MLS New England Revolution Revs II

Sweeney: A handful of takeaways from the weekend in New England soccer

So much to get to in this season-opening weekend, so let’s hit it and split it, shall we?

That opening quarter-hour…. Yeeeeesh!

I know, really eloquent on the part of the Sweeney person, but in all seriousness: the opening 15 minutes of Saturday night’s Revs-Fire 2-2 draw was not pleasing to the eye if you’re a Revolution fan. The way Chicago’s press flummoxed New England and caused quite a few turnovers — in the Match Report, I noted that we need one of those highway billboards with the digital numbers to tally up the giveaways and takeaways — en route to a pair of goals. It was an incredibly poor start to the 2021 campaign.

Of course, while I’m sure there was a touch of trepidation running through Revs Colony after 11 minutes — there certainly was in my house; I still haven’t gotten the cats to come out of hiding — there was still 80 or so minutes remaining in the match, plus 33 matches to play. Certainly the Revolution would get things going.

And did they ever: Adam Buksa’s header off the corner got The Boys In Blue on the scoreboard, and then Tajon Buchanan fed Gustavo Bou with a neat cross, and the Revs fly back to Boston owning a point.

Of course, there’s one other big issue which I mentioned, and that was the midfield play. Incredibly sloppy. Slaw. Pee. It was bad. Hopefully that gets tightened up with time.

All in all, given the way this match started out, a 2-2 draw is an incredibly positive result.

Revs II just looked… flat

I don’t know if it was the insertion of two first teamers who’ll get regular minutes or the fact that Earl Edwards, Jr’s first-half stoppage time error was just ghastly, but the second team might as well have been in a completely different stadium than visiting Richmond.

While the defending did OK save the opening goal, the offense just wasn’t here. And by wasn’t there, I mean there were no shots on-target. At all.

That’s not to say Los Revitos didn’t try; their first handful were blocked, and after that, a few were just offline. And sure, that happens. But in order to win or even draw — and remember that it was 2-0 for the entirety of the second half — an offense needs to challenge a goalkeeper.

Suffice it to say, Akira Fitzgerald wasn’t challenged Saturday afternoon.

WBZ killed it in the first broadcast

Really quickly: when I turned on WBZ just before 8 p.m., I expected news to come on; after all, that’s what my YouTube TV guide said would be on.

But when they rolled with a half an hour pregame, I stood up straighter in my recliner. A pregame show? For the Revs? What is this devilry?

Dan Roche and Levan Reid hit quite a few high spots — Levan certainly hit the high notes in his Ole! chant — in that half-hour program, talking about fans being at Gillette for Revs 2 — a Boston station recognizing and acknowledging the second team?! — and some of the changes for fans returning to the stadium, as well as interviewing players and Bruce Arena, with Arena coming to you from Soldier Field!

Oh, and the aerial shot of Soldier Field… chef’s kiss. Really well done.

I don’t know if they’ll do this the rest of the season when games are on WBSK (myTV38), but this was a breath of fresh air.

Friday felt like a news dump

Between the news of Inter Miami loaning a player to Fort Lauderdale to avoid going over the three DP rule — really, Miami? — to US Soccer deciding not to play the US Open Cup during the traditional summer months, and to the piece de resistance: now-former Revs Academy boss Bryan Scales tweeting that he had been let go by the club.

I don’t know about the timing of parting ways with Scales, but I have written in the past that it might have been time for a change of leadership with the Academy. When you operate for a decade or so, sign only seven players to first team deals, and only two of them make some sort of an impact with the first team to date, then yes, making the move was the right thing to do.

I wish Bryan luck wherever he ends up.

The question now is who takes over? Is that person there in the building now? Does Bruce Arena bring someone else in? Answers to these questions coming soon.

And while I don’t really have an opinion on Inter Miami, US Soccer says it may do the Open Cup tournament in the fall. They have this year’s CONCACAF Champions League spot to Atlanta United when they didn’t have the tourney last year. My hope is that they give the spot for next year, should they not have the tourney in the fall, to the MLS Cup runner-up, or the regular season champion of the opposite conference to the Supporter’s Shield winner.