FOXBOROUGH -- All you need to know about the Revolution’s 3-2 win over Toronto FC Saturday night in quickie form, with BSJ analysis and insight.
Revolution jump out to a quick 2-nil lead: With Toronto playing a weakened defense yet again, and with stars Giovinco and Victor Vazquez starting on the bench, New England simply pounced and pounded. U.S International Michael Bradley and Ager Aketze had a pair of poor turnovers in Toronto’s half, the second one courtesy the high press forcing the Reds into the giveaway, and Cristian Penilla buried both in the first seven minutes to put The Boys In Blue ahead for the duration.
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) May 12, 2018
“We felt if we could win the ball high up the field,” Revolution manager Brad Friedel said, “we could expose the back four, which we did on numerous occasions.”
New England withstands Giovinco’s presence: The Reds' talisman only played the last third of the match, and other than a few instances early in his run-out where he looked to infuse the Toronto attack with his charisma, the Italian was pretty much invisible. He scored an 88th-minute penalty (which was rather weak to begin with; Auro had tried to get around Chris Tierney, and he tumbled as he brushed by the Wellesley native), and then he was shown a straight red card afterward for turning and inexplicably grabbing Wilfried Zahibo’s face as he ran with the ball to the circle. He’ll face some discipline for that.
Friedel starts Rowe, Caldwell, Delamea, and Tierney: Lineup changes happen, and Friedel made four changes from last weekend’s 4-2 debacle in Montreal. And with Juan Agudelo missing the match -- he said in the locker room that his hamstring was “better,” giving us a thumbs up -- that allowed Kelyn Rowe to get his first start since the home opener, as well as Tierney’s first start of the season at left back in place of Gabriel Somi. Antonio Delamea hasn’t appeared since his season-opening straight red against Philadelphia, and Scott Caldwell made his first start since Dallas a month ago.
“We were very close to starting Zach Herivaux,” Friedel added. “He has been doing excellent in training; I’m really happy he was able to come on in the second half. The players that were left out, they have every chance to play the next game. We have a really good squad, and you’re going to see some rotation of the squad, but you’re going to see players fight for their places. That’s the way it’s going to be here.”
A minute after the restart, Andrew Farrell snatches an errant Toronto pass, and he threads the needle to release Teal Bunbury into the attacking third. Bunbury raced before taking a couple of touches, including a rather divine one around Jason Hernandez. He slots home to put the Revolution up three goals to nil; as it turned out, it was the match winner.