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New England Revolution Get Downed By Colorado Rapids 1-0 In Season Opener

New England Revolution Get Downed By Colorado Rapids 1-0 In Season Opener

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New England Revolution Get Downed By Colorado Rapids 1-0 In Season Opener

With the MLS season kicking off for the New England Revolution on Saturday against the Colorado Rapids the team was looking to open up their campaign with a W. Unfortunately for the Rev’s they failed to tally a goal as they fell 1-nill to the Rapids.

Dominique Badji scored the winner in the wake of a Dillon Powers set-piece delivery to give the Rapids their game winning goal.

Colorado ran through the 2016 regular season undefeated at the high-altitude Dick Sporting Goods field and they kicked off  the 2017 season with a win despite the absence of stars Tim Howard and Shkelzen Gashi due to injury.

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“I thought they did a good job,” Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said of the Rapids. “They crowd the middle. They swarmed our guys when they got it. They did a nice job of that. Everyone on their team works hard to break plays up and they broke a lot of plays up.“We were just a step off on things. Offensively, we never really found a rhythm.”

For the Rev’s they lost on of their leading offensive players in Lee Nguyen who left in the early minutes of the second half as the New England Captan limped off of the pitch with a left ankle contusion.

“I was trying to go in the second half and I got kicked again right at the beginning, and I wasn’t able to put any pressure on it,” Nguyen said. “I tried, but I couldn’t keep going.”

With the loss the New England Revolution look towards next weekend where they will host the Orlando City SC in the home opener at Gillette Stadium.

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

New England Revolution

Revolution To Lose Kelyn Rowe For 6-to-8 Weeks With Right Knee Sprain

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New England Revolution

Revolution To Lose Kelyn Rowe For 6-to-8 Weeks With Right Knee Sprain

This not what New England Revolution fans wanted to hear.

According to the team, Kelyn Rowe is expected to miss 6-to-8 weeks with a right knee sprain.

This timeline would put his earliest return at September 23rd against Toronto FC and his latest return on October 15th against NYC FC.

This news comes just hours after Coach Jay Heaps had this to say about Rowe’s status.

 “I think he’s still being assessed. He had some pictures, some imaging, but now it’s a matter of sitting down with  doctors and seeing what the next course of action is, but we’ll hope to have him back sooner than later.”

Losing Rowe is a tough break for this New England team that is looking to capture every available point now being 6 points back of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Surgery is required on Rowe’s right knee which is the reason for the extended timeline.

More to come with information coming in from the team.

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New England Revolution

Revolution a Club of Square Pegs in Round Holes

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Revolution

Revolution a club of square pegs in round holes

A center back at right back. A right back at left back. An attacking midfielder at right back. A brand-new formation. The captain on the bench.

These were just a few of the curiosities present in New England Revolution’s 1-2 loss to New York City FC on Sunday night.

Entering the summer transfer window the Revolution were desperate for help at fullback and congested up top. After the addition of DP defender Claude Dielna and TAM-level attacker Krisztian Nemeth, the Revs seem to be left with an unbalanced roster and a best starting XI (or even best-starting formation) that’s as clear as mud.

Against NYCFC

Last night the Revolution started with French center back Benjamin Angoua at right back, and right back/center back Andrew Farrell as a right-footed left back.  By the end of the match, Kelyn Rowe and London Woodberry made brief cameos at right back as well. That’s three different right backs, as well as a right back playing left back, for those keeping score at home.

Meanwhile, the club came out in a new 4-3-3 that stranded the Revs primary play-maker Lee Nguyen and arguably season MVP Diego Fagundez on the bench. Add in an up-to-speed Nemeth and that may leave out the red-hot Teal Bunbury with five goals in his last six games or Juan Agudelo and his eight goals on the year going forward.

While this may make for a fearsome set of attacking subs, you have wonder how players like these fight for spots, while a team with a clear injury report fields squads that feature 1-2 players out of position every match.

The past few windows appear to have not created the “competition” the club often likes to praise or true depth. Rather, the Revolution have a roster full of square pegs being shoved into round holes.

Who’s playing where?

Kelyn Rowe is currently playing more often at fullback than in the midfield this season. The recent US international came through UCLA and US youth camps as a creative number 10 and found his opportunity to play as a wide midfielder in the Revolution squad until his recent transition to the back line.

Players are often diplomatic when asked about their preferred roles- especially when they’re playing away from where the outside world perceives their natural position to be. That said, a few Revs have voiced their opinions over the past year.

“I want to play center midfield, whether it is forward or back,” Rowe told the Boston Globe in July. “It doesn’t matter. I like being in the center. Even if you don’t have the ball, you’re kind of directing everyone. You’re the guy. I like to be the guy.”

Kei Kamara has recently puzzled over his role with Revolution since his transfer from the Columbus Crew last summer.

“Maybe I wasn’t the right piece of the puzzle to help the team move forward,” Kamara said after the 4-3 win over the LA Galaxy on July 22nd. “I want to play here, I want to move forward, but if I’m not in the right system to score those goals, to move forward and to be an impact, it affects the fans because they want to see the best from me, and I want to give this club my all.”

Rumors suggested Kamara may have been moved to another club within the league this summer, but no move appeared. The DP from Sierra Leon now belongs to an even more crowded attacking corps.

Of those attackers, Juan Agudelo has seen time as the attacking tip of a diamond midfield, a sole striker, a winger and a secondary striker.

“Just put me on the field,” Agudelo said when asked about his role on the pitch by Mlssoccer.com‘s ExtraTime Radio podcast last off-season. “See what happens and I’ll try to do my best wherever you put me, but I do enjoy getting the ball more often than a sole striker would be, I feel like I integrate myself a little bit better if I get more touches on the ball. Maybe right behind another striker possible. I feel like that’s what I can do, but also, I do have that strength to be able to hold up the ball in the box and create some things.”

