All you need to know about Revs II’s scoreless draw with Union Omaha Saturday evening in quickie form, complete with Bay State Soccer Sentinel analysis and insight:
Revs II, Union Omaha share the spoils in their League One debuts: It was a long wait for both New England and Nebraska’s newest — in Nebraska’s case, first — pro sides to get going with their maiden seasons, and in their first games, they shared the points. A scoreless draw at Gillette Stadium was the end result at the full time whistle, with the tourists from Tornado Alley having much better chances to score than the hosts… well, from what we saw. More on that in a bit.
Timing, stream off in first half: Revs II had a solid amount of possession in the first 45 minutes (54.4 percent) and ha some good attacks, but The Young Lads in Blue were just a smidge off on their runs as New England found itself saddled with three offside calls. Lowell’s Mayele Malango was offside twice, including once on a volley from their half; Malango looked to be lined up in Downtown Wrentham on that particular move. Collin Verfurth’s slide on a Connor Presley free kick was just off-line, and Nicolas Firmino’s chop was just wide. Omaha, in the 35 minutes or so we saw as the ESPN+ stream experienced technical difficulties for the final 13 minutes of the half, played tight in the midfield. Joe Rice came up with a save in goal on Omaha’s Evan Conway, keeping it scoreless headed to halftime.
The first XI: It’s going to be a trivia question someday. Rice got the start in goal for Revs II, with a 4-3-3 formation in front of him. Ryan Spaulding, Verfurth, Simon Lekressner, and Joe Bell were in the back line, with Homegrown midfielder Nicolas Firmino of Somerville getting the start on the wing. Maciel and Providence College product Tiago Mendonça were with him in the midfield, while Orlando Sinclair, Malango, and Presley were up top. For locals, Southborough’s Trevor Burns made the bench, along with fellow Academy players Michael Tsicoulias of Newton, Lexington’s Kaoru Fujiwara, and Brockton’s Ronilson Mendes for Massachusetts-based players. Burns and Fujiwara made their League One debuts in the second half.
Collin Verfurth: The defender and captain for the day had a pretty solid day in the back, clearing out the trash. Good movement and leadership.
Joe Rice: The Revs II goalkeeper made five saves, including one in second-half stoppage time to keep this one level.
Maciel: We weren’t too impressed today with what we saw out of the central midfielder, given that he had a couple of poor touches that led to counters by Omaha.
Revs II attacking trio: When your only shot on target comes from a defender that came on at the half — Ryo Shimazaki FTW, given the pace and power he put on that one, making Omaha keeper Rashid Nuhu rise and pop it over the bar — there needs to emphasis placed on the attacking unit of Mayele Malango, Connor Presley, and Orlando Sinclair, who registered 0 shots on target Saturday.
ESPN+ Stream: We mentioned the 13 minutes that no one could see in the first half, but no, that’s not all. There was a 15-minute period in the second half where ESPN showed the technical difficulties screen, but another few flips and burps in the last 10 minutes of the normal 90. Come on, ESPN. That’s nearly half an hour that no one got to see.
LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY
Revs II only won 37 percent of the duels in the first half.
Omaha had six shots in the first half, one on target, to the Revs’ four shots, none on target. The visitors ended up with 11 shots, five on target, while New England also had 11 shots/1 on-target.
The Revs had 56.6 percent of the ball for the game.
WHAT SWEENS THINKS RIGHT NOW
Just going to say this once: There is no excuse for football lines on the field in July.
Revs II will be idle next weekend, but match day two will be here before we know it. That will be Friday, August 7 at home against Orlando City B. Hopefully the stream will be better. Thanks for reading.