All you need to know about Revolution II’s 2-1 loss to Richmond Friday night in quickie form, complete with Bay State Soccer Sentinel insight and analysis:
Revs II still looking for first win following defeat to Richmond: It was close all night, but a late goal by Richmond’s Ryley Kraft in the 82nd minute was enough to steal all three points and give the Kickers a 2-1 victory at Gillette Stadium Friday night. Revolution II is still winless through four matches (0-2-2).
Malango comes up with first pro goal as equalizer: Richmond struck first shortly after the re-start, as Emiliano Tergazhi, who entered Friday night’s match with three goals on the season, scored his fourth while being double-teamed. He got enough space to slip his shot beyond goalkeeper Keegan Meyer to put Richmond ahead. But in the 71st minute, 11 minutes after coming on, Lowell native Mayele Malango scored his first pro goal to pull New England level. He had set up the corner kick after driving around the Richmond right back, and tapped the corner to Ryan Spaulding. Spaulding gave it right back, and after a brilliant first touch, took a couple additional strides before he curled it in from 20 yards away, with Richmond keeper Akira Fitzgerald frozen on his line.
Revs II own possession in first 45, but Kickers come close: While New England had upward of 58 percent of the ball in the first half, Revs II matched the first team from Thursday night with only one shot on-target with five shots total. But Richmond had two tries — one just inside the 6-yard box — that hammered the woodwork in front of The Fort and sent the termites scurrying. And while it was even, Revs II showed some neat moves in the attacking third… but can’t get the final touch going.
Peay misses match, Santos steps into technical area: Two hours before kickoff, Revolution Communications sent word that Revs II head coach Clint Peay would not coach the team Friday following “inconsistent test results” as part of weekly COVID testing. In his stead stepped assistant coach Marcelo Santos. In the XI, Meyer, a Revolution SuperDraft selection in January, made his professional debut in front of the onion bag, with Academy standout Colby Quinones of Bedford, NH making his second straight start in the back. Lexington’s Hikaru Fujiwara got the start in the midfield, with Isaac Angking making his third straight start.
Colin Verfurth: We’re really liking a lot of the things this tall young man can do in the back. He clears out the trash with ease, and with his size, he’s really daring some of these young kids to come at him. A real solid presence in the back line, and he had 88 touches — the most of any Revs II player. Here’s his heat map from Friday:
Hakaru Fujiwara: A solid hour-long shift by the 17-year-old from Lexington. He played well in the midfield, and was aggressive on both sides, offensively and defensively. One of his last touches on the night saw him lose the ball and win it right back.
Mayele Malango: He replaced Fujiwara at the hour, and he didn’t have to wait long to assert his influence. We really liked his first touch on his goal, the finish a curler that dipped and got in.
Orlando Sinclair: A pretty invisible performance by the striker. He barely touched the ball in positive fashion, and when he did touch the ball, his shots were rather weak. We will be fair and say we liked his hold-up play right after the restart, but other than that? Showed nothing.
Defending: Outside of Verfurth, the defending had trouble in keeping things copacetic. Two were on Tergazhi on the goal, and Kraft had a half step on the defender to get to the ball first for the match winner.
LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY
Revs II had 57.9 percent of the ball in the first half, along with 87.5 percent passing accuracy. They finished with 57.2 percent of the ball, with 83.8 percent passing. 73 percent accurate in Richmond’s half. Not bad.
11 shots, four on-target.
Revolution II were offside once all game, that coming in the first half.
WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW
Outside of Malango’s tally and the three goals last week, the Revolution II attack has had — much like the first team has had — trouble in really making their presence felt in the attacking third this season. We can look to the pandemic, but we can’t use that as an excuse: football’s football, and you have to challenge the goalkeeper. The Revs didn’t really do that Friday night.
Revs II have four goals. Revs have four goals. Was the first team just waiting for the second team to catch up? Now that they are, does this mean the Revs first team goes ballistic in scoring?
Much like the first team, Revs II have a short turnaround between tonight and their next game. They’ll be home to Greenville Triumph on Wednesday evening starting at 7 p.m.