Revolution Recap: Adam Buksa's goal not enough in 1-1 draw vs. Chicago Fire

Revolution Recap: Adam Buksa's goal not enough in 1-1 draw vs. Chicago Fire

The New England Revolution couldn't hold on to a first-half lead, and had numerous chances to break a 1-1 tie against Chicago Fire FC on Saturday afternoon in their home opener as both sides settled with a tie. 

Matt Turner was unable to start in goal for the Revolution after being labeled week-to-week with a knee injury. That gave Brad Knighton the start -- and he did not disappoint. 

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Knighton and the defense held down the fort on the back end, and that gave striker Adam Buksa the opportunity to flourish on the attack and put the Revs up 1-0 with a gorgeous left-footed strike in the 28th minute -- his first goal as a member of the Revolution.

"I'm very happy to have scored a goal, especially in front of our fans at Gillette Stadium," Buksa said after the match. "I think it was a nice goal. I had to come to the ball and take it and I scored through on the further post."

Throughout the majority of the first half, the Revolution dominated. They managed to produce three shots on goalie Kenneth Kronholm while holding the Fire to just two shots on goal. They blocked four of Chicago's seven attempts. 

Cristian Penilla was able to help New England on a few of those shots, with an ankle-breaking move on the Fire defender to move the ball up the edge of the field and create space for a strong offensive opportunity. 

Although they outplayed the Fire, the Revs allowed Chicago to score the equalizer in the 70th minute off a Jonathan Bornstein header.

While they had many chances to break the deadlock, the Revolution just couldn't find the tiebreaker and missed an opportunity to come away with three points. 

Head coach Bruce Arena thought his club was much better than they were in their season-opening, 2-1 loss to the Montreal Impact last week.

"Two weeks in a row we've failed to capitalize on some pretty good opportunities," Arena said after the game Saturday. "I think it was a really sloppy game. The conditions were difficult with the wind on an artificial field. The ball was difficult to control by both teams. I thought on the day our passing just wasn't good enough and yet we did create enough chances to get the second goal and perhaps steal three points, but we didn't get it done. I thought we did a better job collectively in defending. We created more chances this week than we did last week."

One player who stood on defense for the Revs was rookie Henry Kessler. And although he picked up a yellow card in the first half, Arena thought Kessler was much better than in his Revolution debut.

"I agree. First half a few mistakes," Arena said of the 21-year-old. "I thought he dropped off the line a little early and picked up a caution, which you never like to see out of your center back in the first half, but I thought the second half he played quite well and he's the one that played the ball at the end of the game to Bye that created the goal-scoring opportunity for Rennicks. Overall, Henry [Kessler] had another good game."

Here are the full game highlights:

The game could've been much different if Carles Gil, out with an undisclosed injury, was in the Revs lineup. However, Arena said he thought Buksa and Gustavo Bou are creating some nice chemistry up front.

"I think so. I think once we get Carles Gil back it's going to look a heck of a lot better," Arena said. "We'll be a more dangerous team because we need some better passing in the last part of the field and Carles [Gil] certainly gives us that. He's back on the field so we hope to get him back soon."

The Revs (0-1-1) will host the Portland Timbers next Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET. 

Awesome Gustavo Bou goal powers Revolution to win vs. Impact in MLS tourney opener

Awesome Gustavo Bou goal powers Revolution to win vs. Impact in MLS tourney opener

The New England Revolution returned to game action Thursday night with a statement win.

The Revs earned an exciting 1-0 victory over the Montreal Impact in their first Group C game of the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando.

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A sensational goal by star forward Gustavo Bou and a spectacular performance from goalkeeper Matt Turner earned the Revs a crucial three points ahead of next week's group stage clash with D.C. United.

These teams were deadlocked 0-0 until Bou unleashed a rocket of a shot from just inside the 18-yard box to give New England the all-important first goal in the 56th minute. Bou showed impressive control to fake a shot with his right foot, bring the ball back to his left foot and power it past Impact goalkeeper Clément Diop.

Bou had eight shots total, with three on target. New England had 19 shots (four on target) overall, far outpacing Montreal's seven shots (two on target).

The Impact nearly evened the score and earned a point deep into stoppage time but Turner came up with one of the best saves of the tournament so far. He was barely able to get his left glove on a shot that appeared to change direction right as it was approaching the net.

Revolution midfielder Carles Gil also had a great game, including an assist on Bou's winning goal. 

How important was this win for the Revs?

It gives them an opportunity to clinch a spot in the knockout round of the tournament if they beat D.C. United next Thursday or Toronto F.C. on July 21. Group stage points also count toward the 2020 MLS regular season standings, so the Revs have picked up three points for that campaign as well. 

Bruce Arena: Revolution players have had 'real good approach' to MLS bubble

Bruce Arena: Revolution players have had 'real good approach' to MLS bubble

The New England Revolution begin MLS Is Back Tournament play Thursday night against the Montreal Impact, ending a four-month break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic forcing sports leagues around the world to delay, pause or cancel their respective seasons.

In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, the MLS has gathered all of its teams in a bubble in Orlando for a World Cup-style tournament. The stakes are high as a berth in next year's CONCACAF Champions League is on the line, and group stage games will count toward regular season points.

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The Revs' first group stage game against the Impact is a tough one. The Impact boast a talented team, and they have won each of the last three meetings versus the Revolution, including a 2-1 win at Montreal in February. 

In a video conference call with reporters Wednesday, Revolution head coach Bruce Arena spoke about how his team is adjusting to the conditions in Orlando ahead of Thursday's showdown.

“The food is actually very good. Before we went, I saw that somebody wrote an article about how bad everything was here and the food was terrible. Actually, the food’s been very good," Arena explained. "The fields are very good. A hotel is a hotel. When you get into professional sports and you’re traveling a lot and you’re staying in hotels, you’re sick of all that. We’ve been here now a week. It’s going to be challenging as the tournament continues to grow. But we have no complaints.

"Listen, there’s going to be issues along the way with everything, with testing for the virus every other day. We’re getting on buses and traveling to training and all of that, and it gets a little bit of wear and tear on you mentally but, for the most part, our guys have had a real good approach to the whole thing. And as I said at the beginning of this, this is what we’d rather be doing anyway instead of just sitting quarantined in a house or an apartment in Boston. I don’t know why anyone would be complaining about being here. This is what we do for a living and we’re going to get the opportunity to do it. I’m excited for this competition to start.” 

There will be plenty of mental challenges for the Revs. Playing in a bubble is a new experience for these players. However, Arena is confident his team will be able to handle the adversity that comes its way.

“These are the things you do every day with teams. Whether you’re in a bubble or not, or you’re going on a long road trip, it’s the same thing," Arena said. "If your team is a real team and they want to play and they want to be successful, they find ways to overcome any of these small, little issues in life. Maybe there’s a day where the meal isn’t good, the bus is late, we have a thunderstorm. Come on. Let’s get on with it.

"That’s generally our attitude. There’s nothing here that really is troubling to our team. We have no excuses. There are really no excuses from our end. We don’t find anything here to be that difficult that we can’t deal with it.”