The New England Revolution made protecting the house a top priority going into the season.
The Revolution recorded a club-record fifth straight home win since the start of the campaign with a bruising 3-2 victory over the hardscrabble New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution were 2-3-5 at home in the abbreviated 2020 season.
“We have our fans back and they give us a lot of energy and it’s a great home-field advantage this year,” said defender DeJuan Jones, who scored his first goal of the season. “We go into these games expecting to win with the fans behind our back.”
Playmaker Carles Gil was the catalyst with three assists for an MLS-best 10 on the season. The Eastern Conference leaders improved to 7-1-2 with their fifth straight victory, but they struggled down the stretch after going up 3-0 early in the second half. The Revolution resume play on Sunday night (9) against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
“It was great to get three points but we made a mess out of that game,” said Revolution coach Bruce Arena. “At 3-0 we should have been positioned comfortably to get our three points and get our team ready for the next game.
“Give the Red Bulls credit, they never quit fighting for 90-plus minutes. We made a few mistakes and let them back in the game but we were happy at the end with the three points.”
The Red Bulls were the aggressors in the early stages of the match. Keeper Matt Turner, the reigning MLS Player of the Week, did his part with a pair of saves before luck intervened on the Revolution’s behalf in the 12th minute. Red Bulls’ midfielder Dru Yearwood got possession on the left side of the penalty area but his uncontested curveball caromed off the crossbar.
The Revolution weathered the onslaught and went up 1-0 in the 26th minute on a brilliant play by Gil from outside the box. Gil gained possession, moved laterally into open space and fed Tajon Buchanan in the penalty area. Buchanan took the soft pass on the run and beat Red Bulls’ keeper Carlos Coronel to the far side for his second on the season.
The Revolution went up 2-0 in the 32nd minute on a marvelous collaboration set in motion by Matt Polster and Gil and topped off by Jones. Polster located Gil in the middle of the field outside the box, and Gil then fed Jones streaking up the left flank. Jones beelined into the scoring area and beat Coronel with a ripper inside the near post.
“I saw a gap between the center back and the outside back,” said Jones. “I ran to the gap and Carles made a one-touch through ball and I saw the defender coming hard.
“I saw the goalie cheating on the far post so I went near post.”
They went up 3-0 in the 51st minute on another goal created by Gil. Andrew Farrell made a clear to Gil, who launched a rainbow over the midfield to Gustavo Bou, who got behind two Bulls’ defenders. Bou closed in and fired a low shot to the far post for his fourth of the season.
A defensive breakdown in the 53rd minute cost Turner his clean sheet. Attacker Patryk Klimala exploited a seam in the Revs’ back end, took a pass from Fabio and fired it by Turner for his first of the season.
The Red Bulls caused some collective heartburn for the Revolution fan base when defender Andres Reyes scored on a set piece in the 75th minute.