1.) New England Revolution aren’t playing as badly as they did in their March/April CCL meltdown, but they aren’t showing a consistent streak of results either. How would you describe the form of the team at the moment?
I think frustrating is the word that comes to mind, but I also don’t think this Revs season was unexpected in any way, at least as far as the inconsistency goes. Yes, the CCL’s collapse against the Pumas stung and the Revs let other results slip away, including that 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union in late May where the Revs put up a 3.0 xG on 4 of 22 shots and only scored via a penalty and gave up an equalizer moments later.
The 10-game unbeaten streak was nice, though it featured more draws than wins. The Revs were always going to have some sort of mid-season transition with their outgoing players and I’ve always maintained that the Revs were playing a split season in 2022. The first half was all about the CCL run and the second half- time was acclimating new players for a playoff run. New England were never going to maintain their Shield winning form and win every game by one goal, but even though I think they’re a playoff team, it’s a little disappointing for the Revs to be in the running right now. away looking halfway though New England are still within reach of 4th place and a home game in November.
2.) Without Adam Buksa and Matt Turner, who are the next men? How does the team cope without two stars?
Well, I can tell everyone that we are all very excited for Djordje Petrovic in goal. In just a few short weeks, the Serbian international signed from Cukaricki already has a highlight reel full of ridiculous double saves and some outstanding performances against NYCFC in the Open Cup and in the league. When it comes to shot saves, Petrovic is already pretty darn good and will only get better. Yes, in terms of distribution, he made a few mistakes being too aggressive with the ball which led to costly turnovers, but you can see the talent and potential he already has.
Albania international Giacomo Vrioni is still sorting out his visa papers but when he joins the Revs as DP it will be to take over as No.9 in the role of Adam Buksa. Vrioni already has an established goalscoring resume and he’s not just an aerial threat either. The other newcomer is Colombian Dylan Borrero as a signatory of the U22 Initiative who is also settling into the starting line-up quite well. Not quite like Tajon Buchanan’s replacement, but close enough, I think Borrero is a little more natural in midfield, but the ability to beat someone into space is something the Revs lacked in the game. beginning of the year. Really pleased to see how he and Sebastian Lletget combine tactically in the attacking midfield either side of Carles Gil in a role that isn’t quite a shuttle center midfielder nor an ever-wide winger but somewhere in between both.
3.) What do the Revs look like in the second half of the season? Are they a playoff contender?
Playoff contender, yes. The MLS Cup contender, however, depends on how much Vrioni are up front and if the Revs make any other additions. New England did well to secure the signings of Petrovic and Borrero before the end of the offseason window and were able to quickly secure Vrioni in early July to replace Buksa, but if the Revs are to win that elusive MLS Cup they will need to spend the next few months building up their chemistry and form for a big playoff run. We saw NYCFC underperform in the regular season last year, but their talent carried them to the Cup and there’s no reason to think the Revs couldn’t do something similar.
The league’s reigning MVP in Carles Gil, great golazo machine Gustavo Bou, a cast of talented newcomers, one of the league’s best full-back duos in DeJuan Jones and Brandon Bye, and veterans like Polster, Farrell, McNamara and Boateng absolutely have the talent to pull through. Winning the Shield in record fashion last year was no accident, the core of this Revs squad are talented and the pieces they replaced have already shown a lot of potential. It’s up to Bruce Arena and the rest of the coaching/front office staff to make sure this team realizes its full potential, because this championship window is about as open as it will be, but the new model Revs as a sales team makes it difficult to maintain regular season form if a few major plays are sold every two summers. New England are making progress in catching up with the rest of the league when it comes to DP spending and their new training ground, but the playoffs will always be such a dice game, so at this point I’m going to take a regular season and a barnstorming cup run for 2022.
4.) Are there any noticeable injuries? What are your score/lineup predictions?
No injuries and only Andrew Farrell suspended for red card, Jon Bell starts. Matt Polster came on in the second half at Yankee Stadium and could be in line for his first start since returning from injury.
4-2-3-1: Petrovic; Jones, Bell, Kessler, Goodbye; Kaptoum, Polster; Borrero, Gil, Lletget; Bou
Possibly the best lineup available to the Revs currently, although that other CDM spot next to Polster has been in flux this year. Revs need a rebound game and play Union well but at best it’s a 1-1 draw but with the form Philly is at Petrovic standing on the lead might not be enough .