The New England beat NYC FC 2-1 in front of a season high crowd of 28,811 fans at Gillette Stadium on Saturday.
With the win the Revolution ended their five game winless streak and moved six points ahead of New York in the playoff battle.
The Revolution goal came in 12th minute when Lee Nguyen finished off a great NE passing move that ripped open the New York defense.
Revs boss Jay Heaps had to juggle his defense due to injuries and suspensions with Brad Knighton replacing the injured Bobby Shuttleworth in goal and Jeremy Hall sliding into central defense to replace the suspended Jose Concalves.
But other than the changes Heaps stuck with his formation of 4-2-3-1 with Scott Caldwell and Daigo Kobayashi in front of the back four and Team Bunbury, Nguyen and Diago Fagundez with Charlie Davies up front.
NYC FC made headlines recently with the signings of Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo but based on recent performances the club should be addressing it defensive issues.
NYC had no answer to Nguyen and Fagundez who both played their best games of the season, exploiting the huge swath of space between the New York defenders and midfielders. That NE only scored once is a testament to the goalkeeper of John Saunders and poor finishing. Charlie Davies in particular missed at least great chances to score.
This was the best performance by NE in literally months. They pressed well and forced NY into turnovers in the final third. Nguyen showed glimpses of the form that made him an MVP candidate last season, while Fagundez continued his recent streak of strong performances.
As Jay Heaps said in his post game press conference, the Revs are at their best when they play with tempo and speed, and can move the ball quickly from one side of the pitch to another. On Saturday night we saw that return to the New England game. The question is whether they can build on this against Chicago.
If there was a negative side to New England’s performance it was their inability to go on and score a second and third goal. Their inability to get a second, meant that despite dominating the second half, and playing a team with 10-men, the three points were in doubt until the final whistle.
So was this the turnaround game that Revolution fans have been looking for or was this simply the case of picking up a win against an expansion side?
We will find out the answer to that question next week when New England goes to Chicago. But based on Saturday night’s performance the New England Revolution look like they are finally ready to come out of their summer slumber.