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Revolution flying high atop the East

The New England Revolution continued their stunning stretch of form over the weekend with their action-packed 2-1 victory at Gillette Stadium over old rivals Sporting Kansas City. The win helped the Revs tie FC Cincinnati for the top spot in the Eastern Conference at 20 points, while also leading the Supporter’s Shield race. However, the road here hasn’t been anything close to smooth sailing, with multiple key players currently suffering from injuries keeping them out of action. Still, Bruce Arena’s men have rallied behind each other to manufacture some incredibly clutch results over the course of the season’s nine weeks.

While Gustavo Bou has been in and out of action, last season’s Revolution golden boot winner has only played in half of the team’s games this season, scoring just twice. The offensive production up until this past weekend had primarily come from Bou’s replacement Bobby Wood, as well as Dylan Borrero and Carles Gil. The aforementioned trio all have two goals apiece, while Giacomo Vrioni leads the team at 3 having scored a brace against SKC and a goal earlier this season against CF Montreal. 

The real stars of the show in New England this season have been the entire defensive core of the team, goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic included. The Serbian netminder has been arguably the best keeper in the league so far this season, continuing his impressive form from last season that saw him nominated for the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Award in 2022. In all nine games, Petrovic has only conceded eight goals, backstopping the Revs to four clean sheets in the process. Additionally, Petro is top five in all major statistical categories for goalkeepers, further making sense as to why Manchester United is interested in the services of the 23-year-old. 

In front of Petrovic has been the duo of newly-acquired Dave Romney, signed from Nashville SC in the offseason and the Revolution’s sixth overall pick in the 2020 MLS Superdraft, Henry Kessler. Unfortunately, in the team’s 4-0 win over CF Montreal, Kessler suffered a hamstring injury that will require him to rehab for four months before returning to the pitch. The two gelled seamlessly from the moment they were deployed, which was incredible given Romney was only meant to fill in for Andrew Farrell as he recovered from an offseason surgery. Now with Kessler injured, Farrell will most likely step in to fill the void until later this summer. 

Brandon Bye and DeJuan Jones have only continued to grow this year, with the two seemingly honing their defensive skills at the perfect time. The lapses that had occurred in years past with the two trending toward a more offensive play style seem to be completely gone, as both outside backs have been able to shut down some of the league’s most talented wingers throughout the course of the year.

The Revolution will have a brief interval from league play as they welcome Hartford Athletic for a U.S. Open Cup third-round matchup at Gillette Stadium this Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Many of the team’s younger players, such as 18-year-olds Noel Buck, Jack Panayotou and Esmir Bajraktarevic are certainly going to see action against a USL side that sits eighth in the Eastern Conference of their league. After playing Hartford, the Revs will welcome their Supporter’s Shield co-leaders FC Cincinnati to Foxboro for a Saturday night slugfest that will hopefully solidify the top spot in Major League Soccer at the end of Matchweek 10.

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