The Revolution rallied to earn a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union within the 2023 common season finale on Saturday night, and now put together to face the identical opponent within the first spherical of MLS Cup playoffs.
A pair of targets from Gustavo Bou was sufficient to overturn a Sixteenth-minute opener from Union ahead Julián Carranza.
Regardless of the win, the Revolution had been unable to overhaul Philadelphia within the standings on MLS Determination Day, thus that means that the Union (because the fourth seed within the Jap Convention) will maintain home-field benefit over New England (fifth seed) within the best-of-three sequence.
Listed here are a couple of takeaways:
A return to a well-known system (and some acquainted faces) brings again successful methods.
After an interesting however unsuccessful tour of varied methods and formations over the previous few weeks, interim head coach Clint Peay returned to an previous good friend on Saturday: 4-2-3-1.
Granted, the choice in opposition to Philadelphia was simpler than per week in the past in opposition to Nashville, as Andrew Farrell (harm), Dejuan Jones (worldwide obligation), and Noel Buck (additionally worldwide obligation) had been all again within the squad.
Jones moved once more to proper again, with Ryan Spaulding coming again into the lineup as a left again. Farrell paired with Dave Romney within the middle.
Matt Polster was again in his favored defensive midfield function, whereas Tommy McNamara made his first Revolution begin since MLS Determination Day 2022. In assault, Noel Buck operated as a shuttling middle midfielder, whereas Carles Gil flitted out and in of area as a No. 10 playmaker. Tomas Chancalay remained largely in a winger place, however added some customary runs inside and recorded 5 photographs as he stored lively within the assault.
At ahead, Bou — although he doesn’t choose to function as a lone striker — confirmed his effectiveness nonetheless.
New England loved lengthy spells of possession, with Gil, Chancalay, and Bou all proving adept at transferring to search out area. Every had passing averages at or above 90-percent for the sport, an unusually excessive share for a collective group of attacking gamers.
With Philadelphia working with a three-player again line (that seemed extra like a 5-2-3 in protection), New England was capable of dominate the midfield. This was very true with Bou dropping deeper to attach with Gil and Buck.
Gustavo Bou could be getting again into kind on the excellent time.
Although he missed time on account of accidents within the second half of the season, the return of Bou — and the truth that he tallied two targets on the eve of the playoffs — appears to bode properly for New England’s postseason probabilities.
Befitting his nickname, “La Pantera,” the 33-year-old Argentine proved laborious to trace for the Union protection. Removed from a standard middle ahead, Bou typically discovered area in wider areas, and was efficient along with his hold-up play when he obtained passes.
Contrasting his efficiency with different Revolution striker choices (Giacomo Vrioni and Bobby Wooden), Bou offered a multifaceted attacking strategy. It was unsurprising that he was way more concerned — tallying 52 touches and making three key passes on prime of his two targets — within the build-up play, and that fellow possession-oriented gamers like Gil and Chancalay seemed extra comfy with him because the ahead in a single-striker formation.
Even going through three opposing middle backs, Bou was capable of catch them out of place on a number of events, together with on his decisive objective (made attainable by a top quality Gil help). His run from deep was not tracked till it was too late, although Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made an uncharacteristically poor bid at a save.
For the Revolution to have any likelihood in opposition to Philadelphia (or anybody else) within the playoffs, Bou (and Gil) must be at their finest. Every seemed robust on Saturday, probably signaling excellent news going ahead.
Waiting for the playoffs.
Regardless of incomes a decidedly deserved win over Philadelphia, the Revolution could have a troublesome take a look at in a playoff sequence in opposition to the Union. Whereas the shock upset win in opposition to Philadelphia within the playoffs in 2020 got here in a single-elimination matchup (the Union had been then the Supporters’ Defend winners), this time New England should defeat their rivals twice to advance.
MLS is predicted to launch the total playoff schedule on Oct. 22. The Union will host the primary and (if mandatory) third video games, with the center matchup being performed at Gillette Stadium.
As Peay’s crew confirmed on Saturday, they’re totally able to preserving the ball and outplaying Philadelphia (a crew that, conversely, doesn’t default to a possession-oriented model).
Nonetheless, the win on Saturday was not with out its nervous moments, together with an obvious 86th-minute Union equalizer off of a free kick that was dominated out for offsides.
As well as, the Union are additionally constructed to take advantage of the type of turnovers which have put the Revolution into so many troublesome moments in defensive transition over the previous few weeks.
In different phrases, the postseason matchup guarantees to be an pleasurable conflict of kinds.
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