FOXBOROUGH — Two takeaways from Saturday's 3-1 Revs win, and two more takes — one newsy, one hard-hitting — from the weekend that was in Revolution Colony:
That’s AirAgudelo taking off on runway 17, baby
We have said on numerous occasions that Juan Agudelo couldn’t find the back of the net if you pointed it out to him, especially given a couple of sitters missed against Philadelphia a week ago. And the Gillette Stadium nets haven’t been too kind, either. In fact, Swaggy hadn’t scored here at home since the second match from last season, the 2-2 draw against New York City FC.
On that one, the sequence was pretty sweet: Wilfried Zahibo had won the ball at the midway line near the touchline, and he had sent a booming volley to Cristian Penilla. The Ecuadorian had a lot of space with which to work on that, and he wound up crossing to a hard-charging Agudelo.
Agudelo rose and made the back of the onion bag burp with a cracking header.
On Saturday, something pretty similar occurred:
Carles Gil had a nifty run, and San Jose wound up conceding a throw-in. Throw-in happens, Edgar Castillo rolls around the corner and, with Quakes left back Nick Lima sleeping, Agudelo raced forward, rose, and karate-kicked the ball in to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 12, 2019
“It was crazy; we understood the team we were playing against, I knew I had Lima on me. I told Edgar before the game, if you can get the ball to the second post, I’ll be there,” Agudelo said.
So the key is to get Agudelo service in the air so he can finish those off. Glad we know that now.
Turner is Lapper’s guy, and Lapper let everyone know
OK, I’ve only really had the one close interaction with interim coach Mike Lapper on Friday and Saturday post-match, but just from that one conversation, I can tell he’s a pretty open and honest guy. He also gives nice, long, flowery answers — the anti-Friedel, I would say.
He even said that Matt Turner was his guy in keep in the post-match press conference — another anti-Friedel thing, seeing as he would never tell us in the Boston soccer press corps who his starting players would be.
“He’s going to be the guy until he shows that he’s not available,” Lapper said of Turner, who made his second consecutive start and made six saves against the Quakes.
Lapper added that he spoke with about “70 to 80 percent of the team to find out where their heads are at, seeing how they are physically, and talking to them and challenging them, telling them what a great opportunity this is to push the re-start button.
“This team is good enough to do amazing things; I’m not going to say we’re going to win MLS right now, because it’s only one win.”
The fans are certainly not happy with everything going on in Foxborough
Of course, they have that right. They have watched their favorite soccer team defecate the linens too often in 24 years — and the last three-plus years, especially. They are, rightly, fed up with how the Revolution are run, especially when it comes to player acquisitions, or the lack thereof.
The noise levels reached thunderous levels this past week, as both the Midnight Riders and The Rebellion fan groups — a.k.a. the denizens of The Fort — have both come out in favor of new leadership in the club's soccer operations, a.k.a. Michael Burns’ job.
And honestly, you can’t blame them.
Yet after Friday morning’s press conferences and the announcement that Burns would, in fact, get his third bite of the apple when it comes to coaching hires, Matthew Puglise, president of The Rebellion, let BostonSportsJournal.com know that the fan group would present a letter to team president Brian Bilello during their usual pre-home match scrum with him and the folks from TeamOps.
In the letter, which Puglise provided to BSJ Saturday morning, The Rebellion is requesting a Supporter’s Town Hall event with Bilello, Burns, Lapper, as well as either Robert or Jonathan Kraft.
“We want them to get their house in order,” Puglise told this typist Friday afternoon.
But there is a catch — one of the Krafts must be there, or else no go.
“Our owner needs to be present for this meeting,” Puglise said. “If they come back at us with, ‘I don’t know if they can be here,’ we will go public and say they won’t show. We don’t see a point in doing this without them here.
“We’re giving them a chance to address us directly and tell us how you’ll make this better.”
In addition, the Rebellion brought in a banner which read “N.E. Deserves Better,” one they displayed twice during the match.
We’ll let you know how things go.
I’ll let you in on a secret: I don’t think I’m well liked down here
In the last 13 months, I’ve come into Blue Level like a bull in a china shop, something which Greg told me wouldn’t be allowed with the Patriots, Celtics, Bruins, and Red Sox. I have, in my own special way, put certain people on alert that the rubbish that has gone on with this football club over the years will no longer be tolerated. And some of my colleagues have told me that I’ve given them cover when it comes to hard questioning; after the Montreal loss, one of them asked me as we got on the elevator, “Sean, are you going to ask Friedel something that will make him push over the podium?” True story.
Let’s get real here, though: I’m not a hiney smoocher. I don’t flatter. I’m not going to stroke their ego just to get access. And I concur with what Greg mentioned in his Saturday chat, "I will say that some in the Revs’ organization are … let’s just say they’re unnecessarily difficult to deal with. You’re the Revs, you should be begging for any and all types of coverage, especially from an outlet that has written over 400 stories on your team in a little over a year. They should be thanking us."
And to be frank, the Revs have threatened my access in the past — “You want to be an insider? We will monitor you (in 2019) and see what kind of reporter you want to be,” is a direct response, and in my view, a threat, when I asked to speak with Burns about the construction of this season’s roster last November — because of what they perceive as unfavorable coverage by yours truly. They don't know what's going to come out of my mouth at any time. I'm a loose cannon, they say.
And that’s fine. That’s their prerogative. They are the gatekeepers of all that is holy down here. Their attitude, though, gives off the air that they’ve given us top-level soccer and that we should be damn grateful and not question them.
Well, that ain’t happening, kids. This is the grownups table. This is BostonSportsJournal.com, not Vanity Fair. This is serious stuff. Greg hired me to be an assassin — an athletic assassin — and I’m not going to play nice. Friday proved it when I battered Burns in the initial salvos, staggering him to the point where he was stuttering over his answer. Not only that, when I went on SiriusXM on Thursday afternoon an hour before the Friedel firing announcement came over, I corrected host Jason Davis with a little bit of snark; when he said the Revs were going through a “rough patch,” I replied with a little ice in my voice, “It’s not just a rough patch, Jason.”
However, I don’t believe I’ve ever been more popular than the past 72 hours. So thanks for the retweets, the offers of money — I can’t take your money; I don’t even know what Venmo is, folks — and the offers of beer at games. Thanks for those telling folks about what Tom and I are doing here.
It’s more praise than some people are giving me, that’s for sure.