MLS New England Revolution

Preseason Match Report: Revolution 4, LA Galaxy 1 — New England vanquishes offensive demons from the weekend in win

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Everything you need to know about the Revolution’s 4-1 preseason win over Los Angeles Galaxy late Wednesday night, in quickie form:

THE SKINNY

New England gains vital preseason W: The Revolution worked on putting chances away earlier this week, and that was critical in helping secure The Boys In Blue’s first dub of the preseason late Wednesday night, 4-1, over the Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. Two goals on either side of halftime was enough for the Revolution in preseason match No. 2. Bruce Arena’s side saw 45 minutes apiece for the starters and substitutes, which we detail below.

Revs jump ahead early: Even though the first five minutes did not necessarily look sharp for the Revolution, New England jumped on top, 1-nil, in the sixth minute as Teal Bunbury grabbed an errant pass and, with Jonathan Klinsmann off his line, centered to Adam Buksa for the light tap-in goal coming against the run of play. It stayed that way until the 23rd minute, when Bunbury headed past Klinsmann on a beautiful feed from Connor Presley out on the flank after LA cleared a corner opportunity, giving the Revs a 2-nil lead. Five minutes later, the Galaxy cut the deficit in half as Felix Barajas, trailing the LA counterattack, buried the rebound. Buksa also had a goal taken away for offside. New England found itself itself behind the ball for a good portion of the first 45 minutes, but thanks to Brad Knighton, the Revs kept the damage to a minimum.

Second half better all-around: The Revolution were certainly more crisp on the ball in the second half, given the regulars from 2020 on the pitch, and even though the offense didn’t register a goal until the 64th minute, when Tommy McNamara volleyed home from 19 yards after some excellent ball movement up the left-hand side, putting New England ahead, 3-1. Three minutes later, Gustavo Bou made it 4-1 on a brilliant through ball by Carles Gil.

Eight changes from Saturday: Arena elected to go with wholesale changes from Saturday’s 1-nil defeat for Wednesday night’s preseason tilt. Knighton slid into the No. 1 role, with the back line as follows: AJ De La Garza, Colby Quinones, Collin Verfurth, and Presley. Three of those players were with Revs II last year. Scott Caldwell was in the defensive midfield, while Ema Boateng, Justin Rennicks, Damian Rivera, and Bunbury were in the attack. Buksa was the lone striker up top; Buksa, Bunbury, and De La Garza were the holdovers. In the second half, Matt Turner took over, with Andrew Farrell, Maciel, Gil, Brandon Bye, DeJuan Jones, Bou, Jon Bell, McNamara, Matt Polster, and rookie Edward Kizza on. Luis Caicedo and Christian Mafla were both available for the first time, while Wilfrid Kaptoum was not; neither entered the match.

WHO’S HOT

Brad Knighton and Matt Turner: A solid first appearance for the veteran goalkeeper, Knighton. A handful of saves, and sure, one snuck by him. But when he really needed to be tops, he was. And the same thing for Turner in the second half with the result in hand.

Teal Bunbury: A goal and an assist for the veteran winger, who took the loose ball and smartly fed Adam Buksa, and then re-directed the next player’s cross and drove it beyond Jonathan Klinsmann.

Connor Presley: Connor might have been the only Revs II player on the pitch in the first 45 to do some rather positive things, and he had the helper on that beautiful Bunbury goal to give New England a 2-nil lead.

Carles Gil: An outstanding 45 minutes as he did his level best to feed Bou and others with some brilliant passing.

WHO’S NOT

Collin Verfurth: Got beat a handful of times.

WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW

Four goals, three of which by offensive-minded players, in one match? That’s great. That’s fantastic. Now do it again, and then we can make a fair gauge of these 2021 Revolution.

And speaking of fair gauge… I want to see how the Revs II players respond. I know there’s some head-scratching about their play during the first half, but let’s see how they grow over the next few days. Those are third-division players playing against second-division players from Galaxy II in the USL Championship. They had their struggles, for sure. But they can get better thanks to that experience Wednesday. You just need to show some patience.

ON TAP

Match No. 3 of the preseason will be a Sunday afternoon affair, as the Revs will travel across the city to the Banc of California Stadium to play Los Angeles Football Club starting at 2 p.m. A stream may be available. Keep an eye on Twitter for news.