New York Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch hangs his head after the New England Revolution scored the go ahead goal during the second half of New England's 2-1 win at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
The New England Revolution picked up three points against arguably its biggest rival Saturday night, taking a 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls. The result snapped New England’s three-game winless run.
Here are three takeaways from the Revolution’s performance:
A huge 3 points
Results across Major League Soccer broke in the Revolution’s favor over the weekend. The Revs are now in a tie with the Red Bulls for fourth place in the Eastern Conference, though they’re technically fifth on goal differential – still a good spot to be in with more than a third of the season done.
The Revs are probably not going to challenge Atlanta United for the top spot in the East, but they’re nevertheless making a legitimate case that they’re a playoff team.
Beating the Red Bulls – even if it was at home – shouldn’t be overlooked. The Revs bossed possession and out-worked an opponent that took an early lead and came into the weekend on a five-game unbeaten run. The Red Bulls also earned a rare victory at Gillette Stadium in 2017, a result that greatly set back New England’s playoff chances.
The Revolution play the Red Bulls just one more time in the regular season – at Red Bull Arena July 21 – so earning three points now may have bigger implications later this summer. It’s tough for clubs to make the postseason when they leave points on the table at home. Saturday, the Revs got the result they needed.
How many goals can Teal Bunbury score?
Don’t look now, but Teal Bunbury is tied for third on the MLS scoring list with eight goals in 14 games.
Bunbury added to his total by converting the game-winner against the Red Bulls Saturday night, a strike that also extended his scoring streak to three games.
It’s encouraging that Bunbury has shown no sign of slowing down. For all intents and purposes, he is the offensive spearhead on a Revolution team that boasts a number of potent offensive weapons. Though Diego Fagundez and Cristian Penilla have shown they have a nose for the goal this season as well, it’s refreshing to see Bunbury take the lead at the top of the Revs’ attacking triangle.
If Bunbury maintains his scoring clip, he’ll have at least 16 goals by the end of the season.
That’s more than what Christian Ramirez, Chris Wondolowski, Jozy Altidore and CJ Sapong totaled last year and just a shade under the outputs of Ignacio Piatti, Ola Kamara and Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Whether Bunbury actually keeps up the scoring remains to be seen. For what it’s worth, his form hasn’t dropped in the slightest. In fact, he seems to be getting better at timing his runs, finding himself in the right spots and finishing chances in front of goal.
Brad Friedel rotated players successfully
Krisztián Németh made his first start of the season and made a good impression. Claude Dielna was serviceable at left back, filling in for Gabriel Somi. And a central midfield composed of Kelyn Rowe and Luis Caicedo worked well to keep the Revolution on the front foot for most of Saturday’s game.
Simply put, a number of players either got extended playing time for the first time this season or had to accommodate playing next to a new face or in a new position.
For the most part, the Revs handled Friedel’s shakeup just fine. Fagundez, though, said it best: “You never when you come into the locker room what’s going to happen. No one knows who’s the starting XI, who’s the 18. No one knows anything. We go out there and we have to perform in training and then at the end of the day, [Friedel] is making these choices for players, but everybody should be ready.
“And you can see today, Krisztián Németh went out there and did his job. He was taking on people one-on-one. [He was] unlucky that he couldn’t get a goal in, but it’s nice to see that we have fresh legs that can come in and help out our team, especially now with all these new games coming. Maybe there’s going to be new faces on the field and we’re definitely going to be excited, but everybody’s going to be ready for it.”
The Revs have three games coming up in an eight-day stretch. So being able to comfortably rotate players is a boon for the club.