FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – While at face value the New England Revolution may have only gone home with a single point last weekend, there were a lot of positives to take away from their hard-fought, nine-man road battle against Sporting Kansas City. With the final whistle sounding at 4-4, the Revs finished off four high-quality chances, and it may just be the breakout offensive performance that New England has been waiting for to get the ball rolling.
“Sometimes you just need to take the one [performance] and it gives more confidence and the others will follow,” said head coach Brad Friedel. “It’s a shame the way the game went with regards to the sendings off. It’s a shame that we couldn’t hold on for the three points.
“It’s also a good thing that we did hold on for the point in the end being two men down for the last eight or nine minutes of the game. So there’s a lot of good things to take from the game, and it was nice to see us hit the back of the net a few times.”
It was a big offensive shift from a midweek match against Montreal in which the Revs didn't register a shot on target, and from a string of four previous matches in which New England scored just one goal total.
However, finding a response to their early-season struggles (2-6-2) directly after a frustrating result against Montreal may well be the first step to turning the tables.
“I thought the front four guys did an excellent job getting in behind,” said stand-in captain Scott Caldwell regarding their performance at SKC. “Tajon [Buchanan], DeJuan [Jones], Juan [Agudelo] and Juan [Fernando Caicedo] were excellent making runs in behind, and their chances when they had the ball, they did well. They finished, they created, so that’s something to look forward to and build on.”
That quartet directly contributed to the Revolution's offensive explosion. J. Caicedo secured a brace - his first two goals for New England after overcoming an early-season injury - Agudelo found his stride to hit the back of the net, Jones notched his first career goal, and Buchanan featured in a key role by twice playing provider.
“I think there’s a lot of confidence to take away from that game,” said goalkeeper Cody Cropper. “Obviously, offensively we scored four goals. That’s something that we haven’t done this year, and defensively we were winning the second balls and winning our individual battles. I think that, yeah, we conceded four goals, but there are a lot of positives being down two men, and seeing that result out.”
While it’s a renewed sense of team assurance after their resilient performance, there’s also a sense of rediscovered confidence on an individual level.
“I think a lot of the younger guys performed really well and got that confidence going that we’ve been talking about that we kind of need in this group after these past couple tough results,” said veteran defender Andrew Farrell. “So I think that was great getting the point away from home, even though obviously we had a lead twice, and then obviously going down two men. Obviously it was a very hectic game, but taking that point away, at a tough place to play, is always good to build on.”
The Revs will look to build on last weekend's performance when they kick off at Talen Energy Stadium against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Boston, 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2).