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New England Revolution

Revolution Defender Gabriel Somi Feeling Great With Concussion Symptoms Behind Him



Back on March 10th New England Revolution defender Gabriel Somi suffered a head injury against the Colorado Rapids. At the time the severity of the injury was a tad unclear given the sensitivity of head injuries. But now several weeks later it is looking like the defender is good to go.

New England made sure not to rush the defenseman back and let the medical staff do their job to get Somi back onto the pitch.

Coach Friedel: “We didn’t rush him, that’s for certain. We let the medical staff do what they needed to do and Gabriel [Somi], obviously, we told him from the get-go to be as honest as he can be. We don’t want to have any bad head injuries in the game. We don’t want one of our players to sustain any side effects or serious effects going forward in their lives. The medical staff did a very good job and they were prudent in every step of the way, and Gabriel is good.”

As for how Somi is feeling he says he is feeling great even though the first few days after the injury were a bit rough.

Somi: “Thankfully, I am feeling great. The first few days [were] a bit tough, I had a bit of a headache, but other than that, these couple of days I’ve been progressing really well and finally I can train with the team.”

This was the first time Somi had suffered a concussion in his career so it was a bit different for him but right now he is excited to take on New York City FC this Saturday.

Somi: “Of course, I’m looking forward to these upcoming games, especially now we play New York [City FC] next game. I’m very excited and can’t wait to play.”

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

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New England Revolution

Juan Agudelo’s Goal Against NYC FC Was Impressive, For Him And For Coach Friedel



With New York on their the Revolution heels and players starting to tire under Brad Friedel’s high-pressure system, a change was needed. And the change Friedel ended up going with now makes him look like a genius.

In the 60th minute, Keyln Rowe was substituted out in favor of one Juan Agudelo. Two minutes later? Agudelo buried a goal to give the Revs a 2-1 lead at the time. Maybe it was a little bit of pure luck, but either way, it made a positive impact on the game and with the game now in the rearview it was a rather impressive decision.

For HC Friedel it spoke more to Agudelo’s abilities and willingness to come off of the bench for the Revs.

Coach Friedel: “I thought that was a tremendous goal. Juan [Agudelo] has been working really hard. It’s
never easy when you’re a player of Juan’s capabilities, and you’re not finding yourself starting in games.
We have a lot of competition for places in the squad, a lot of good players. Juan will see his fair share of
minutes at the club, there’s no doubt, and he’ll start his fair share of games, there’s no doubt. But when
you do put substitutes on in a game, you want to see a difference and a positive difference and I thought
he was very good. The cross from Cristian Penilla is something that we see every single day in training.
And the play, we knew that we were going to be able to have some possession and some joy on the wide
sides, both for Andrew Farrell and for Gabriel Somi to go forward, and for whichever one was on that
side, and it paid off. It was a good cross and a very good header.”

On the other side of the pitch, NYC FC Coach Patrick Vieira knew that his team could have made a better play on the ball in the moment, but he thought that the entire play by Agudelo was perfect on New England’s end.

Coach Vieira: “I think when you look at the goal that he scored, I think the cross, the header, everything
was perfect. We went through a difficult period during the game. I think some of the period we should
have managed better, but overall I was happy with the way we were playing and we were defending. You
get a time where there’s not a need to change a player.”

As for the goal itself, boy was it beautiful.

With Agudelo’s role being in flex right now his contributions in Saturday’s draw may put him in the right direction to getting back into the starting lineup more consistently.

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New England Revolution

Revolution Not Yet At Needed Fitness Level For Friedel’s System



When New England Revolution Head Coach Brad Friedel took over the team one thing he wanted was to install a high-pressure system.

But one of the challenges that come with a high-pressure system is it requires a very high fitness level which can be hard to accomplish since it can take some time along with needing full commitment from the entire roster. The hardships that come with the system are already on display in New England.

The issue right now for the Revs is keeping up the pressure for the entire 90 minutes. So far this season we have seen it in the first half and sometimes into the 70th minute or so, but three games in they are still not there yet. And Brad Friedel is the first to admit that.

