Thursday, December 1 2022

At one second, Bruce Arena looked like a genius but by the end of the game, everything changed.

New England tied the Columbus Crew 2-2 on Saturday. Although the draw was disappointing, it was the first time the Revolution had recorded consecutive points since the first two games of the season.

The Revs were down 1-0 when Arena made a bold move. He replaced Jozy Altidore and Ema Boateng in exchange for Andrew Farrell and Damian Rivera.

With Farrell shown a yellow card, New England moved to a three-man back line of Henry Kessler, Matt Polster and Brandon Bye.

“Well, we added a striker, went with three in the back, went with two guys on the sidelines who we thought could get balls in front of goal, and played a bit playing [Matt] Polster in the middle there,” Arena said when asked about Frank Dell’Apa’s move from the Boston Globe.

The move paid off as minutes later Boateng and DeJuan Jones combined to level the score. With the backline at three, Jones played a more forward role on the right side of the field while Bye played more defensively on the same side.

A little over 10 minutes later, Sebastian Lletget sent a beautiful ball to Adam Buksa who was able to return the ball with a header for his fourth consecutive goal. New England had a 2-1 lead with less than 10 minutes left in the game.

After scoring, New England returned to more defensive form. Jones returned to left back and Omar Gonzalez replaced Lletget as the Revs returned to a back four line.

This decision ended up backfiring as Erik Hurtado leveled the game in the 89th minute. Derrick Etienne sent a cross into the box and Hurtado waltzed past Gonzalez and sent the ball into the net.

“You’re at the end of the game, you have a goal lead, you’ve gone from three to four backs,” Arena said of Gonzalez’s substitution. “Common sense is safety, and it shouldn’t backfire like it did. So that’s the reason for that.

With the draw, New England currently sits 11th in the Eastern Conference. After a US Open match against FC Cincinnati on Wednesday, the Revs return to the league on May 15 against Atlanta United in Georgia.


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