Everything you need to know about Revolution II’s 1-0 win over Orlando City B Saturday morning in quickie form:
Second straight ‘W’ for Los Revitos: It only takes one touch of the ball to put a team ahead, and Justin Rennicks — who had been relatively quiet in the first 45 minutes — used his ol’ noggin to get his second of the season and put New England ahead for good just after the second half re-start, while the Revolution second team’s defending and midfield combined to silence host Orlando City B, 1-0, Saturday morning. The win is New England’s third of the season and the second straight victory for the first-year side, and moves Revs II to ninth in the table thanks to the total wins tiebreaker.
Rice injured: Just after the hour mark, New England first-choice goalkeeper Joe Rice went down with an injury, favoring his right ankle. Backup Keegan Meyer came into the match in the 67th minute and didn’t have much to do given Orlando’s inability to create and put together the final touch in the final third; strong defending had something to do with that, too. Rice finished with three saves in just over an hour’s work, and he will be re-evaluated when the club returns to Foxborough early this coming week.
A fairly even first half: New England had upward of 52 percent of the ball in the first 45 minutes, but it did not have the better of the opportunities that the hosts had. The Revs had the upper hand in the first quarter hour-plus, moving the ball at will and pretty much dominating, but outside of a Conor Presley cross to Orlando Sinclair that barely missed the mark, scoring chances were few and far between. It was as the match approached the half hour mark that OCB flexed its authority in getting through the New England defense and threatened. The Revs had two shots on-target, but those tries did not have enough pace to really get by Medway native Austin Aviza (seven saves).
No changes for Revs II in the XI: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? With the second team coming off a rather impressive 2-0 win over Union Omaha a week prior, Clint Peay sent the exact same XI out there to play Orlando City B.
Tiago Mendonça: The former Providence College Friar really got Rennicks’ goal, his second of the season, started, as he took Colby Quinones’ pass, motored right, and crossed to Orlando Sinclair.
Orlando Sinclair: Have to tip the cap to Sinclair, who got his second assist in as many matches by feeding Rennicks for the second time. He was also aggressive and nearly bagged his second of the season off a cross by Presley.
The defending: There was a nervy spell there, given what Orlando City did to make Rice sweat a little bit in the first half, but New England’s back line and midfield really slowed the Little Lions down and thwarted them at every turn in the final half an hour to help OCB get its third straight defeat.
None: Enough said.
LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY
New England finished the match with 55.6 percent of the ball, and had 86 percent passing accuracy
18 shots, 8 on-target
10 of New England’s shots came from outside the 18-yard box
New England was successful in 89 percent of its tackles
WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW
We obviously don’t want to speculate on the severity of Rice’s injury, and I’m sure we’ll learn more as we draw closer to next weekend, but it’s certainly concerning when he can’t put weight on his ankle and has to be stretchered off. And we’ve been critical of Meyer in the past, given the four-goal extravaganza against Chattanooga a month or so ago, but this could be a massive step in his development if he can man the onion bag with confidence. The next opponent isn’t Orlando City by any means, and the defending in front of him has been growing in confidence as the weeks go by. If both can get on the same page in training this week, there should be success next weekend.
Revs II will finish up the four-match road trip next Saturday night, Oct. 3 as they travel to the Commonwealth of Virginia to take on Richmond Kickers. Kick-off is slated for 6:30 p.m.