Last night the New England Revolution defeated New York Red Bulls, 2-1 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, moving the Revolution into first place in MLS’s Eastern Conference.
Going into this match all of the talk was about how New York were the only class side in the Eastern Conference, how they were ultimately the club that would face the Galaxy in MLS Cup, and how they still had a shot at winning the Supporter’s Shield. Apart from a very well-taken goal from Mike Grella I didn’t see anything that would lend credence to any of those statements. What I saw was a club with a lot of talent but that is held back by brahs like Matt Miazga and Connor Lade, who’s maturity on the field (and, um, maybe off of it as well) seems to be a “work in progress.” At one point last night Miazga gave Charlie Davies two “forearm shivers” to the back- the second of which knocked Davies to the ground- and then reacted in dramatic disbelief when referee Ismail Elfath called a foul on him. Lade was not involved in this incident, most likely because he was busy smirking and re-gelling his hair.
On the other side of the pitch it was the same stuff we’ve seen from New England for two months now, albeit with Jermaine Jones. Lee Nguyen played puppet master (while also tracking back on defense), Diego Fagundez scored another goal (while also tracking back on defense), Scott Caldwell was a terrier in the midfield, Kelyn Rowe came off the bench and changed the dynamic of the match (and that’s before he scored the winning goal), Andrew Farrell and Jose Goncalves did not seem overly impressed by Brandon Wright-Phillips or anyone else trying to score goals for New York, and Bobby Shuttleworth continued to shine in the net for New England. I’m getting the sense that this club might actually be good- though you wouldn’t know it by visiting MLS.com!
The win was the New England’s seventh in their last eight matches and while several clubs below them in the table hold “games in hand,” New England’s remaining schedule looks like this:
Or, to put it another way, the Revolution have already played the hardest part of their schedule, and here they are in first place! I’m not predicting the long-awaited first MLS Cup win for New England, but they’ve probably been the best club in MLS for the last two months- they haven’t lost a match since mid-July!- and I think they deserve a little more credit and notice for that.
But then again, I’m a Revolution supporter, so I’m always going to think that.