New England Revolution

Emmanuel Boateng is making a case for more playing time with the Revolution

"Just compete hard in training and leave it up to the coach to make the decision of who plays.”

The six-year MLS veteran excelled in his first start of the season with the New England Revolution, providing one assist and scoring one goal. David Silverman

Emmanuel Boateng is finally getting the play time he’s been looking for. The veteran midfielder made his first start and scored his first goal for the Revolution in their most recent game against FC Cincinnati Saturday, adding to the strong starting lineup that has pulled the team through its nine-game unbeaten streak.

The left-footed 27-year-old scored on a straight shot from the top left, his specialty, in the 21st minute Saturday with an assisting set up from Tajon Buchanan and Adam Buksa. It was the 10th goal of his six-year MLS career. 

Although he was pulled out in the 60th minute, Boateng was given the start that had been anticipated since his signing in January. 

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“I think he did well. Obviously, a really nice goal and worked pretty hard,” Revs Coach Bruce Arena said. “We knew he would hit the wall a little bit physically at some point, so that’s why he got 60 minutes. But overall, it was a good effort on his part.”

Boateng, who was a former track and field sprinter in high school, is a speedy asset for the Revolution. His speed was leveraged in the game against D.C., when Arena put him in after halftime alongside Buchanan, hoping to widen the left side of the field and attempt more crossovers.

Arena indicated that Boateng was a player who could fill the flanks, especially on the left side, which was a needed addition for the Revolution when they signed him back in January

Right off the bat Saturday, the six-year MLS veteran displayed his natural ability as a left midfielder. Picking up the ball from Tommy McNamara, who often plays left wing, Boateng got it off to the center, providing an assist for Adam Buksa’s goal. 

“I think [Boateng] performed very well. He scored a goal, he gave an assist,” Buksa said. “He’s proving that he [can perform] and can help the team with his passes, with his ability to get into the box and finish off the crosses from the right side. He did that tonight. So that was a very, very good performance.” 

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Boateng was signed as a free agent in January after spending a year at Columbus Crew SC. With the Revolution, he was united with Arena, who was his former coach from his time at LA Galaxy in 2016. 

With the LA Galaxy, his first MLS team, Boateng had four successful seasons, especially in 2018, amassing a career-high four goals and starting in 29 of his 34 games played. However, Boateng has gotten playing time in just 5 of 22 Revolution games this season. 

But as the season ramps up for the Revolution, more appearances off the first whistle is likely expected for Boateng. 

“Everybody really wants to play, so when you get your chances, guys that come on, everybody’s trying to prove their worth,” Boateng said. “[Arena] knows that there are other guys that are on the bench who are doing well in training and deserve the opportunity, too. So, just compete hard in training and leave it up to the coach to make the decision of who plays.”

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