Homegrown Academy product Scott Caldwell made a name for himself around the league sitting deep in the Revolution midfield next to Jermaine Jones. Now he finds himself now on the bench or playing a right-sided midfielder more often than not.

The Revs appear to be too flexible for their own good. While flexibility can be a virtue in a club as deep as conference foes Toronto FC or perhaps in the American footballing side they share a stadium with- the Revolution is no TFC, and Jay Heaps is no Bill Belichick. Their 8-11-5 record tells us as much.

What’s Next?

With the playoffs looking less and less likely as points continue to slip from their grasp, I wonder what this roster looks like come 2018. Can Mike Burns move potential odd men out like Teal Bunbury, Kei Kamara or even Kelyn Rowe for value? Or even for, at long last, a fullback?

For that matter will Burns and Heaps still be around if New England misses out on the playoffs for its second consecutive year? Whatever the case, I would expect this off-season to be one of the more memorable in recent memory for the club as they strive to balance the roster and right the ship.

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New England Revolution

Revolution Looking To Balance Their Roster Down The Stretch

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New England Revolution

New England Revolution Looking To Balance Their Roster Down The Stretch

The New England Revolution won a vitally important game on Saturday night at home with a 1-nill victory over the Vancouver WhiteCaps.

The importance of this game can not be understated with only 11 games to go in New England’s MLS slate. With every game becoming a must win it is getting tough for Coach Jay Heaps to balance everything out with new players joining the squad

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Ideally, we get the players earlier in the window. The concern is, how fit are they and pushing them back too soon. There’s definitely going to be a period of adjustment and trying to get them acclimated without throwing off the depth that we’re adding just by guys coming back from injury. [Xavier] Kouassi’s been a huge piece. Every time he’s played, we feel like he’s been really good. He had that significant injury where he came back from the [knee] injury last year, but his quad this year. So him coming back, I feel like, is a real positive and where he is in his fitness is good. I agree – the margins of error are tight, but we’re in the fight like anyone else and we’re going to come every day to work to make sure that we continue to push and make teams know that we’re coming.”[/perfectpullquote]

New England has had the pleasure of having Xavier Kouassi return along with several new players joining the organization. One of those new players was announced this past week with the transfer for  Krisztián Németh. Németh is expected to be with the team this week.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Monday. He has his P-1 Visa. Now, it’s just a matter of getting the ITC [International Transfer Certificate].”[/perfectpullquote]

With having had these players coming back in the window the roles of players come into question. Even with their successes, adding more players into the fold makes Coach Heaps job even tougher.

Kelyn Rowe has been an electric player for New England this season and has been sort of a utility player for Heaps. Rowe’s ability to play in different spots and match up with different players makes him a very valuable player down the stretch.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“For us, I’ve said it and people joke about it, but I call him a jackknife. He’s got all those different tools and each one of them is razor sharp and he can play positions differently. So tonight, we just felt like if we could go east-to-west against this team, we were going to have opportunities for Kelyn in that wide spot to serve. And then we could solidify it. We also wanted to get a bigger guy in the back line in Je-Vaughn [Watson]. Je-Vaughn covered [Kendall] Waston on every set piece. So we felt like, alright, we get a bigger defender. We bring Je-Vaughn in and then get Kelyn to where we think he could be most effective, we might have a chance. I thought the service was – he’s one of those players, I just talked about [it] on TV, where he can get his head up and he can see where the run is going. He just has a really natural ability to do that and pretty special, quite frankly.”[/perfectpullquote]

In Saturday’s win, the Revs scored their first goal via Teal Bunbury, but after that Heaps went in favor of substitutions.  The reason being he wanted to slow the game down and play defensively instead of going for the second goal.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Normally, we might go for the second goal as opposed to drawing it in a little bit, but I thought we wanted to close the game down. [Xavier] Kouassi has been itching to get back and we needed to get him more minutes. [Scott] Caldwell has obviously played so many minutes for us. And Juan [Agudelo], we wanted to get him back in. There was a little dynamic and we wanted a little bit of speed to start the game, so we went with Teal [Bunbury]. I feel like now we’re adding depth and now we’re adding [Krisztián] Németh and Claude [Dielna] is now here. So, now there’s going to be some real fight for position, but also abilities to change games with substitutions.”[/perfectpullquote]

Bunbury was the lightning rod for the Revolution on Saturday with his ability to get into the backfield and stretch the WhiteCaps defense. His role this season has been back and forth with Bunbury bouncing from the starting lineup to the bench seemingly every game. But he has had immense success as of late and Heap’s credits his professionalism.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Even before that, because when Juan was gone, I thought he had a couple of good games as well. I think it’s great, because it makes a hard decision every time we have to make a decision on the lineup. He was in the mix. Actually, I thought he did a nice job in Chicago coming in the game as well to add a spark. For me, Teal [Bunbury], he’s a true professional. I know he doesn’t like starting one game and coming off the bench in the other, but he’s also, for me, a tactical piece, and we decide we can play a little differently with what he brings. Tonight, we really wanted that pace. We really wanted to be able to stretch their back line and find the gaps underneath and make [Matias] Laba and [Tony] Tchani get stretched, because their back line was dealing with runs in behind. It started to open up a little bit. It wasn’t all the way there, but in the second half, I thought that’s what started to happen. Their back line couldn’t deal with the pace and Teal beat them there. If they had, I think there would’ve been space underneath. So those are the things that we need to keep working on. Teal is a true professional. It’s not easy, but man, he puts his head down and comes to work every day and that’s what we love about him.”[/perfectpullquote]

Next up for the New England Revolution is a match down in the Bronx to take on NYC FC.

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