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Omar Gonzalez Is “A Great Player for Us” in Lieu of Win Over Orlando

New England Revolution defender Omar Gonzalez

The New England Revolution put a stop to Orlando City’s unbeaten streak at Gillette Stadium last night. After an even first 45 minutes, Bruce Arena’s men put the pedal to the floor after the break. One man who played a big role was Omar Gonzalez, in spite of his troubled time in Foxborough to date.

Omar Gonzalez Deputises Well Against Orlando

Designated Players on the Same Wavelength

One issue endured by the Revs in the last 12 months concerns their Designated Players. Having all three fit and on the field has been a rarity and so the third goal last night would have been a sight for sore eyes. Gustavo Bou and Carles Gil started against Orlando City and performed well whilst Albanian forward Giacomo Vrioni came into the game later on and made an instant impact.

Not just in this moment but for the full 90 minutes, Gustavo Bou looked very fresh. His captain was full of praise for his teammate when asked about the triumvirate. “Bou is having a very good season and we are trying to make it work.”

Following the departure of Jozy Altidore, the battle to lead the line lost a contestant and so Vrioni will be looking to capitalise on this. In the meantime though, Bobby Wood is delivering week-in, week-out and has turned out to be a great pickup from Real Salt Lake.

On the topic of Altidore and head coach Bruce Arena was asked for further details as to his exit, here is what he had to say. “That was the reason for the decision, to open up resources for the summer.” The former USMNT forward made the move to New England alongside Sebastian Lletget and Omar Gonzalez just over a year ago and only the latter now remains.

Read More: Carles Gil Shines as the Revolution Get Back to Winning Ways

Omar Gonzalez Reminds the Revolution Fanbase of His Capabilities

Brandon Bye and Noel Buck returned to the starting XI after a couple of weeks out of action. The former was replaced at half-time due to “a little muscle tightness”, and the man to enter the fray was Omar Gonzalez. He, like Altidore, has endured a troublesome time in the state of Massachusetts.

Revolution fans may have raised an eyebrow here or there when Gonzalez came on in the place of Bye last night, with the game at 0-0. With him on the pitch as well as Dave Romney and Andrew Farrell, there were three centre-backs operating in a back-four system. The 34-year-old’s performance wasn’t hindered by this at all, he in fact played very well indeed.

Earl Edwards Jnr, who filled in for Djordje Petrovic whilst the superb shot-stopper was away with the Serbian national team, sang the praises of Omar Gonzalez. A lot of times we’re not in the starting lineup, and both him and I are very intentional about pushing our first team [in training] and playing as if we’re going to play on the weekend… He’s a great player for us, so I was happy to have him out there.”

Gonzalez wasn’t the only individual garnering plaudits either as Edwards himself played a big role in the win over Orlando. His highlight in the game saw him deny Argentine Martin Ojeda and when the Lions did eventually find the back of the net, he wasn’t to blame. Arena labelled the defending as ‘sloppy’ not for the first or last time in 2023, but praised Edwards’ game overall.

Given Henry Kessler’s absence, the ability of Omar Gonzalez to step in across the backline could be a huge bonus for the Revs going forward. Either way, it was a solid performance up and down the field with every individual playing their part. Can the Revolution make it three wins in-a-row when Toronto FC come to town next weekend?

Featured image credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports, taken on Mar 5, 2022.


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