MLS New England Revolution

Sweeney: A hodge podge of soccer thoughts

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No preamble tonight, so here are a few thoughts from New England’s 1-nil win over DC United Saturday night:

A much, much better start

On Thursday, Bruce Arena mentioned to the Boston soccer press corps that, “Am I confident we’ll (get off to a better start)? It’d be hard for us to do what we did in Chicago again. Having said that, I’m never 100 percent sure, but I would think we’re going to start the game in better form than we did in Chicago.”

Suffice it to say at 11 p.m. on Saturday night, Arena was quite prophetic in that. New England certainly started better Saturday night, were solid in defending early, and we saw some really, really solid play out of the newcomers in Christian Mafla, Arnór Traustason, and Wilfrid Kaptoum. The problems the Revolution had last weekend evaporated, for the most part. Others crept in.

The offense needs to get on track

So far through 180 minutes of soccer, the Revolution have amassed seven shots on-frame. Two of those seven came in Saturday’s 1-0 win; none of them came in the second half of the 2-2 draw against Chicago.

It feels and looked like the Revolution offense just isn’t clicking right now, and with three offensive-minded designated players on the roster, this really shouldn’t be happening. The way Gustavo Bou had difficulty in making shooting decisions and the way that Carles Gil is curling the ball, it feels that when the dam finally breaks — and yes, Bou scored last weekend — that the goals are going to come in bunches and in rushing torrents.

It will come, and this is not me pushing the panic button whatsoever, but this team could have and should have buried DC United on Saturday.

We really loved Matt Polster’s play

We mentioned in the Match Report the way Matt Polster handled things in the midfield Saturday night. It certainly was better than his atrocious giveaways in the middle last weekend; in fact, there was really only one giveaway that we remember.

But not only that, Polster covered an insane amount of ground, sliding all the way into the back line to supplement the defending as every good No. 8 should. This mainly happened, I noticed, when Brandon Bye moved up to confront DC’s wing.

Here’s his heat map:

I know there may be some who aren’t impressed by that; there’s not enough solid green there, but with it really all over the midfield, that really is good enough for us this weekend. His play was fairly good, and we’ll take another look on Monday to see if there’s anything we missed.

Have to be happy for Diego Fagundez

I know, he’s not a member of the Revolution any longer, but when a member of the family scores a historic goal, you have to tip your cap his way.

First Homegrown in Revolution history, youngest to 50 goals, and now, first goal-scorer in Austin FC history. May there be plenty, plenty more where that comes from.