Everything you need to know about 10-man Revs II’s 2-0 loss to Orlando City B Friday night in quickie form, complete with Bay State Soccer Sentinel insight and analysis:
10-man Revs II falls: Despite upward of 56 percent possession and 15 shots, three of which on-target, New England’s third-division side could not make the onion bag burp for the second consecutive match. Yet Orlando City B, playing its second match in six days, came through with two second-half goals by 16-year-old Wilfredo Rivera and 18-year-old Kenji Tanaka on assists by Moises Tablante — with both goals originating from the right side of the Revs II defensive alignment — to wrap up the three points for the Little Lions.
Shimazaki sees red in first half: Normally, the right back would step up and help clear those two aforementioned tries away… but you can’t do that if you’re not on the pitch, right? Playing on a yellow for nine minutes after a rash challenge in the 29th minute, Revs II right back Ryo Shimazaki couldn’t reel himself in as he tried to reel in an Orlando City B player by the shirt in the 38th minute. Referee Ernie Constantine went straight to the pocket for his second yellow, and he was sent off to force New England to play with 10 men for the remainder of the game. With no right back, Tablante had acres of space to play with, and he certainly helped set up both goals with neat flicks into the 6-yard box at the far post. Outside of that, Revs II had more of the ball (55.5 percent) and had eight shots with two on-target, coming against a stiff OCB back line and Medway, Mass. native Austin Aziva (3 saves) in goal.
Homegrowns get the start: Revs II head coach Clint Peay made three changes to the XI with two weeks away from League One competition. With Simon Lekressner out, Peay called on Shimazaki to slide into his spot; that didn’t last too long. In addition, Homegrown players Isaac Angking and Damian Rivera made their first starts at either the USL or MLS level Friday night, with Angking pairing in the midfield along with Maciel and fellow Homegrown Nicolas Firmino, while Rivera was listed up top with Lowell’s Mayele Malango and Orlando Sinclair. Tiago Mendonça and Conor Presley were dropped to the bench. Roxbury’s Meny Silva made his debut, entering in the 78th minute as one of three subs.
Damian Rivera: Really liked the spark Rivera, the Cranston, RI native and seventh Revolution Homegrown signing, provided to the offense for the 69 minutes he was out there. He drove through traffic to the end line once, and had good vision. We’d like to see more of him.
Maciel: We thought he had a better game controlling things in the midfield for Revs II Friday than he did against Union Omaha two weeks ago. Cleaner touches and better passes.
Ryo Shimazaki: He’s 23, and he should know better than to play recklessly on a yellow card. To only go nine minutes after his first yellow and put his team in a bind — and remember, the only defensive sub on the bench was Oskar Bloch — shows a lack of awareness.
Ryan Spaulding: You need to keep your head on a swivel, son. You have your head on a swivel, you’re aware of where Rivera is on that OCB goal. You didn’t, and that was the result. Cause and effect.
LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY
Revs II had 56.3 percent possession for the night.
Orlando City was offside 6 times.
New England had 78.9 percent passing accuracy, with 67.8 percent accuracy in the Lions’ half.
Of New England’s 22 crosses, it was accurate on 36.4 percent of them.
THREE THINGS SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW
I know it’s only the second game, but this offense really needs to get into high gear. It looked like it would be a fanciful night when Malango tried to score on the half volley in the first minute — and if we’re honest, Malango had the better opportunities to score. Isaac Angking had one shot that Aviza stopped… on his knees. Malango’s crosses were sharp, but didn’t connect with a Navy Blue shirt. Sinclair had great vision to find Malango, and that started a sharp sequence that included Angking’s try. They’ll get it together.
Tablante really has a bazooka attached to his left foot, doesn’t he? He had two shots from distance which would have shattered a cinder block wall. He took advantage of the space given him, too.
If I’m Bruce Arena and Clint Peay, I’m putting my heads together and looking at who on the Revs’ first team can mentor and guide those on the second team. There are players on the Revolution — Scott Caldwell, for instance — who knows when to pull things in when playing on a yellow, and that’s Soccer IQ right there; that’s something Shimazaki needs. Players like a Teal Bunbury who can mentor regarding hold-up play. Players who can work on some of the finer points of the game with them. I know they don’t get paid to teach, but there’s nothing wrong with pointing things out in the training center between sessions.
The Young Lads In Blue will get right back into the mix next Saturday night, doing so on the road for the first time in their existence. The opponent? North Texas SC, the League One side of FC Dallas. That one starts at 9 p.m. ET at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. We’ll see you for that one.