The New England Revolution followed up their opening day win in Charlotte with a convincing 3-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo. They have been known to start slowly in the past but for the first time ever, the Revs have won their first two games. Amongst the scorers was Bobby Wood, the Hawaiian forward notching his first for the club.
Bobby Wood Repays Arena’s Faith
A Record-Breaking Start to the Season
The Revs have gone one step further with two wins to kick off 2023. Last year, they dropped points to Portland but this time around, it is a clean sweep. Head coach Bruce Arena is certainly impressed with the start, saying: “I think the opening game was certainly a difficult one in Charlotte, and just to start off with six points in the first two games, is a positive.”
There is generally a positive mood in the camp right now and these sentiments were reinforced by defender Brandon Bye. On the topic of breaking history, here is what the fullback had to say. “It’s definitely something that was thought about and we were excited to get after it at home against Houston in front of our fans. It’s a good way to start the season, for sure.”
THAT'S HOW WE START THE SEASON AT HOME!!!!#NERevs | @SantanderBankUS pic.twitter.com/6YQgdMcjVS
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) March 5, 2023
Arena made two changes to the side that won in Charlotte FC, both coming in the final third. Designated Player Giacomo Vrioni made way for Bobby Wood plus new arrival Latif Blessing replaced youngster Damian Rivera.
Ghanian international Blessing has enjoyed major success with LAFC and hopes to bring that across to New England.” I have to bring a lot of energy, and that’s what I did [tonight].” Blessing also went on to say that he believes that the Revs “have to do better this season” after missing out on the playoffs last year.
Bobby Wood Fighting for a Starting Spot
As previously mentioned, Bobby Wood came into the XI for his competitive debut as a Revolution player. Some fans perceived him as a rotation player but after opening his account for the club, and starting in the place of Vrioni, that may not be the case after all. Wood recognized the task at hand: “We have a lot of good strikers. Everybody’s fighting for the same spot. It’s a healthy, competitive squad we’ve got.”
Arena spoke highly of one of his off-season arrivals too, citing Wood’s familiarity with the MLS landscape as a major positive. “He’s a good player. I thought he played well in the Charlotte game and his experience is a real positive for us.”
Bobby Wood finds the back of the net for @NERevolution 👏
New England has now won its first two matches of a regular season for the first time in the club's 28-year @MLS history! pic.twitter.com/A06w5y6Aur
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) March 5, 2023
Houston Dynamo’s manager Ben Olsen, formerly of D.C. United, also spoke to the media after the game. Olsen sang the praises of Arena, someone who he is particularly familiar with. “I will say I have a lot of respect for Bruce and the coaching staff and what they’ve done here, and I think they’ve put together a very good team.”
When asked about the officiating on the night, the Dynamo boss had a rather tongue-in-cheek response. “I already got a yellow. I’m going to save my two cents on the referee, but yeah, whatever.”
Goals from Dylan Borrero, Bobby Wood and Brandon Bye made the difference at Gillette Stadium as the Revs move up to second in the East, only behind Inter Miami on goal difference. The toughest fixture to date lies in wait as they go cross-country, where they’ll face Blessing’s former employers and reining MLS Cup champions LAFC.