The New England Revolution turned their clash with D.C. United on its head in the last outing. Coming out of the international break and the Eastern Conference leaders have another team on their side of the bracket next up. NYCFC have began 2023 slowly but they remain a very dangerous outfit.
Eastern Conference Leaders Look to Continue to Soar
How Will the Revs Lineup?
That win over D.C. may have taken the Revs to the summit in the East, but there are still injury worries in their ranks. Carles Gil didn’t even make the squad for the Nashville game and then, we he returned to the fold, he made an instant impact. His perfectly accurate cross found Gustavo Bou who had the composure to equalize against Wayne Rooney’s D.C. side.
Bruce Arena admitted that the Revs are “a lot different when Carles is on the field, so we do have to make adjustments”. This begs the million-dollar question of whether the Spaniard will be in the starting XI against NYCFC and with Arena keeping his cards close to his chest, it remains to be seen.
Helper: With his assist against D.C. United, Carles Gil joined Steve Ralston and Lee Nguyen as the only players in the New England Revolution’s history to register 50 career assists.
He is tied for fifth-fastest player to reach the milestone in MLS history (105 games). pic.twitter.com/cmA4cHNIF7
— MLS Communications (@MLS_PR) March 26, 2023
Noel Buck, despite his age, is someone who has stepped up in the absence of the Revolution captain. The teenager scored the winner in the last game and so has seen his stock rise even further. He is intent on staying grounded and has a positive outlook on his career so far, specifically saying that, “getting these starts and some minutes early in the season will be very helpful late in the season.”
Coach Arena has been echoing these sentiments on Buck’s success for the Eastern Conference leaders. “He’s been good, very reliable defensively. But he’s been good in possession. He’s helped us create some chances in the attack. He’s been pretty well-rounded in this game.”
Can the Eastern Conference Leaders Impress Once Again?
It is a very strong team on paper that stand in the way of the Revs this weekend, but times are tough for NYCFC. Following the loss of manager Ronny Deila and star striker Taty Castellanos to Europe, there have been teething issues in this next era.
So far this season they have bounced back and forth, winning two, losing two and drawing one from their first five fixtures. Last time out, an opponent that New England had previously conquered, the Houston Dynamo, stood in the way. Moroccan Amine Bassi scored the only goal of the game for the Texas team, leaving NYCFC down in seventh in the East.
NYCFC is my boogie man. They probably shouldn’t be, but still pic.twitter.com/4VARZ3uIVn
— DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) March 31, 2023
Even without Castellanos, Nick Cushing has a plethora of attacking dynamos in his arsenal, as Arena recognizes. “They have a combination of good, talented attacking players with [Talles] Magno and [Santiago] Rodriguez and I believe [Gabriel] Pereira.” The team have only scored four times to date with this trio each scoring once alongside Thiago Andrade.
It is still early days, after all “we’re only five games in and we haven’t found ourselves yet, so they’re a team that in the end is going to be there.” Either way, the Revolution, the Eastern Conference leaders, will fancy their chances to grasp another three points tomorrow night.
Featured image credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports: March 25, 2023.
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