Foxborough, Mass – The New England Revolution has shown a turnaround in both results and performances recently. They are yet to get properly back on track but things are looking up in Massachusetts. This weekend, the Revs will look to pick up a first road win of 2022 when they go to the home of Atlanta United. Will they prevail against an injury-stricken Atlanta side?
The Revolution Are Awaiting Their First Road Win of 2022
Two Hit-And-Miss Teams Go Head-To-Head
There are a lot of parallels between the Revs and Atlanta this year. The latter is currently occupying a playoff berth, which can’t be said for Bruce Arena’s men, but the pair have faced similar issues. Injuries are at the fore of this and that will be explored later. For the moment though, the results have been quite hit-and-miss.
The Five Stripes might have four wins on the season but none of them have come back-to-back which is reminiscent of the chaotic campaign they’re enduring. In their last three MLS games, they lost in Miami and Montreal before beating Chicago on their return home. Leonardo Campana was once again on target for Miami in a 2-1 win, whilst it was the win over the Fire that saw Miles Robinson go down injured. Despite this adversity, they were able to put four past Gaga Slonina thanks to a first-half hat-trick from Ronaldo Cisneros.
Musketmen scare 😅 pic.twitter.com/1oDp3tDVGN
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) May 12, 2022
As has been touched on, the Revs are still yet to pick up that elusive first road win. They are unbeaten in their last three in all competitions but these results all came on home soil. The Revolution got their revenge against Miami before a back-and-forth game ended honours even between them and Columbus. Last time out, New England got their first taste of the Open Cup this year and after going behind early on, they scored five in a romp over fellow MLSers Cincinnati.
Could the Atlanta Turf Continue to Cause Injuries?
It is worth noting that there is no evidence behind the injuries to key Atlanta players being linked. Both Miles Robinson and Brad Guzan have gone down with non-contact injuries on the field that have later been revealed as major ACL damage. The American duo have suffered these within just weeks of each other and they have both come on the field at the Benz.
Alongside Robinson and Guzan, both Josef Martinez and Ozzie Alonso are sidelined for Atlanta. Arena jested that he wasn’t feeling sorry for Atlanta though given the strength they still possess: “perhaps their depth will not be as great as it’s been obviously because of the injuries, but they still have a good starting team, some good attacking players, their striker if I’m not mistaken had a bunch of goals last week so I’m not feeling sorry for them.”
🚨 Sources tell CBS Sports that USMNT defender Miles Robinson will undergo surgery today. It is indeed a torn Achilles.
— Roger Gonzalez (@RGonzalezCBS) May 9, 2022
Whilst Gonzalo Pineda is experiencing a baptism of fire in his first full campaign as a head coach with all of these injuries, Arena boasts a clean bill of health. The experienced Andrew Farrell pointed out the fact that the team is yet to get that first road win and the need to do it soon. “I don’t think we’ve been able to win on the road yet, so we’re looking forward to hopefully doing that and keep on stringing these games along with the good results.”
It won’t be easy though- since Atlanta has come into the league they have been a true enigma. Prior to winning both home and away against them the last term, the Revolution was on the receiving end of a rough run. There were four consecutive defeats at the hands of the side from Georgia, three of which came at this weekend’s destination. These defeats were part of seven winless games in this fixture so history is certainly on the side of the hosts.
Who Can Make the Difference in a Potential First Road Win?
Arena’s assessment came down to the fact that “Atlanta’s had a decent start to the season, they’re ahead of us.” Meanwhile, Farrell highlighted the importance and absence of Josef Martinez: “I think Atlanta is one of those clubs that always brings in reinforcements at a high level with guys who can change the game in a heartbeat… Obviously, Josef Martinez is sad to not be able to go against a guy like that. He’s dominated the league since he’s been in the league and hoping he’s recovering well and doing well.”
Atlanta is missing this instrumental quartet with Martinez at the heart of it and the Revs could take advantage of this and pick up that first road win of 2022. However, Atlanta’s forward line is remarkable all the same. Cisneros had that hat-trick against Chicago and was on target in the defeat to Miami too. Luiz Araujo won the Ligue 1 title with Lille last year and his combination with Marcelino Moreno and Thiago Almada should keep the Revs’ defenders on their toes.
Ronaldo Cisneros scores a first-half hat trick for Atlanta United 🎩
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 7, 2022
When it comes to New England, the attack may well be the best form of defence. Carles Gil and Adam Buksa were red-hot against Cincinnati in the Open Cup, the Polish striker keeping up his run of scoring in the process. Everyone at the club has been singing his praises, Arena saying that “Adam’s a target player both with his feet and in the air, so that’s a real positive” whilst his teammate Farrell called him “tremendous”. “I think, each year he’s been here, he’s grown so much in his game. And obviously, we see the goals in the air and now he’s scores with his feet, and he’s always done that.”
The Revolution’s coaching staff will be hoping that Buksa’s run of games with goals extends on Sunday afternoon with this first road win in their sights. Atlanta is a very capable side no matter who they’re without and so it promises to be a fascinating encounter down south! The game takes place this Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.