It's likely a surprise to everyone that follows the league that the New England Revolution out-worked, and ultimately out-played, one of the most organized and talented teams in the league in the New York Red Bulls. In fact, it may even be a surprise to RBNY and MLS standout Bradley Wright-Phillips who had this to say prior to the match...
New England forward Teal Bunbury, who remains in great form, found himself in stellar position at the end of a low cross from Cristian Penilla in the 78th minute to score the game winner. After conceding in the eighth minute, Brad Friedel's side showed impressive discipline and grit by earning the lead and seeing the remainder of the game out.
Let's look at the starting 11...
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After Chris Tierney was diagnosed with a season-ending ACL injury during Wednesday's match, Claude Dielna took over the starting position at left back while, while the rest of the back line remained the same. Brad Friedel added Kelyn Rowe to the center midfield to play alongside the remaining midfielders Luis Caicedo and Diego Fagundez. Rowe and Caicedo held down the defensive midfield while Fagundez roamed in the offensive end of the midfield. Kristin Nemeth got the nod at right midfield after drawing a penalty against Atlanta United FC. Teal Bunbury played at the lone forward role again while Cristian Penilla remained at left midfield.
Space on the wings: There was a pass from Keyln Rowe in the 18th minute that really exposed the space on the wings that the New York Red Bulls gave them.
The Red Bulls were playing in a clear 4-1-3-2, with Sean Davis at holding midfield, Kaku, Vincent Bezecourt, and Florian Valot across the midfield, while Bradley Wright-Phillips and Derrick Etienne handled things at forward. Bezecourt and Valot played fairly central in the midfield while Wright-Phillips and Etienne made runs into the width going forward.
This left plenty of space on the width for the Revolution to work with. Andrew Farrell did a great job of getting forward and overloading the width in the attacking third, which made Kemar Lawrence's job more difficult over the course of the game. The Revs were able to break through on this space when Nemeth played a pass into to an oncoming Fagundez, who finished the opportunity just before the end of the first half.
Game management: When the 80th-minute mark came around, Friedel and his players did a great job of seeing the game out. The Revs remained poised in possession and did a great job of avoiding the Red Bulls' press in the final minutes of the match. This segment in the 88th minute of the game was impressive and it almost resulted in a scoring opportunity.