy, he speaks a lot of languages, so that’s always helpful.”
It remains to be seen how significant a role Vrioni will play in Houston, but this is the perfect time for him to be gaining fitness. The Revolution have to go to Texas and return back from Estadio BBVA with all three points.