Everything you need to know about Revolution II’s 2-0 win over 10-man Union Omaha Saturday night in quickie form:
The losing skid is over: After several weeks of head-scratching and wondering where both the offense and the defending were — Revs II were out-scored, 11-1, during the four-match losing skid — both came up with aplomb in the Heartland on Saturday night. An early goal by Justin Rennicks and a late goal by Nicolas Firmino — the Homegrowns coming through — held up as the defending unit turned stout when it had to, holding off 10-man and third-place Union Omaha with a 2-nil victory. The win lifts New England to 2-6-2 in this abbreviated season, and moves up a spot to 10th.
Rennicks opens his League One account: He already has a first team goal to his credit in his career — he scored against Orlando City in the US Open Cup last year — and now Rennicks has his first goal at the USL League One level. His opener came 11 minutes into Saturday’s game, as Joe Rice corralled a volley and rolled his distribution to Orlando Sinclair. He released Rennicks, who took one touch and then buried the second to put Revs II ahead, a goal to nil. It was also his second shot on-target in this league after he had one on Wednesday night.
Firmino robbed, but gets it back: Eight minutes after the re-start, a Revs II free kick saw Firmino stand over the ball and subsequently pop it off the crossbar and in for what should have been his second goal of the season; remember that he scored the opener in club history against North Texas. But an alleged obstruction call against Rennicks when he wasn’t even near the goal waved it off, leaving the Somerville native still looking for goal No. 2. But with time winding down and Omaha down a man after Ethan Vanacore-Decker was sent off after hip-checking Firmino into oblivion, Firmino got the goal back in the eighth minute of second-half stoppage time as part of a 3-on-1 breakaway to wrap it up.
Only two changes: Collin Verfurth returned to the second team’s XI Saturday night, moving back into his traditional right center back slot, with Ryan Spaulding moving into the left back slot for Diego Souza. But Tiago Mendonça, fresh off his strong performance at midweek, moved into the midfield and replaced Damian Rivera. Rennicks made his second straight start up top.
Justin Rennicks: That’s one. And again, it’s against third-division competition… but that has to do a number for his confidence moving forward.
Maciel: We’ve really liked what we’ve seen out of the Brazilian import, who has solid skills to get back and help the defending.
Revs defending: Impressive tonight, the way they slowed Los Buhos down and kept Rice (4 saves) pretty much clear when they had to. All four — Colby Quinones, Verfurth, Jon Bell, and Spaulding — all had stellar games, and when you throw what Maciel and Mendonça did to help… it’s a recipe for success.
No one: Honestly, it wouldn’t be fair. I thought everyone played incredibly well Saturday.
LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY
45.2 percent possession for Revs II
New England was offside 7 times in the nightcap; the program was offside 12 times as a whole Saturday.
65.4 percent passing accuracy
57.9 percent in the attacking half
9 shots, 6 on-target
WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW
That was rather impressive, and doing so on the road — and on a baseball field, to boot. I’d love to see what they can do for an encore next weekend.
I’ll pump the breaks a bit. Revs II have four Homegrowns on the roster, three of whom are healthy; three of them played Saturday. There was one other future Homegrown in the starting XI. One of the Homegrowns in question played at the U20 World Cup, and another played 60 minutes against one of the best teams in England in May 2019. They honestly should be doing this week-in and week-out.
It’ll be an incredibly early start for a bottom-of-the-table six-pointer next Saturday as New England II takes on 11th-place Orlando City B in Orlando… at 11 a.m.