Team of the Week

MLS Team of the Matchday presented by Audi | Arreaga shines as Porter leads Revs to fourth straight win


On a sweltering night in Cincinnati that saw the New England Revolution’s three-game winning streak put to the test, it took a number of players stepping up in order to secure all three points. But, in the match that marked the halfway point of his first year at the helm, Revs head coach and 2013 MLS Coach of the Year Caleb Porter was able to inspire a depleted squad to a confident victory, earning Coach of the Matchday honors for the first time this season.

Additionally, defender Xavier Arreaga was one of the players who stepped up in a big way, figuratively as well as literally with some of his impressive dribbles and progressive carries, claiming his own spot in the Team of the Matchday, also for the first time this campaign.

Porter’s job Saturday night started with sorting out the teamsheet, a task made difficult by key absences due to injury, namely those of wingers Dylan Borrero and Tomás Chancalay as well as midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye.

However, Porter was able to make the most of what he had, handing starts to midfielder Ian Harkes and winger Ema Boateng, the latter of whom had, as both player and coach shared following the recent win over the New York Red Bulls, been called higher by the boss in a private conversation between the two ahead of that match.

And those decisions paid off, with Boateng providing his second assist of the season, while Harkes put in yet another dominant performance in midfield. Additionally, Porter’s tactical decisions late in the game, substituting in Noel Buck, Jonathan Mensah, and, for the first time this year, a recovering Brandon Bye, played a crucial role in making sure the Revs saw out the victory through what ended up being a rather turbulent second half.

Meanwhile, Arreaga was nothing but solid from kickoff to the full-time whistle, recording a team-high 37 completed passes and putting on full display his confidence as a defender and a ball-carrier.

After sharing in the run-up to the match that he had experience playing as a striker in his youth, Arreaga flaunted his dribbling abilities a number of times at TQL Stadium, progressing the ball through a Cincinnati midfield that at times looked surprised by what they were seeing from the Ecuadorian. And as if that wasn’t enough to demonstrate his positional fluidity, he at one point received a header in midfield from Matt Polster, who had sent the pass up to him from the backline.

Arreaga also tallied four clearances on the night, and totaled 56 touches, as well. The Revolution are now 5-4-0 in his nine appearances since joining in April, all of them starts.

Up front, it was difficult competition for striker Giacomo Vrioni, whose first-half brace was not deemed to be enough to surpass hat tricks from Columbus’ Cucho Hernández or Houston’s Sebastián Ferreira, relegating the Albanian international to a spot on the bench for this week’s Team of the Matchday. His five goals this regular season now have him tied with captain Carles Gil for most on the team, with three of those scores coming in the Revs’ last two matches.

6_24_24 MLS Team of the Matchday