After drawing in Columbus last weekend, the New England Revolution returned to the Eastern Conference summit. Next up is a struggling SKC side who are scoring very few goals and need something to change. Can the Revs continue to thrive in 2023?
A Struggling SKC Side Visit Gillette
Coping Without Dylan Borrero
The biggest setback suffered in Ohio was the two quickfire yellow cards handed out to Dylan Borrero. Tempers were running high and the young Colombian paid the price for it. Bruce Arena was nothing short of scathing after the game and now the questions arise of who can fill this void. The Head Coach doesn’t seem too fazed though, saying that “there’s a number of players that can fill that spot.”
His directness and intricate dribbling is hard to replicate and it could be a more experienced head that Arena turns to. Emmanuel Boateng is an equally as fast member of this squad and he could get a chance. To date, Boateng has amassed just 78 minutes in six MLS appearances, with none of these being starts.
#NERevs down to 10 men as Dylan Borrero is handed a second yellow.
He will miss New England’s home game on April 22nd against SKC.
— Josh Nye (@JoshNye8798) April 16, 2023
At the other end of the field is particularly where this struggling SKC side throw up major red flags. They have managed just two goals in league play at the eight-game stage. Standing in their way will be a Revolution defence who have conceded more than one goal just once. This was of course the embarrassing defeat to LAFC and Djordje Petrovic and co have already kept four clean sheets.
One man facing off against the likes of Johnny Russell and Daniel Salloi will be a familiar face. In a cruel twist of fate, Ben Sweat’s first game for his new club will be versus his old one, having spent last season in Kansas City. In his own words, “I think it’ll be ironic; you know, the first game back is versus my old team so that’s always a funny situation.”
Where are This Struggling SKC Side Going Wrong?
As previously mentioned, Sporting Kansas City are yet to start firing properly in front of goal. At the same time, they have shipped ten goals in their last five. Only CF Montreal, the rock-bottom side in the East, have a worse goal difference at -14.
Going back to the front and not only did both of their goals come in defeats but they have just three points on the board and these were all from goalless draws. It isn’t all doom and gloom, shutting out the likes of LA Galaxy and the Philadelphia Union is no mean feat and so there is reason for optimism.
2 – Sporting Kansas City’s 2 goals through 8 matches are the fewest at this stage of a season in MLS history. No team had scored fewer than 4 times at this stage of a season before. Drought. pic.twitter.com/6GTrPZU4y4
— OptaJack (@OptaJack) April 16, 2023
Both Arena and Sweat echoed these sentiments directed towards the untapped potential in this struggling SKC side. The former had this to say, “I think it’s something that doesn’t add up at this point. I there’s quality players there in their front line. They’re all good players. They’re good on attacking set pieces. So, one would think that they’re going to start scoring goals. Hopefully, it’s not against us on Saturday, but I do believe that have a really solid team.”
One of the obvious headlines is that this will be a battle of two experienced managers, with Bruce Arena facing off against Peter Vermes for a 14th time. In their previous meetings, each individual enjoyed four wins a-piece alongside five draws. It promises to be a fascinating encounter at Gillette Stadium both on and off of the field.
Featured image credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports, taken Apr 15, 2023.
The post The In-Form Revolution Welcome a Struggling SKC Side to New England appeared first on Last Word On Soccer.