New England Revolution Match Preview
It feels like I’ve been away for a long time. I haven’t been able to watch much soccer either. Not only did Orlando have a lot of time off, but so did the Revolution, who I work for on game days. Now, my two worlds will collide this Wednesday as the Lions travel up to Gillette to take on my Revs, a battle of my hometown favorite and my professional favorite. Don’t ask who I’m rooting for by the way. I just want something entertaining so my post-game article has some juice to it. But just know I’m going to give you the hard cold facts about these Revolution; I’ll keep my biases out of it. This is a very winnable game for both sides, and both sides need that win just as bad.
Orlando City FC Stats 6-5-3, Top Goal Scorer: Kara, Top Assister: Pereyra, LWDWW New England Revolution Stats 5-5-4, Top Goal Scorer: Buksa, Top Assister: Gil, WDLWD
Three Things 1. Contain Carlos Gil He was the MVP of last season for a reason and in my opinion he has had a strong start to the year. Don’t let any journalist or media personality that doesn’t ACTUALLY watch the Revolution tell you different. He is in the middle of every attack and the ball is constantly bouncing off his foot. He loves connecting with the fullbacks Jones and Bye as they make overlapping runs for service, and he can whip a ball in too. It will be interesting moving forward how the Revolution operate without Adam Buksa, who recently left the club on a move to RC Lens in Ligue 1. Buksa and Gil had an amazing connection due to Gil’s placement and Buksa’s ability in the air. My guess is this game they try to attack more vertically with the likes of Bou and Borrero up top. Gil only needs a half-inch and the defensive midfielders will have to keep an eye on him.
2. Play Through Kara I could see Kara having a big game against the Revolution. One reason for that is the New England defense stinks. I don’t even want to get into the numbers, but they’ve thrown away points countless times this season. Against the Union, Omar Gonzalez quite literally passed it directly to the Union forward for a tap in, dropping two points. They’ve lost on the road to Charlotte and just leak goals deep into the games. Kara could frustrate the New England defense, especially in the later stages of the game if he stays on. He’s in good form right now and I back him going against Farrell and Kessler, who has been out for some weeks but is expected to come back. I also think substitutions will be a big asset for the Lions this game, simply because New England struggles to close out matches.
3. Expose on the Flanks The Revolution defense, particularly the center backs, get a lot of flack for letting up easy goals and not being strong enough in certain areas. Definitely true to an extent, but sometimes they get caught out in transition. This could also be a big game for Facundo Torres. Even though the Revolution play with a back 4, their fullbacks get forward a LOT. Get the ball out wide and go directly at them. They are much more modern fullbacks as opposed to traditional fullbacks. Torres, Pato, and Pereyra could have a field day attacking the spaces out wide.
A Look at the Revolution ~ Starting Goalkeeper Matt Turner will not be playing and is soon departing to Arsenal, new pick up Petrovic most likely to start ~ Carles Gil is the key player of the game, if you can shut him down you most likely can win ~ Attack in wide areas ~ Take frequent shots to pepper this new goalkeeper ~ Can control the possession in this game, I favor the defensive midfielders of Orlando over New England