The Revolution earned three massive points at home against a battered Toronto FC team on Saturday night. A strong start aided the hosts in surviving a long second half when Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney put Sebastian Giovinco and Victor Vazquez on the field.
Let's look at the starting 11...
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Brad Friedel made some considerable changes ahead of this match, most notably in the back line. Antonio Delamea got the starting nod at center back for the first time since the Revolution's season opener against Philadelphia. To his left, Chris Tierney got the start ahead of Gabriel Somi. Scott Caldwell found his way back into the starting 11 in the defensive center midfield role. Wilfried Zahibo started the game on the bench for the first time this season. Kelyn Rowe is seemingly back to 100 percent following his injury that sidelined him for most of April; he started on the wing.
The first 15 minutes: The start of the game will be one of the most popular storylines of the Revs' first meeting with Toronto FC of the season. For the first 15 minutes, the Revolution completely dominated Toronto with a high-energy press that forced crucial mistakes out of Toronto's players. This is exactly what happened in Penilla's second goal in ten minutes.
Scott Caldwell's interception in the 4th minute sparked Cristian Penilla's first goal and that only motivated the Revolution to press with more energy. Toronto relies on their ability to string passes together on any spot of the field and the Revs did a great job of creating a disconnect between Michael Bradley and the Toronto midfielders at the time (Marco Delgado and Ager Aketxe). Caldwell intercepted a pass from Bradley to Aketxe in the 4th minute and that effort was ultimately what set up Penilla's first goal.
Just before halftime, we learned from Friedel that one of their keys to the game was to clog Toronto's passing channels in the midfield. The Revs did that well, and the scoreline (2-0 to the Revs) reflected the identity of the game in the first 15 minutes.
Attacking as a unit: Looking back on this game and others the Revolution have played so far this season, New England has been stellar on the counter-attack. Whenever the Revs win the ball in a good position or win the ball on a giveaway, they do a great job of