KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Juan Agudelo provided the most succinct recap of Saturday night’s wild encounter between the New England Revolution and Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park, and he did so in classic Juan Agudelo fashion.
“I was actually thinking, ‘Wow, if you were to watch the highlights of this game, you’d have to scroll a lot on your phone,’” he said.
It’s hard to argue with Agudelo’s logic. Eight goals. Two red cards. Two penalties. One disallowed goal. Several video reviews. In a league where we’ve come to expect the unexpected, Saturday night’s 4-4 draw still managed to stand out as particularly bonkers.
At the final whistle, however, the Revs were left unsure exactly how to feel. They responded from a demoralizing midweek home loss to the Montreal Impact with their best offensive performance of the season, securing a point at one of the league’s most difficult road venues, and they did so playing with 10 men for the majority of the second half and with nine for all seven minutes of stoppage time.
But the Revs also saw a pair of two-goal, second-half leads slip away as they weren’t able to turn advantages of 3-1 and 4-2 into three points, leaving them parts proud, parts frustrated.
“(I’m) disappointed that we didn’t take all three points,” said head coach Brad Friedel, reserving particular praise for the front four of Juan Fernando Caicedo, Agudelo, Tajon Buchanan, and DeJuan Jones. “(I’m) really, really proud of the players for at least coming away with a point. They really showed a great response from our performance on Wednesday.”
“I think there are definitely positives to be gained from the game, but being up 3-1 and 4-2 at various points in the game, you definitely want to come away with a win,” added Scott Caldwell, who wore the captain’s armband with Michael Mancienne sidelined by plantar fasciitis. “Ultimately, I think some guys had really, really great nights, and we did well going forward, creating chances and getting goals. But we have to be stronger defensively.”
The most promising development from a Revolution perspective was the attacking outburst, spurred by Juan Caicedo’s first two MLS goals, DeJuan Jones’ first professional goal, and an opportunistic strike from Agudelo.
It was a far cry from midweek when the Revolution failed to register a shot on target against Montreal, and it represents what the Revs will hope is the breakout offensive performance they needed to open the goal-scoring floodgates.
“We’ve spoken about our lack of goals for a long time, but in most games – take the Montreal game aside – we have created chances,” said Friedel. “Really nice to see some of the chances fall in tonight.”
While the Revs weren’t able to turn their four goals into three points, Agudelo believes Saturday night’s result represented more than just a draw in the standings. He’s confident that the resolve New England possessed in Kansas City – and moreso the togetherness the players showed through a trying week – is a positive sign for things to come as the calendar flips to May.
“I think even without the result, just the way we felt, the way we played, the way we recognized what was necessary, what was expected of one another (is what’s important),” said Agudelo. “We held each other accountable in situations. We picked each other up. That’s what I mean by a team.
“We should do that every time.”