It’s game day here in Frisco and while we still have a ways to go before tonight’s FC Dallas game against the New England Revolution kicks off, we tapped another SBN blog, The Bent Musket. , to help us preview tonight’s game.
Here are our questions for them below and you can find answers to their questions at the link above.
BDS: New England have started the season pretty strong, including their home record. What was the difference to start this season compared to previous years?
TBM: There are so many little things that separate this New England squad from seasons past, but a lot of it comes down to it, it’s by far the most talented and deepest roster the Revolution has ever had. had in the DP era. Whether it was Adam Buksa or Gustavo Bou as a lone striker, with plenty of winger pairs combining Arnor Traustatson, Tajon Buchanan, Tommy McNamara or Teal Bunbury, Matt Polster also had a few partners in the midst of pitch with Maciel, Tommy Mac, and Wilfrid Kaptoum, and a baseline that may have turned into young center-backs Henry Kessler and Jon Bell – the Revs continue to win. Bruce Arena has been able to hit all the right buttons so far with his starting lineup (aside from the 4-4-2 which lost to Nashville) and can count on that depth throughout the season. regular is going to be invaluable during the playoffs.
In years gone by, some of those Revs matches probably could have been draws or worse. Just midweek, the Revs could have easily conceded a third tying goal for RBNY, but they didn’t, they found ways to score second-half goals against Columbus and Cincy for a pair of wins 1-0. I think what really separates this team is their ability to find wins, not just results. This is the start of a series of predominantly road games for New England, so by the end of July, after the Revs have played 5 of their next 7 on the road, we should know just how much this is. team is good.
BDS: Carles Gil has also been MVP so far this season. How to stop it? Seriously, we are asking for a friend.
TBM: A magician never reveals his secrets. Carles Gil is an outright magician. What he does on the ball individually is amazing, but some of the assists he has had this year have been absolutely world class. There was a series of games towards the end of last year where Gil was deployed as a right winger / midfielder and the Revs found playoff success with that system thanks to Tajon’s speed. Buchanan overlapping from the back post. But it’s pretty clear that Gil is a central No.10 playmaker and over the past two months, that’s where he’s been and the team has thrived around him.
And how do you stop Gil? I can’t help you guys here. Carles is efficient enough to outright dominate in all styles of attacking, from possession / construction to blocking, and especially on set pieces. If there’s one weakness for the Revs, it’s their squad that ends up as a whole – at first it wasn’t that great. The Revs are claiming exactly one multiple-goal win so far this year and that was against a 10-man RBNY squad and aren’t good at finding those insurance goals to put away games. Overall, it’s possible the Revs haven’t played a full 90-minute game yet, which is a scary thought for the rest of the league. Gil rarely takes a minute’s rest, however, and always improves those around him, so I wish you luck in figuring out how to get Gil out of the game.
BDS: Considering that FCD fans haven’t seen the Revs since 2019, what are the new faces we need to know here?
TBM: There are a few MLS veterans who’ve signed up over the last year. Matt Polster was a constant presence in midfield last year, joining mid-season and really filling the hole left by Luis Caicedo’s late-season injury in 2020 and has been an absolute force so far in 2021 Tommy McNamara inherited the utility midfielder role and scored a late winner against his former NYCFC team. Young Maciel stood out in the preseason and made the jump from Revs II to the first team and proved to be a capable option both as a starter and on the bench next to Polster. Ema Boateng has been a bit limited by injuries, but I really like her as an on-site bench / starter option as the sheer idea of bringing in Boateng, Bunbury and Tommy Mac to help out the press and the closing of matches is just terrifying for me and I ‘rooted for this team. AJ DeLaGarza is the public service defender but has only played once so far this year, but I’m happy he has reunited with Bruce Arena and can help this young backline behind the scenes.
Internationally, I don’t think Dallas saw any of the Revs DP forwards in Gustavo Bou or Adam Buksa. Bou is the faster guy / poacher while Buksa is a traditional No.9 target man and while the Revs haven’t found a great way to get them both to the pitch as starters they all have both have been successful so far this year with four goals apiece. Arnor Traustason was supposed to be a left-wing playmaker option against Carles Gil before moving to the middle, but he turned out to be a solid two-way player and had a two-assist game against RBNY in the first game. Wilfrid Kaptoum went through Barcelona’s academic system but minor injuries kept him from consolidating a starting place in midfield alongside Polster but from what little we’ve seen he is a capable player . You’ve probably heard of youngsters Tajon Buchanan, DeJuan Jones, Henry Kessler and Jon Bell who are all draft picks (Bell via SJ / Revs II) and have been mainstays of the roster this year.
Line-ups / Prediction / Injuries / etc
Injured: CDM Luis Caicedo (OUT), LB Christian Mafla (OUT)
4-2-3-1: Turner; D. Jones, Kessler, Farrell, goodbye; Kaptoum *, Polster; Traustason, Gil, Buchanan; Bou
The asterisk for Kaptoum depends on his availability, he is not on the injured list but he has also not been on the bench for the last two games. With a game midweek, trying to predict team rotation can be tricky, but the basic roster will be there. Maybe Buksa could spell the fit Bou, of course? There’s probably no wrong answer on who to play next to Polster and if Kaptoum isn’t 100% Maciel would likely be in contention for the start.
As for how this game will go … well, the Revs are very fit and FCD is not. I don’t want to hear the rumbles of a trap game or that sort of thing. If the Revs are the Supporter’s Shield contenders, we think they’re here in New England, they should win this game. Score Carles Gil for two more assists in a 3-1 win.