New England Revolution

BSSS Preseason Match Report: Revolution 2, Minnesota United 2 — A fair result in Portland

All you need to know about the Revolution’s 2-2 draw with Minnesota United FC in preseason action Sunday evening in quickie form, complete with Bay State Soccer Sentinel analysis and insight:

THE SKINNY

Bou’s late goal gives Revs a well-earned draw: The Revolution offense wasn’t necessarily running on all cylinders in the first half, with little creativity outside of Adam Buksa’s opener, which we’ll talk about in a minute. But in the second 45, New England turned up the intensity and threatened Tyler Miller’s net almost from the word go. The tandem of Cristian Penilla and Gustavo Bou worked incredibly well together, linking up several times to put vital shots on frame. It wasn’t until the 71st minute, however, that Bou — even though he looked offside — got the ball and slotted home from near the top of the box to pull the match to level terms. Both sides had chances for winners late, but all in all, a fair result for New England and Minnesota.

Amarilla scores a brace, Buksa opens Revs account: Another big-scoring first half this preseason, as the two sides traded goals in a 12-minute span. First, Minnesota United made the onion bag go burp with Luis Amarilla burying a cross from the flank, getting behind a flailing Michael Mancienne after Andrew Farrell looked like he got a head on the ball and put it in his path. Five minutes later, some good football by the Revolution as Teal Bunbury laid off a Penilla cross to Buksa, and the Pole swung his left around and curled it beyond Miller and off the far post for the equalizer. But Farrell would then take Robin Lod down in the penalty area, and Amarilla, the Loons’ new No. 9, buried the resulting pen into the roof of the net to give the Loons a 2-1 lead headed toward halftime.

No Gil, Büttner again: For the third straight preseason match, New England talisman Carles Gil and Alexander Büttner were not available for selection, which has the Colony currently sitting on eggshells waiting for news about their inclusion; during the broadcast, it was noted that Gil has a bit of a knock that needs recovery. There was a bit of good news, as Mancienne returned to the starting lineup after only going 17 minutes in a substitute’s role against Colorado in LA on Wednesday afternoon.

Going 90: Bou, Farrell, Buksa, Brandon Bye, and Matt Turner went the full 90 Sunday night; Bunbury, Mancienne, and Scott Caldwell went an hour, replaced by Diego Fagundez, Henry Kessler, and Kelyn Rowe in that order; DeJuan Jones came off for Seth Sinovic in the 78th, and Damian Rivera replaced Wilfried Zahibo in the 87th.

A FEW STRAY THOUGHTS

If you’re going to give Michael Mancienne flak for the Loons’ opener, give some to Andrew Farrell, too. Sure, Mancienne flailed away on that, and it’s fair to criticize, but Farrell gave a slight deflection to the ball and put it right into Amarilla’s path. Equal time for equal touches.

A solid shift by DeJuan Jones. Say what you will about SuperDraft picks not panning out, but here at the start of his second professional season, Jones is putting in quite a show out at left back, which he played quite a bit at last year after Edgar Castillo fell out of favor. He beat out Ethan Findlay to a couple of passes to keep him honest, and did some nice things in trying to get the ball up the pitch.

Diego Fagundez has a left: He hasn’t shown it much in the last couple of years, but he showed it in the minutes before Bou’s equalizer. And it was a hard left, too. Depending on where Bruce Arena plays DF14, we’d like to see more of that, obviously.

I’m not too worried about Carles Gil and Alexander Büttner’s absences just yet. It’s preseason. Could the offense have used Gil’s creativity in the first 45? Sure. But with him picking up a knock, and with him so important to what the Revolution want to do, having him sit for meaningless preseason tilts isn’t necessarily a bad thing here. Seriously, throw some bubble wrap around him and send him to Montreal — and maybe not even then, depending on the injury.

WHAT’S ON TAP

The Revs take on Vancouver in the fourth preseason fixture this Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET (yes, that’s pretty late, but not bad for a West Coast fixture). See you then? See you then. We may not have live coverage, but we’ll get a recap to you.

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