The Revolution rallied to earn a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union within the 2023 common season finale on Saturday night, and now put together to face the identical opponent within the first spherical of MLS Cup playoffs.
A pair of targets from Gustavo Bou was sufficient to overturn a Sixteenth-minute opener from Union ahead Julián Carranza.
Regardless of the win, the Revolution have been unable to overhaul Philadelphia within the standings on MLS Choice Day, thus which means that the Union (because the fourth seed within the Jap Convention) will maintain home-field benefit over New England (fifth seed) within the best-of-three sequence.
Listed here are just a few takeaways:
A return to a well-recognized system (and some acquainted faces) brings again successful methods.
After a captivating however unsuccessful tour of assorted techniques and formations over the previous few weeks, interim head coach Clint Peay returned to an outdated buddy on Saturday: 4-2-3-1.
Granted, the choice towards Philadelphia was simpler than every week in the past towards Nashville, as Andrew Farrell (damage), Dejuan Jones (worldwide obligation), and Noel Buck (additionally worldwide obligation) have been all again within the squad.
Jones moved once more to proper again, with Ryan Spaulding coming again into the lineup as a left again. Farrell paired with Dave Romney within the heart.
Matt Polster was again in his favored defensive midfield position, whereas Tommy McNamara made his first Revolution begin since MLS Choice Day 2022. In assault, Noel Buck operated as a shuttling heart midfielder, whereas Carles Gil flitted out and in of area as a No. 10 playmaker. Tomas Chancalay remained principally in a winger place, however added some customary runs inside and recorded 5 pictures as he stored energetic within the assault.
At ahead, Bou — although he doesn’t favor to function as a lone striker — confirmed his effectiveness nonetheless.
New England loved lengthy spells of possession, with Gil, Chancalay, and Bou all proving adept at transferring to seek out area. Every had passing averages at or above 90-percent for the sport, an unusually excessive share for a collective group of attacking gamers.
With Philadelphia working with a three-player again line (that appeared extra like a 5-2-3 in protection), New England was capable of dominate the midfield. This was very true with Bou dropping deeper to attach with Gil and Buck.
Gustavo Bou is perhaps getting again into type on the excellent time.
Although he missed time attributable to accidents within the second half of the season, the return of Bou — and the truth that he tallied two targets on the eve of the playoffs — appears to bode nicely for New England’s postseason possibilities.
Befitting his nickname, “La Pantera,” the 33-year-old Argentine proved onerous to trace for the Union protection. Removed from a conventional heart ahead, Bou usually discovered area in wider areas, and was efficient together with his hold-up play when he acquired passes.
Contrasting his efficiency with different Revolution striker choices (Giacomo Vrioni and Bobby Wooden), Bou offered a multifaceted attacking method. It was unsurprising that he was much more concerned — tallying 52 touches and making three key passes on high of his two targets — within the build-up play, and that fellow possession-oriented gamers like Gil and Chancalay appeared extra comfy with him because the ahead in a single-striker formation.
Even going through three opposing heart backs, Bou was capable of catch them out of place on a number of events, together with on his decisive aim (made doable by a top quality Gil help). His run from deep was not tracked till it was too late, although Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made an uncharacteristically poor bid at a save.
For the Revolution to have any probability towards Philadelphia (or anybody else) within the playoffs, Bou (and Gil) must be at their greatest. Every appeared robust on Saturday, doubtlessly signaling excellent news going ahead.
Waiting for the playoffs.
Regardless of incomes a decidedly deserved win over Philadelphia, the Revolution can have a troublesome take a look at in a playoff sequence towards the Union. Whereas the shock upset win towards Philadelphia within the playoffs in 2020 got here in a single-elimination matchup (the Union have been then the Supporters’ Protect winners), this time New England should defeat their rivals twice to advance.
MLS is anticipated to launch the total playoff schedule on Oct. 22. The Union will host the primary and (if vital) third video games, with the center matchup being performed at Gillette Stadium.
As Peay’s crew confirmed on Saturday, they’re absolutely able to holding the ball and outplaying Philadelphia (a crew that, conversely, doesn’t default to a possession-oriented fashion).
Nonetheless, the win on Saturday was not with out its nervous moments, together with an obvious 86th-minute Union equalizer off of a free kick that was dominated out for offsides.
As well as, the Union are additionally constructed to use the type of turnovers which have put the Revolution into so many troublesome moments in defensive transition over the previous few weeks.
In different phrases, the postseason matchup guarantees to be an pleasant conflict of kinds.
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