Double-Down On Wins
The Revolution sit in 5th place in the Eastern Conference after a collective team win. With eight games until Decision Day on November 8th, 2020, this places the Revs in a very tumultuous section of the playoffs race. The teams ahead of New England in the standings are two games ahead. The sixth and seventh place teams are both within a game or a tie. The eighth-place team is the Revs' next opponent, Nashville FC. With this win against DC, the team did what was necessary. The Revolution keep themselves in playoff contention for a few games now.
First off, two wins in a row are confidence-boosting in general. Secondly, three games unbeaten is just as exciting now, heading into playoffs mode. As I've mentioned before, the team has evolved with the addition of Lee Nguyen. Besides Nguyen, the team has benefitted from a few players finding their focus and strengths.
Strength In Numbers, Strength In Fresh Legs
The win against DCU marks the third game in a row where the Revolution had possession more than 50% in the game. The passing game was on point, with 11 players with 20-plus passes exhibiting a 70% or better passing accuracy. That statistic also includes Matt Turner. He also saved all three shots on goal that DC had against him.
The Revs pressed high against DC's backline. These pressuring actions produced many chances in the middle and final third to attack Bill Hamid. These attacks made the DC defense exhausted by about the 65th to 70th minutes. During the game, Joseph Mora ended up whiffing on five of eight total tackles.
New England had 16 shots, while only three of those shots were on goal. The shots that produced goals came at the end of the game, at the 86th and 90th minutes. The 67th-minute substitution of Cristian Penilla for Tajon Buchanan was the spark that the team needed. Tajon has been playing well, but Bruce needed fresh legs to break down the defense further. Penilla came on and provided both assists. More importantly, he took on the defense through the right side, with carries consisting of over 100 yards of possession in the middle and final third.
Defense Tested Lightly, Came Up Big When Needed
DC tested Matt Doyle-approved Matt Turner very little throughout the game. There were eight shots in total all game for United. The rest of the defense made great stops to disallow attackers to get chances off on Turner. One notable moment in the 57th minute, Ola Kamara beat his man, defender Andrew Farrell. Kamara would have had free range in on Matt Turner. Farrell recognized his fault and made an expert slide tackle in to fix his mistake and clear the ball.
Revs' Strikes of Brilliance
Bruce Arena got this one right. Arena made substitutions that impacted this game at the right times. Penilla came into the match and did what was necessary to continue tiring out the DC defense. Then, Bruce made the Adam Buksa sub, which helped the already strong attack, absolutely tear apart the exhausted defenders.
The team has confidence heading into a game with an unknown opponent in Nashville SC. Most of the offense now has goal confidence and self-esteem that they can get the job done. Also, the players who have previously not been able to provide closing plays, have been able to show up and make a difference. Lee Nguyen continues to make great passes to open up the field.
Important to Note:
Matt Polster suffered a bad concussion against DC. We hope @BrittanyHeld is taking good care of him and that he will recover slowly and surely. We will miss his tenacity out on the field until he's back. Hopefully, the boys can get a win for him against Nashville.