Everything you need to know about the 10-man Revolution’s 2-1 win over DC United Tuesday night in quickie form, complete with Bay State Soccer Sentinel insight and analysis:
10-man Revs survive, get first win in the capital since 2013: It’s been a while, but The Boys In Blue have tasted victory on the banks of the Anacostia. This one had a bit of everything: After a 46-minute weather delay, New England went ahead by two goals to nil thanks to Gustavo Bou and Teal Bunbury, surrendered a 72nd-minute penalty, went down a man thanks to a VAR-aided red card to late sub Scott Caldwell — his second ever, the first happening in this building two years ago — and had to endure an unfathomable 10 minutes of second half stoppage time in order to secure victory. The Revolution are now 2-1-4 on the season, moving them into sixth place for the time being with 10 points.
Bou ends the streak with a blast: The Revs had a sloppy first 25 minutes or so — Andrew Farrell having a brain fart on an early deep ball that Matt Turner had to charge off his line to stop; bad passing — but a great give-and-go between Kelyn Rowe and Bou had New England smelling blood in the water. Bill Hamid had stopped Bou’s shot, but parried it over for a corner. And on the corner, Bou claimed a loose ball away from Edison Flores — he did it with the noggin — and hit a cannon ball from somewhere near the Washington Monument to beat Hamid and to put the Revolution ahead, 1-nil, after 26 minutes. That goal, his second of 2020, ended the Revs’ scoreless skid at 335 minutes.
Weather delay impacts end of first half: Just after a hydration break, the sky surrounding Audi Field turned into a light show, with referee Guido Gonzales, Jr. calling a halt to play in the 32nd minute. 46 minutes later, play restarted, and six minutes later, Bunbury headed in a corner near the penalty spot to put the Revs ahead, 2-nil. That was TB10’s second goal of the season, and his 55th career goal. That came after Rowe had a near-goal, with Hamid parrying it for the corner leading to Bunbury’s goal.
No changes for Revs? Oh, not quite: Assistant coach Richie Williams, in the technical area for the second straight match due to Bruce Arena’s extended punishment, made no changes to the starting lineup from Thursday’s scoreless draw. However, the interim gaffer switched to a 4-4-2 diamond, with Matt Polster in the sole holding role. Cristian Penilla moved into the No. 10 with Rowe to the No. 7. Turner was in goal, natch, with a back line of Alexander Büttner, Henry Kessler, Farrell, and Brandon Bye from right to left. Bou was up top with Adam Buksa, and Bunbury had the other attacking role. Revolution in-house reporter Jeff Lemieux said Antonio Delamea wasn’t in the squad for the second consecutive match as he is recovering from a “small knock.”
HOW THE REVS WON THE POINTS
I’ll put this as succinctly as I can: organized defending, plus a solid goalkeeping effort.
Matt Turner: Going the other way on Ola Kamara’s penalty notwithstanding, a seriously monumental effort in the District. He made two saves, but what saves they were: the save he made on Kamara in the first minute of second-half stoppage time was amazing. He also saved Andrew Farrell’s bacon in the early goings.
Gustavo Bou: Obviously he’s there for that amazing thunder strike in the 26th minute, but go back through the live coverage and look at what he did in the minutes before he scored. He got the initial shot on-target, but not only that… he played defense. That’s one of the things that I’ve marked him down for not doing in the past. If there is anything to mark him down for, it would be seven giveaways.
Henry Kessler: Really, can I submit my ballot for Defender of the Year yet? The way the tall rookie has played so far has been phenomenal, and Tuesday night was no different. And go back and watch how Kessler played in the first half: the AR had a habit of raising the offside flag late, but Kessler kept playing, stuck with his man, and made the right plays. And check his IQ in the 46th minute. He has been an amazing find for this team.
Teal Bunbury: What a header by TB10. And he had amazing tracking back on defense, too. I want more of this Teal Bunbury. Inject it all into my veins.
Kelyn Rowe: He had a couple of positive touches including ones in the lead-up to both goals, but he had three absolutely terrible giveaways, including one ahead of his removal from the match in favor of Scott Caldwell in the 68th minute.
LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY
13 shots, 6 on target. The Revs had 7 shots and 5 on target in the first half. Second half needed to be sharper, with the lone shot on goal coming in second-half stoppage time, a blazer by Tajon Buchanan.
42.6 percent possession for the game; New England had 51.2 percent through the first 45
77 percent passing accuracy
9 corners to DC’s 5
WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW
I’ll have more thoughts in a bit, but here’s what’s really pressing on my mind…
I know it’s a pandemic and all, but why are teams releasing their lineups so late? DC United did not release their lineup on social media until a few minutes after 6:30 p.m. — less than 40 minutes before the match. New England released its lineup before 6:10 p.m., 60 minutes before, which is generally the accepted time. So United delayed my eating dinner by 15 minutes because I waited for the lineup… unacceptable. We are used to having the lineups 50-60 minutes before kick-off. Give us our lineups and benches 50-60 minutes before kick-off. It’s a simple courtesy to the reporters working from home when their teams are on the road.
THEY SAID IT
“That’s huge, getting three points on the road. I hate saying that these games are must win, but all our games are going to be against Eastern Conference teams so we have to maximize our points. We should have won at home, I think, a few days ago, so I think this was a good battle.” — Teal Bunbury on Revolution Postgame Live
Back home again on Saturday, and this time it’s against those Scarlet Steers, the New York Red Bulls. It’s an 8 p.m. start due to national television — wait, they can do that at Gillette? — and we’ll see you there. Well, we won’t, but you know what I mean. Give me this.