Welcome to your scouting report. CF Montréal host a reinvigorated New England side. The club will look to keep pace with the top two and stay in that top portion of the East.
Today, we welcome in Jake Catanese from Bent Musket, a Revs blog, to give us the lowdown on all things Revolution.
Check out the report here:
MRS 1: The Revs have lost a ton of talent and with a great coach like Bruce Arena, do you believe enough has been done to strengthen this team for this season or could they have done more?
I think any team in MLS after losing three of their best players from the prior season with $24 million in combined sales would suffer some kind of slump. Losing Tajon Buchanan to Club Brugge over the winter and then striker Adam Buksa and goalkeeper Matt Turner at the start of the summer window always presented the Revs with a difficult task and almost needing two rosters for one MLS season. New England attempted to bolster their side with three players Bruce Arena had coached previously in Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Lletget, and Omar Gonzalez. On top of a lot of early season injuries and CCL fixture congestion, the Revs were dismal in the early months of the 2022 season with Jozy now on loan in Liga MX and Lletget traded to FC Dallas. So, no, in the winter window/offseason New England did fail to strengthen the side enough.
However, I think Arena and the Revs front office recognized that and were very active at the end of the primary transfer window, getting in winger Dylan Borrero and goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic in on permanent deals and both have looked the part though Borrero has missed several weeks with an injury. Giacomo Vrioni was brought in to replace Buksa up top and has featured sparingly with his own injury but his resume and skill set should be a great fit in MLS. The Revs were very active at the trade deadline as well bringing in defender Christian Makoun and winger Ismael Tajouri-Shrdi. Could the Revs have done more during the winter offseason, possibly? But overall given the injury and transfer circumstances I think they’ve done very well for the long term knowing that this year was always likely to be a step back from their Shield winning form of 2021.
MRS 2: The Revs sit sixth in the East after the midweek draw vs Toronto, are the playoffs enough for this season to be deemed successful?
I want to say yes, but the Revs know the ultimate goal is to win MLS Cup. Everyone knows the Revs history in the final and Bruce Arena has brought them back to contention for major trophies and I think the expectations have been raised to the point that no, making the playoffs isn’t successful. Which is a good thing, when fully healthy this is a team capable of making a run in the playoffs. Their current unbeaten streak missing most of their key starting attackers should mean the Shield winning team that was able to grind out wins last year is close to returning and their younger players are getting a decent amount of experience right now. Even if the Revs bow out early in the playoffs, I think they’ll be aiming for the top of the conference again in 2023 which will be no easy task with Toronto, Philly, the New York clubs, and Montreal among others still likely to be at the top again.
MRS 3: Who or what has been the key to your last five performances as you now have not lost?
Tommy McNamara continues to prove he is a starter in MLS with a goal and two assists in the last few weeks as he’s moved from holding and attack mid to cover the gaps in the Revs formation. Justin Rennicks has been solid as a pressing forward and scored the go-ahead goal in Toronto at the start of the second half but the Revs couldn’t protect the lead. Carles Gil has recognized during the Revs injury spell up top that he needs to be more aggressive going for goal and he should have had a brace against DC United but had to settle for the winner in a 1-0 game.
But the key player has been Petrovic. The Serbian keeper has been putting up record shot stopping numbers in the league since becoming the full time start a few months ago and he has been immense in net. Yes, the Revs backline of Jones-Kessler-Farrell-Bye has also been playing together more consistently which has helped, but it’s Petrovic who has kept the Revs in a lot of these games and a 400 (minutes) shutout streak was ended via the penalty spot at BMO Field midweek. Petrovic won’t put up the same save or shutout numbers as the rest of the top keepers in MLS have over the course of a full year, but the advanced metrics should make him a finalist for keeper of the year in the league.