Everything you need to know about the Revolution’s 3-2 win over Montreal Impact in New Jersey Wednesday night, in quickie form:
A first regular-season win at RBA for Revolution: For the first time since 2015, New England has a sixth win away from Gillette Stadium (five since the August re-start, one in the MLS IS BACK Tournament). For the first time ever, three wins against Montreal in one season. And for the first time in the regular season, New England has a win at Red Bull Arena. 3-2 in favor of the Revolution is your full time result on this Wednesday night, with the Revs controlling a good portion of the match, their press giving the “host” Impact fits on the banks of the Passaic River. And with NYCFC tying Orlando City, 1-1, tonight, the win lifts the Revolution to fifth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind the Lions with five to play.
Buksa gets fourth goal of the season: Seven minutes after the restart, a tremendous defensive move by Michael Mancienne and an outlet by Matt Polster gets this counterattack started, as Adam Buksa powered his way into the penalty area and, after Montreal goalkeeper James Pantemis made the initial save, the 24-year-old Polish striker stayed with it and slotted the rebound home to give him his fourth goal with New England, making it 3-1. It stayed that way into second-half stoppage time, as Ballou Tabla slid and banged Romell Quioto’s short cross into the roof of the net, marking only the fourth time this season the Revs have given up two goals in one match.
Manneh, Bunbury stake Revs out to lead: Against a mainly second-choice defense for this midweek match — Montreal coach Thierry Henry had said earlier in the week that his side was weary — New England smelled blood in the water right from the start, as its press came up huge. That press led to a turnover caused by Polster in the 13th minute, with Buksa finding Kekuta Manneh for the tap-in goal that made it 1-nil to The Boys In Blue. Seven minutes later, a volley by Alexander Büttner met the noggin of Teal Bunbury and in, but the AR had adjudged him offside. Not so said VAR, and as Bunbury claimed his team-leading sixth goal, the Revolution had a 2-nil lead. But just before the half hour mark, a hesitation by Antonio Delamea led to a Quioto cross and a tap-in goal by Amar Sejdic to pull L’Impact to within one. Manneh, however, left at halftime with an injury.
Some serious midweek rotation: Bruce Arena made a whopping eight changes to Wednesday’s starting XI, given the short turnaround and serious fixture congestion. Matt Turner, DeJuan Jones, and Bunbury were the lone holdovers, with wholesale changes everywhere else. Delamea and Mancienne were the center back pairing with Büttner returning at left back; Jones moved to right back to give Brandon Bye a breather. Diego Fagundez was in the No. 10 with Manneh making his first Revs start and Bunbury on either side, with Buksa up top. And the pairing of Polster and Kelyn Rowe were in the defensive midfield. Gustavo Bou, who was a match time decision, started the match on the bench and had a short run-out, but he was replaced by Andrew Farrell after Tabla’s goal.
Adam Buksa: A goal and an assist for the designated player in one of his most effective matches in a New England shirt. Electing to be unselfish on Manneh’s goal, and then taking a defender low on Henry’s depth chart to school in the second half was critical to helping Buksa regain confidence. Buksa is now at four goals and two assists for the 2020 season.
Alexander Büttner: The Dutch left back had himself a pretty good night, getting his third assist of the season, and we saw it coming, especially with the way he crossed in a few in the early goings.
Diego Fagundez: The Leominster native was all over the place at the No. 10 Wednesday night; he moved into the No. 8 when Rowe came off in favor of Bou. Four key passes, and only five missed passes. Had a chance for a goal, too, if he had only been quicker on the trigger.
Antonio Delamea: A moment’s hesitation in trying to close down on Quioto led to Montreal’s opener.
LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY
51.1 percent of the ball after having 61 percent for the first 45 minutes
78 percent passing accuracy
22 shots, 9 on-target
WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW
The way New England played against Montreal for most of that match, in all honesty, is the way I play FIFA… on the Rookie level. Seriously, the way the Revolution schooled L’Impact wasn’t something we here have seen in quite some time… and that was with only one of the club’s three DP’s on the pitch for most of the game. And we can’t really use the “Oh, Montreal’s tired!” excuse. It’s B.S. It’s October, everyone has had a ton of matches on the quick turnaround, everyone is tired. It’s about quality, Montreal just doesn’t have it right now, and it absolutely shows.
I hate to bring this up, but I think if we see Antonio Delamea in a Revs shirt again, it will be too soon. That’s his fifth appearance of 2020, and three of them have seen elements of poor decision making and poor play. At this point, I’d rather see Collin Verfurth or Jon Bell come up to the first team in three weeks and have one of them spell Henry Kessler at left center back. We can’t say it’s rust; the Revolution have intense training sessions. As sharp as Delamea has been in the past, gaffes in 2018 notwithstanding, I think his tenure in Foxborough is pretty much over.
We have to hope that Kekuta Manneh is OK and that his injury isn’t too serious. If it is serious, that’s two left wingers in Manneh and Cristian Penilla out for some time. That means Arena’s current options at the No. 7 are Bou, Fagundez, Rowe, and Tajon Buchanan (not in that order necessarily). We haven’t seen Rowe in the attacking roles this year… maybe give him a shot?
THEY SAID IT
“Personally, I’m always happy to to score goals. I try to help the team as much as I can. In my opinion, the last games I played, I played well. But, you know, when you’re a striker, you need to score goals, which is obvious. I missed a penalty against Toronto which which cost the team at least a point, there was a painful moment but I never gave up and I was trying to bounce back and bring some points for the team today.” — Adam Buksa on Revolution Postgame Live
A semi-quick turnover between now and Monday, when the Revolution host Philadelphia at Gillette Stadium beginning at 7:30 p.m. A reminder that is a switch from Sunday due to the Pats-Broncos getting moved a week due to positive COVID tests with the Patriots.