Noel Buck Fires New England to the Eastern Conference Summit

Revs youngster Noel Buck

In the nation’s capital, the New England Revolution found a way to win once again. This victory sees the Revs jump to the top of the Eastern Conference in spite of the doubts cast upon this side in the off-season. Youngster Noel Buck was the difference maker, his deflected shot finding its’ way beyond D.C. United goalkeeper Tyler Miller.

Gustavo Bou and Noel Buck on Target for the Revs

Faith in the Youth: Noel Buck and co

Noel Buck will get the headlines and rightly so, but he was one of three teenagers in the starting XI for the Revolution. Head coach Bruce Arena was full of praise for the trio and in particular, his goal scorer. “Noel, I thought, played a complete game and I think for our first 60 minutes, he was probably our best player. So, really encouraging to see the contributions those guys gave us today.”

Former Aston Villa forward Christian Benteke opened the scoring for D.C. just before the break. Gustavo Bou was on the receiving end of Carles Gil’s 50th MLS assist to equalize, calmly tucking home his second of the season. Talking of seconds and Noel Buck’s second goal as a Revolution player made the difference with the help of a hefty deflection.

Buck was one of the youth products to start in this one versus the side he debuted against, along with Esmir Bajraktarevic and Jack Panayotou, who are both 18. The latter made his debut against D.C. whereas Bajraktarevic made a couple of appearances last year. Interestingly, when asked about Panayotou, Arena said the following. “He had a really good preseason, but then he got mononucleosis that set him back a little bit, but a really good performance today.”

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Bou Doubles His 2023 Tally

Noel Buck scoring the winning goal is the key talking point from this clash at Audi Field but there were two very experienced forwards on the score sheet with him too. Benteke has an impressive Premier League career on his side and Gustavo Bou has made a name for himself as one of the most elite finishers in the league.

Bou was late into the action this season following green card issues and so has gone about making up for lost time. His rocket was the only goal in the win over Nashville SC and his strike against D.C. doubles his tally for 2023. Gil’s ball boasted pinpoint accuracy and then the Argentine had the composure to bring it home and beat Miller.

It is surely Bou who is leading the race for the role of starting striker under Bruce Arena, but he’s not alone in it. Bobby Wood has looked strong since coming in from Real Salt Lake and Jozy Altidore earned a lot of respect from this game.

Arena clearly rates the former Toronto man, sounding him out as an influential individual. “You could see how valuable his experience was in that game and I thought he gave us a real good 30 minutes that we needed. He’s a very good player.” Defender DeJuan Jones was full of praise for him too, saying that Altidore “brought energy” and that “he was excellent tonight and just gave us a really good spark off the bench.”

The Revolution continue to march on against the odds- they may not have had the toughest opposition to date but Arena’s side are on a very strong run in 2023. Noel Buck and Gustavo Bou are two key players in this system and they were rewarded with goals for their hard work.

Featured image credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports on February 25, 2023.


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