After a tough result in LA, the New England Revolution bounced back on home soil. Nashville SC visited Gillette Stadium and one moment of brilliance separated the Eastern Conference rivals. Gustavo Bou paired smart movement with an electric finish and as a result, the Revs have nine points from four games.
Gustavo Bou Opens His Account for 2023
Revs Get Over the Line in Tight Affair
It was a game of few chances as neither goalkeeper was all that busy. Djordje Petrovic was called into action late on and Joe Willis denied Gustavo Bou a couple of times before the Argentinian was able to break the deadlock. Bou’s teammate and former Nashville man Dave Romney spoke very highly of him after the game too. “He won us the game. He’s a special player. He’s someone who can be guarded the whole 90 or double-teamed, and he gets free one time and he scores a goal.”
Head Coach Bruce Arena was also very glad of the contribution from his striker. “Obviously, he’s going to get better each game as he builds on his fitness, but that was a great goal. He had a couple of other chances, and he gave us a real good effort.” This was Bou’s second start of the season with Arena keeping the same XI that lost to LAFC, although there was a change in system.
The Revs backline runs on @dunkindonuts 🍩🧤 pic.twitter.com/21WKXMpU4n
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) March 19, 2023
A 2023 trend that continues for the Revs is only one team finding the back of the net. In their three wins they have kept clean sheets whilst, in the only loss to date, Arena’s men failed to find the back of the net. Defensive solidity was something that couldn’t be associated with this time last year but they seem to be turning a corner, a sentiment echoed by Arena. “I’m still trying to erase last Sunday. But for the most part, we’ve been improved there this year.”
Nashville SC boss Gary Smith warned of the threat of the Revs prior to the game and continue in this vein afterwards too. In his own words: “This group is going to be in and around that top three or four. I’m certain of it. You know, Bruce knocks his way around the Championship.” All those associated with the Revolution will be hoping that Smith proves to be correct.
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Gustavo Bou Staking His Claim Up Front
As previously mentioned, the only goal of the game came from Gustavo Bou. Bobby Wood and Giacomo Vrioni had been battling for the starting spot up front prior to his arrival back in the US. Now there is a trio of them in the fight and they all bring something very different to the table.
In LA, Bou was played out of position and he gave a frank assessment of that experiment. “I didn’t feel good. I didn’t feel like I was great for the team, but my mentality was to give it my best for the coaches and for my teammates.” There may well have to be some compromise if they are all to feature regularly.
+ 3 💙❤️ pic.twitter.com/OW1POaYx42
— Gustavo La Pantera Bou (@gustavobouok) March 19, 2023
It was a case of needing to bounce back from that one-sided defeat on the West Coast for New England. Dave Romney had a strong message on this topic. “It’s so easy to get too high when we won two games and we’re top of the East, and it’s too easy to get too low after losing 4-0 on the only game on the schedule and everyone’s watching. So it’s good to just stay even-keeled, know what kind of team we are.”
The Revs are shaping up nicely so far this year. Gustavo Bou returning to the score sheet is a huge positive, as is notching another clean sheet. Could this side become a title challenger once again?
Featured image credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports, taken on 18-03-2023.