In perhaps one of the most lopsided games of the Revolution's season so far, Bruce Arena and his players brought the game to Montreal on Wednesday night. From the opening whistle the white shirts were suffocating with the press and their speed of play was too much for the Impact to handle.
Let's look at the starting 11...
[caption id="attachment_588777" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Headshots from revolutionsoccer.net.[/caption]
It was a clear recovery/rotation night for Arena and company against Montreal on Wednesday night. Across the back, it was Alexander Buttner, Antonio Delamea, Michael Mancienne, and DeJuan Jones. The center midfield consisted of Matt Polster, Kelyn Rowe, and Diego Fagundez while Kekuta Manneh and Teal Bunbury ran the outside midfield roles. Adam Buksa played the lone forward role and Matt Turner played in goal.
The Revolution press
This was the primary reason why New England were as dominant as they were in this one. Their pressure when they lost the ball was unrelenting and Montreal simply had no answer to build out of the pressure and force Arena's side to chase until fatigue. Instead, the Revs were the ones imposing the fatigue with the constant attack they would apply after regaining possession of the ball.
And perhaps the best example of that pressure paying off was the first goal; it was the direct outcome of heavy pressure.
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Only a couple of minutes before that was the below stretch, when the Revolution almost forced Montreal into another troubling situation. The midfield and forward were so thorough with their press that Montreal couldn't pass out of it in their own end. They had to play back to their goalkeeper and reset. If that sorry excuse for a foul wasn't called on Bunbury, it might have been 2-0 by the 12th minute.
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The pressure didn't stop until late in the game, when the substitutions came on the field and the chemistry of the first group was ruined. It's tough for substitutions to come on the field and mesh with the starters right away; especially when the manager consistently uses all five of his substitution options and the players come from myriad backgrounds.
But by the time they (the substitutions) arrived on the field, the game had already been won, and the late Montreal goal was only false hope. Tip of the cap to Arena and his guys for coming out and taking their result with authority. They were all on the same page and looked to be in a better tier of quality than their opponent.