After a busy month of July, when Orlando City was only able to win one of six MLS matches, the Lions will take on the New England Revolution this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Exploria Stadium. New England will come into Saturday’s match with a 6-7-9 record and 27 points, which places the team 11th in the Eastern Conference standings. Let’s take a deep dive into why the Revolution have struggled two thirds of the way through this 2022 season.
New England has been steady and consistent on offense this season, ranking 12th in goals (32). A big part of the consistency that we see offensively from the Revolution is due to the team creating both total and accurate scoring attempts. Through 22 matches, New England ranks 11th in total scoring attempts (291) and is tied for 14th in on-target scoring attempts (99), which equates to being tied for 13th in accurate shooting percentage (34.0%) this year. Another reason for the consistency we’ve seen from the New England offense can be found in the Revs’ ability to maintain possession, which has helped them set up quality scoring opportunities. The Revolution rank seventh in possession percentage (53.9%) and eighth in pass completion percentage (82.1%), which are two main reasons why we see them tied for seventh in assists (25) this season.
The Revolution defense, however, has struggled at times this season. New England ranks 11th in most goals allowed (34) and 12th in most shots against (103), which is in large part due to the many statistical deficiencies that we have seen from the Revolution on defense. New England ranks in the bottom half of MLS in the following statistical categories: 18th in blocks (300), 19th in clearances (405), 26th in tackles (315), and last in interceptions (165). The Revolution have been proficient at pressuring opposing players and winning one-on-one situations, however, as they are tied for 12th in successful pressure percentage (29%), and they are third in duel percentage (53.1%) on the season. Winning the ball back in these situations has been crucial for the Revs in trying to maintain and control possession, which they have been very good at thus far.
Players to Watch
Forward Gustavo Bou and midfielder Carles Gil have played a key role on the offensive side of the ball after the midseason transfer of forward and leading scorer Adam Buksa. Bou, who is listed as questionable for Saturday’s match, is first in goals (7), first in total scoring attempts (54), and first in on-target scoring attempts (22). However, Bou has not been the most accurate attacking player for New England, only ranking third in accurate shooting percentage among players with more than 10 total scoring attempts (40.7%). Meanwhile, Gil has provided a spark to the offense by creating scoring opportunities for attacking Revolution players, ranking first in crosses (57) and assists (11). Gil has also provided some scoring opportunities of his own, as he ranks second in goals (4) for New England.
It has been largely a group effort for the New England defense this season as many players have been called upon to contribute in different areas. Gil has been one of these key players for the Revolution defense, leading the club in duels won (217) and duel percentage among players who have won at least 50 duels (63.6%). Midfielder Thomas McNamara has also been an important piece in giving the ball back to New England attackers, as he is first in tackles (44) and fourth in blocks (24). Defenders DeJuan Jones and Andrew Farrell have made solid contributions to the Revolution’s defensive effort as well. Jones leads the club in interceptions (21) and is third in blocks (31), while Farrell is tied for first in blocks (33) and is first in clearances (77). Goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic has been a great midseason pickup for the Revolution after the departure of Matt Turner to Premier League side Arsenal, allowing only 11 goals on 50 shots against in his nine starts for a save percentage of 78% on the season.
That’s what I found on the New England Revolution. Let me know what you think in the comments below, and as always, go Orlando!