FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Asked on Tuesday afternoon about the New England Revolution’s goal-scoring struggles this season, Bruce Arena gave an ultimately prophetic answer.
“I think we’re going to score goals,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time.”
That matter of time turned out to be a little more than 24 hours as the Revs found the finishing touch on Wednesday evening, getting goals from Henry Kessler, Gustavo Bou, and Diego Fagundez in their 3-1 win over the Montreal Impact, a result that lifted them to fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
It was the Revolution’s first three-goal game of 2020, while Kessler’s goal was the first of his professional career and Fagundez’s capper was his first since last July.
“I think it’s important for players’ confidence,” Arena said of the offensive outburst. “We had chances maybe to score a few more goals tonight. I think we’re fortunate we ran into a tired team in Montreal. They had a couple injuries, but that’s all part of the game right now.
“We were fortunate tonight to catch Montreal on a bit of an off day, but overall, I’m obviously pleased with the win and the goals are going to help our confidence.”
The game winner came off the foot of Bou, who is now tied with Teal Bunbury for the team lead with four goals on the season. The goal arrived just after the halftime break and snapped Bou’s stretch of four games without scoring – the longest such stretch since he arrived in New England last July.
“He’s a goal scorer. He’ll score goals,” Arena said of Bou, deployed as a No. 9 in the last two games. “I think he’s been a little hesitant. We’re playing him in a little bit of a new position, but if Gustavo gets chances, he’ll finish.
“The last couple of games I think he’s backed off from a couple chances, so tonight’s goal I think will give him a little confidence. And if he can be a little bit more aggressive, he should score goals.”
Bou acknowledged that the goal could provide a personal boost, but he was more pleased with the team’s three goals and – more importantly – the three points as they head into the final 10 games of this truncated and unbalanced regular season.
“I’m happy with the win,” Bou said via translator. “Obviously we need to convert and we need to score goals, and the few chances that we’ve had lately haven’t come through for us. This helps us gain confidence to continue creating chances and generating opportunities.
“I think we created about five or six solid chances tonight and scored three, so as a forward and as an attacker I’m really happy with that, and I think this is really going to help us moving forward.”