Following the teams 2-2 draw with New York City FC Friedel post-game stated his team from a fitness perspective was maybe 70% at the level they needed to play a full 90 minutes of a high-pressure system.

Coach Friedel“I haven’t watched the goal back, so I’m going to take this a little bit from memory, but I think even on their first goal, we had opportunities to stop the play. We had done a really good job for most parts of the game, limiting [Maximiliano] Moralez’s touches on the ball. Most every attack goes through him. I felt in the second half, he got a few too many touches on the ball, but it’s also difficult. It’s hard work to press for 90 minutes and we’re probably 70 to 80-percent of the fitness level we want to get our players, because we’ve just taken over, and it is a style that we want to impose, but Moralez is also very clever and he tries to get into little pockets. So, as far as what went on defensively, I’ll have to watch it, so I can answer more accurately for you.”

Despite the team not yet fully adjusted/fit for the high-pressure, New England certainly had plenty of opportunities and Friedel thinks the team could have easily had three or four goals at halftime.

Coach Friedel:  “Yeah, in watching a lot of NYCFC play, we knew that [they] were going to try to play it out of the back at all times. Patrick Vieira has done a wonderful job with his team over the years that he’s been the head coach, instilling that philosophy. I also know that from the players that we have, we would cause them and be able to cause them, a lot of problems. The only disappointment was we were only one goal to the good. I thought we should’ve been up maybe three or four goals at halftime. Goalkeeper made a couple of good saves, hit the post, missed a couple of chances, but there were a lot of positives to take out of the performance.”

Friedel was then followed up on the team’s fitness level and made sure to note that in order to compete at a global level the Revs need to get their high-pressure system up to the full-90.

Coach Friedel: “The players are fit. We went through a preseason. But for the style of play that we want, because we want the players to be able to press for ninety minutes, but we also want to be able to keep possession of the ball when we have it. When you play the best teams, not only in MLS, but even if you go outside, and if you want to get into CONCACAF Champions League and whatnot, and play against the better teams in Mexico, you’re going to have to do both sides. So, that’s just our gauge. I’m not saying that for anything else. That’s just where we want to get and the players work tremendously hard and they’re doing a great job at adapting to our system. I think, if we had eleven men in the Philadelphia game, we’d be sitting here with a couple more points and I do feel like we had two points dropped today.”

And it is sort of interesting to hear him talk about playing teams from other leagues. His system is definitely one that would, in theory, be competitive with teams that are more of a standard in the world of soccer. Definitely, a departure from the slower pace of play Jay Heaps coaches up and a move towards a more modern playstyle which is more of the norm globally.

But with the high-pressure, it is hard on players who are not used to it and that can take some time to get up to speed.

One of New England’s players that have excelled so far under the system was pressed into post-game on whether or not the system was feasible for a full match. Diego Fagundez was exceptional in Saturday’s match applying pressure throughout much of the game, but in his post-game, even he sounded a bit winded.

Fagundez: “The first 45 [minutes], I don’t know. I think we knew that we needed to put in work, and I think you saw from everybody. We were putting in the work and we were getting our chances, but we need to be a lot better on them—make sure that we’re finishing them. Myself, I know it’s frustrating when you miss a couple inside the 18, so we need to be better on that.”

 The issue for Fagundez and company though is making it the full 90, which he admitted is a very hard thing to do sort of confirming that the team isn’t at the fitness level needed yet.

Fagundez: “It’s very hard. You can’t do it for 90 minutes, so the first 45, I think we were just buzzing and everybody was going for it. In the second half, it’s a little harder when you’re already getting tired. They kept passing it back to [Sean] Johnson, so now we’re chasing a little bit, and we didn’t really want that, but at the end of the day, overall, we need to be better but we have to move on now and go to the next one.”

It is important that the Revs have time to get this system up and running as it is one that doesn’t happen overnight. The question is if they can do it with the players they have currently. Some seem to fit the bill, but others? Well, that is rather unclear.

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New England Revolution

New England Revolution Draw With NYC FC Despite Holding Lead Twice



The New England Revolution after a bye-week came back to action against the New York City FC. New England’s gameplan to keep up pressure worked but their lapses proved too much with the Revs ending up with a 2-2 final score.

