Squad rotation holds off New England, 1:1
August 29, 2020
In a vacuum, this was not a terrible result. Starting a heavily rotated team with obvious talent deficiency, going on the road in a place that notorious has haunted them for decades... a 1:1 draw was obviously not ideal, but also not devastating. However, once someone looks at the big picture, a team that has only scored seven goals in eight games, a team whose leading scorer is its right back, a team whose coach... well, at least Kaku started!
The heavy squad rotation saw Chris Armas make eight changes: Patrick Seagrist, Amro Tarek, and Mandela Egbo for Jason Pendant, Aaron Long, and Kyle Duncan; Kaku (he started!), Florian Valot, Ben Mines, and Omir Fernandez for Sean Davis, Marc Rzatkowski, Jared Stroud, and Daniel Royer, and Tom Barlow for Brian White.
Most of Metro chances came from the foot of Kaku (go figure!), but the deficiency of Barlow kept showing itself. When your lone forward is a replacement level striker, the goals have to come from elsewhere. And they did, in the 35th minute, from Fernandez. The youngster, who had contributed little to nothing in his previous appearances this season, played a fantastic give-and-go with Mines, finishing for his first goal of the year. Alas, six minutes later, off a Rev goal kick, Seagrist fell asleep and left oodles of space behind him. New England centered the ball and easily converted from close range.
Both teams failed to break through in the second half, with most Metro opportunities coming off set pieces. Sub Mathis Jorgensen even had the best play of his short MLS career, blowing past a defender on the endline, only to have the ensuing cross be sent to a no-man's land. The Revs poured it on late, and were aided by a ridiculous red card in injury time. Tim Parker's inadvertent high boot at midfield somehow earned him marching orders. Thankfully, the defense held the rest of the way, with Meara commanding the box with an authoritative presence.
Now, a two-game home stand against rivals Scum and "rivals" Worms will show where this team stands outside a vacuum. Will Armas keep starting Kaku? Will someone learn to put the ball into the net? Will the team kept getting punished for defensive lapses?
Oh, before we forget: the Revs outshot Metro, 14:8.
Lineup: Meara, Seagrist, Parker, Tarek, Egbo, Casseres, Valot, Fernandez, Mines, Romero Gamarra, Barlow. Subs: Jorgensen, Rzatkowski, Duncan, Long, Stroud.