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Talking New England Revolution with The Bent Musket

We talked out to our friend Jake Cantanese at the Bent Musket ahead of the Union’s Friday night clash against the Revolution.

New England Revolution v Philadelphia Union Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Check out our answers to The Bent Musket’s questions too.

1.) With WCQ starting up, who will New England Revolution be missing for International Duty?

Matt Turner, as basically everyone knows, by is starting/did start in goal for the United States vs El Salvador, Tajon Buchanan, who just secured a transfer to Club Brugge and is on a loan back for the rest of the MLS season, will be with Canada, and Adam Buksa is going to hang out with some Robert Lewandowski guy that’s apparently good at scoring goals for Poland.

2.) With those international players missing, most notably Turner, how much weaker will the Revs lineup look?

Honestly, the Revs have been cruising for most of the summer and were missing Turner and Buchanan during the Gold Cup and Carles Gil due to injury and still racked up a ton of wins and looked really good in doing so on a few occasions. Brad Knighton is a more than capable backup keeper, Ema Boateng is at full fitness and has shown he can be an able speedster replacement for Buchanan, and there’s still Gustavo Bou up top to cause problems for opposing backlines.

The bigger impact will be the availability of a few other injured Revs players. Matt Polster came off the bench against NYC after a week or so off, DeJuan Jones has swapped to right back to cover for the injured Brandon Bye and has been fine but clearly is more comfortable on his just left flank, and Carles Gil was a surprise face at training earlier in the week though we don’t know his official status for Friday yet. If the Revs have Polster, the defensive shape in front of Knighton should be pretty solid and if Gil is back and anywhere near his MVP form, that’s bad news for Philly and the rest of the league.

3.) The Revs suffered a shocking loss to NYCFC last week. Do you blame it on Yankee Stadium, or is it a sign that the fiery hot streak is cooling down?

After watching last week’s game in person at Yankee Stadium, I took nothing away from that game other than a Revs team missing Gil/Buchanan/Polster was probably going to struggle on that postage stamp of a field and I was right. The Revs attempted to deploy another flat 4-4-2 that quite frankly didn’t have anyone assigned as a ball-winning midfielder until Polster came on down 0-2 and for whatever reason he ended the game at right-back. New England wasn’t able to possess the ball through the lines like NYC is adept at doing on their home field and it showed. Also, several of the few set-pieces attempts the Revs did earn were wasted, especially some corners taken from the sod over the warning track.

Between the personnel available, the challenge of the field conditions, and the less than ideal game plan/formation that I don’t think was executed well either...yeah, that was a game where I’d have happily taken a point but it wasn’t meant to be. Taking six points from the next two matches in Philly and then home again for NYC next week would right any wrongs from that miserable game last week. I was more upset I paid like $11 for a semi-stale cheeseburger than anything the Revs did on the field.

Lineups/predictions/injuries

4-2-3-1: Knighton; D Jones, Kessler, Farrell, DeLaGarza; Polster, Caldwell; Boateng, Traustason, Bunbury; Bou

Revs are a little thin defensively with Bye and Jon Bell not being on the game day roster the last few weeks, Luis Caicedo has also been on the injury list most of the year. I’d like to see the Revs abandon the flat midfield 4-4-2 for a more defined set of roles and width in the 4-2-3-1 they started the season in. If Gil is available late he can replace Traustason in the middle and maybe some good minutes could be available for attackers Justin Rennicks and Edward Kizza off the bench as well.

I think the Revs rebound in Chester against a Philadelphia Union side that just looks off right now. If they stay organized in the back, they’ll get the goals they need, I say 2-0 with Bou and Boateng netting for New England.