On Tuesday night the New England Revolution defeated D.C. United 2-1 at Audi Field to move to 2-1-4 on the 2020 MLS Regular Season. This is the first win for New England since their win over Montreal on 7/9/20 and their first two-goal performance since 9/29/19 against NYCFC. In addition, this is New England’s first win at Audi Field and their first win in Washington D.C. since 7/27/13 at RFK Stadium.
This match had it all, goals, weather delays, controversial penalty calls, injuries, and a ten minute stoppage time. The Revolution who were coached by Assistant Coach Richie Williams were sloppy to start but were able to grow into the match over time.
New England took a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute with Gustavo Bou scoring his second goal of the year. This was Bou’s first goal since July 9th, a match in which also happened to be New England’s last win.
In the 32nd minute the match entered a weather delay driven by thunderstorms that passed through the area. The match got back underway at 8:25 p.m. and quickly found their second goal with Teal Bunbury scoring in the 38th minute who sent in a header from a Alex Buttner corner. This was Bunbury’s second goal of the season and Buttner’s first career MLS assist.
Following half-time D.C. United came out on the front foot. In the 72nd minute, a potential handball by Alex Buttner went into Video Review and was ruled a penalty. The penalty was taken and scored by Ola Kamara whose stutter-step caused goalkeeper Matt Turner to tip his hand to make it 2-1. Bad luck followed the Revs with the 83rd minute Red Card being dished out to midfielder Scott Caldwell. Caldwell collided with D.C’s Felipe. Questionable call by the official who made the decision after going to Video Review and forced the Revolution to play a man down for the remainder of the match.
New England was able to hold onto their one-goal lead for the final seven minutes of regular time and then the ten minutes of stoppage time that was tacked on at the end.
“I think it’s just a work thing from everybody and understanding what our tactical switches are when we get down a player or just at the end of the game, seeing out the game,” said Revolution defender Brandon Bye on picking up three points. ” I think everybody’s on the same page and Richie, the whole coaching staff did a good job of explaining to us, making sure we were on the same page and figuring everything out down the stretch. However it works we got the three points and we walk off the field with that.”
Takeaways from the match
- Matt Turner is really really good: Any other goalkeeper and the Revolution may have lost this match. Turner made a handful of game-changing plays on the night despite only being credited with two saves. He also showed off his precise distribution game which included a 40ish yard dish to Gustavo Bou all alone on the right side for a breakaway chance.
- Set pieces got the Revs going: Both goals came off set pieces which has been an area New England has been working on.
“In training we’ve been working on our set pieces, working on our delivery, making some good
runs in the box – good, aggressive runs, working on some picks,” said Revolution Assistant Coach Richie Williams on the team’s work on set pieces. “Service is very important. Good runs and everybody being on the same page, that’s what you saw tonight. We got to continue to do that. It’s a big part of the game.”
- Adam Buksa is in an odd spot: Buksa’s performance on the night as a whole was uninspiring but late in the match when the Revolution were playing down a man he seemed to step up his intensity. Buksa still only had 28 touches on the night but 23 of them came in the second half of the match. Needs to show that intensity for a full 90 minutes and show more confidence in the final third
The Revolution who will be without Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena for one more match will now prepare for the New York Red Bulls who they will host on Saturday. New England will depart the D.C. area and arrive back in Boston just after midnight local time. Wednesday the team will reconvene in the afternoon for COVID-19 testing and then start preparing for the Red Bulls match with full training days on both Thursday and Friday on the docket.
“I think it’s one game at a time,” said Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner on gaining momentum. “These games are going to come with unique circumstances. We had a lot of guys on the field tonight that went through a similar, not exactly the same situation with the long lightning delays and cancelled travel. We’ve gone through a lot over the past two seasons so we rely on our experience and it was a huge three points. We’ve been really needing to put the ball in the net.And I’ve said all along, if we can keep it one or zero goals against it will give us the best chance to maximize our points. We were able to put two away tonight and that was huge.”