Offense On A Roll
The Revolution II had no problem adding to their win streak against Ft. Lauderdale CF. Their goalkeeper Andrew Zuluaga and his defense allowed Revs II to put four goals past him. New England connected well during the game, getting four different scorers on the stat sheet. Five total players involved in all goals. All the meanwhile, the team actually didn't control the possession in the game. Revolution II ended up with under 40% of the control on the ball. They matched Ft. Lauderdale in passing accuracy in the final third and just made sure to finish their chances.
Goals, Goals, Goals
Nicolas Firmino scored a great goal off a free kick to start off the rout in the 42nd minute. Firmino gained redemption for a previous play in Revs II's game against Union Omaha. The referee called off a beautiful free-kick from Nicolas in that away game due to encroachment.
In the 60th minute, Colby Quinones joined up with Justin Rennicks to score the next one in the game after Ft. Lauderdale equalized. Quinones assisted his first goal in USL League One play. He placed a well-placed cross to Rennicks, inside the 18, while he was making a run towards goal. This gives Justin three goals in five games. He also helped to create an own goal for Revs II in the last game against the Richmond Kickers.
After scoring earlier, Nicolas Firmino assisted Ryan Spaulding wide open on the left side of the field. In the 75th minute, Spaulding took the space Ft. Lauderdale gave him and struck a knuckling shot to the left of Zuluaga. Andre was left with no legs to stand on, while Ryan struck this ball with extreme accuracy. With this, he added his first goal in his professional career.
To cap off the end of the game, Providence College's Tiago Mendonca beat the keeper with a cheeky chip past the last defenders inside the six-yard box. Not without help in the matter, Tiago received a ball in that ricocheted from a great maneuver by Mayele Malango. It was Mendonca's first career goal as a professional. The four goals improve the Revolution II tally for the year to 17 goals. In the past, five games Revs II have scored 11 goals while only conceding two.
Whole Team Defense Wins Games
Clint Peay said a few games back that he needed the team to defend as a whole. It seems as though the Revolution II starters and subs alike have both bought into Peay's want for the team. In the past five games, the team has only conceded twice. Once in this game against Fort Lauderdale CF and once in a loss against FC Tucson.
Multiple times during the Ft. Lauderdale game, midfielders Nicolas Firmino and Damien Rivera found themselves tracking back to make very important defensive plays. The back-line themselves have held their own, making important tackles as the game progressed. They were only bested by Felipe Valencia, who has scored for Ft. Lauderdale CF three times this season.
The team on the whole didn't show amazing defensive stats, besides 29 total clearances all game. The tackles made were successful only around 60% of the time. This is worrisome but can be fought by a team effort of making sure to attack and finish when they have the chance. The defense will help to keep the win streak to continue.
Still On The Championship Final Hype Train
The USL League One championship final is on the weekend of October 31st. There are three games left in the regular season. Revolution II face off against North Texas SC in their next game. They will look to keep North Texas to less offensive chances than their last meeting. Revs II scored three in that game, without Justin Rennicks on the team. With Rennicks, I see them scoring more and more.
Richmond Kickers are the team that they are chasing currently. The Kickers have only been squeaking out one-goal triumphs in their past few wins. If Richmond loses two games, they can be caught by Revs II. Since they haven't been blowing out teams in their games, the Revolution have caught up to them in goal differential. Richmond is currently at a positive one. The Revs II are at a negative two.
Let's follow the road to the Championship Final by watching the next game against North Texas SC. I predict they will continue their win streak by a strong defensive showing against North Texas. They will be on ESPN+ in the US. On the USL League One YouTube channel for those watching internationally.