The Revolution started this match off looking sharp and followed Head Coach Brad Friedel’s gameplan to a tee with early pressure putting NYC FC on their heels right out of the gate.

New England finally capitalized on all of their early opportunities with Diego Fagundez netting his 43rd career goal assisted by Wilfried Zahibo in the 11th minute.

Fagundez was fed the ball right up the middle and was able to find a way to get it by NYC FC netminder Sean Johnson.

With the goal, Fagundez moves into sole possession of 3rd place for the most goals scored in New England Revolution history. Fagundez passes Steve Ralston. Fagundez had himself quite the start of the match and was able to create a multitude of opportunities for himself but was only able to connect on the 11th-minute goal.

The other big influence of pressure in the first half for the Revs was Cristian Penilla who had an abundance of close looks in the first half including a goal post ringer in the 38th minute that can still be heard loudly in Gillette Stadium.

New England’s gameplan of applying pressure worked well in the first half of this match with the Revs creating 10 first-half shots, granted only two of them were on target. But the pressure was what set the table to protect a rookie goalkeeper on the other end of the pitch.

Second Half Struggles With Milestone Hit

The second half of the Revolution gameplan started off much of the same with the gameplan to apply pressure continuing to be effective for Friedel’s team. Unfortunately for the Revs, the NYC FC counter-attack proved to be too much with New York’s Isamael Tajouri scoring a goal to tie the game in the 51st minute.

In an attempt to get things back on track Friedel substituted out Kelyn Rowe and inserted in Juan Agudelo in the 60th minute. It didn’t take long for this move to pay off for Friedel with Agudelo scoring in the 63rd minute off an assist from Cristian Penilla and Wilfried Zahibo.

With the goal, Agudelo becomes the eighth New England Revolution player to reach the 30-goal plateau.

Unfortunately for the Revolution after the Agudelo goal New York picked the pressure back up forcing the game to be played in New England zone. This resulted in New York scoring and tying the game up once again. This time around it was a 75th-minute goal by Tajouri once again, his second of the match.

In response to New York’s second goal of the game Coach, Friedel elected to go with some fresh legs by inserting rookie Brandon Bye and taking Penilla out of the game in the 77th minute.

In the 88th minute, the Revs made a rather surprising move by giving newcomer Luis Caicedo some action with Caicedo making his Revolution and MLS debut. Caicedo was set to be available of the bench but heading in the game it wasn’t expected that he would play but with the game up for grabs is was certainly a risky decision for Friedel.

Goalkeeping Had Its Highs And Lows Which Comes With Having A Young Netminder

Revolution rookie goalkeeper Matt Turner wasn’t tested for much of the first 20 minutes but when NYC FC applied their first pressure of the match in the 18th minute he deflected away a shot by Yangel Herrera with an incredible full-stretch save. The first half wasn’t one of high pressure though for Turner as he only faced 2 shots on goal with NYC FC only managing 3 first-half shots.

For the second half, Turner gave up a goal on the first shot he saw. Can’t fault Turner on the goal with New York applying quick intense pressure and moved the ball around effectively to get the ball past a defenseless Turner. New York’s team-oriented attack was a smart one and proved too much for Turner to turn away. That being said, Turner stopped the following pressures that he faced to try and give his teammates some time to regroup and get back on the offensive.

With New York picking back up the pressure after the Agudelo goal Turner was once again put under fire and gave up another goal to Tajouri.

Turner finished the match with

Penalties Stacking Up

As for the penalties in this one, NYC FC’s Ismael Tajouri was handed a yellow card in the 33rd minute. 10 minutes later New England’s Scott Caldwell received a yellow card for a bad tackle deep in New England’s zone.

In the 70th minute, New England received it’s second yellow card with Claude Dielna receiving this one.

In stoppage time New York’s Saad Abdul-Salaam was handed a yellow for interference with Fagundez.

Next Up

With the draw, the Revs moved to 1-1-1 on the young MLS season.

The New England Revolution will travel to the Houston Dynamo next week with an 8:30 pm start on March 31st.

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