New England Revolution

3 takeaways from the Revolution’s 1-1 draw against New York City FC

An early Eastern Conference test ends in a stalemate.

Revolution NYC FC
Revolution players celebrate with Carles Gil after the New England captain scored the breakthrough goal in the 70th minute. Via MLS

The Revolution were held to a 1-1 draw at home against New York City FC on Saturday night.

New England (4-1-1) took a second-half lead after a solo effort from captain Carles Gil, but couldn’t hang on, surrendering a Talles Magno equalizer from a corner kick in the 80th minute.

Here are a few takeaways:

A tight game was determined (indirectly) by a pair of mistakes.

Unlike most of the Revolution’s opponents, New York did not sit deep playing at Gillette Stadium. Instead, the visitors played a high line for much of the night, attempting to press New England and limit midfield space.

The game became squeezed into the middle third of the field, with neither side able to fully work the ball into advantageous positions. While New York was able to keep control of possession for a majority of the night, Nick Cushing’s team proved mostly unable to create quality chances from open play.


The Revolution, by contrast, ended up playing more vertically. This led to several chances (forward Gustavo Bou was left to rue not making more of multiple breakaway opportunities), but a much lower passing accuracy in the final third than New York (68.2 percent vs. 82 percent).

Given the tight margins, it was perhaps not surprising that a mistake from each team resulted in the two goals. For New York, a turnover from midfielder James Sands (caused by 17-year-old Noel Buck) allowed forward Bobby Wood to play in Gil, who drove at goal before tucking his shot in at the near post.

On the flip side, an uncharacteristic Buck turnover allowed New York to move the ball towards goal and win a corner kick (from which Magno scored the tying goal).

It was a tough break for Buck and New England still should’ve defended the corner kick better (more on that below), but it was a reminder how little can separate two Eastern Conference teams.

An up and down night for the younger players.

New England once again started 17-year-old Buck in center midfield, as well as fellow teenager Jack Panayotou (also starting in center midfield). The 18-year-old Panayotou showed ability when the Revolution had the ball, but is still learning to adapt to the pace of an MLS game.


Buck, as he often has in 2023, showed that he is capable of quality passing and positional play. His turnover in the buildup to New York’s goal will be something to learn from.

Dylan Borrero, returning from a 14,000-mile trip (having played for Colombia in Japan only a few days earlier), came on for Panayotou in the second half. He appeared to create a fortunate breakthrough goal in the second half — when his cross deflected in — but it was ruled out due to Bou being ruled offside. Still, he looked dynamic and will most likely slide back into a starting role with the international window now over.

Set pieces are a concern.

New York nabbing a Magno equalizer off a corner kick was further confirmation that defending set pieces remains an early point of concern for Arena.

In open play, New England (particularly the center back pairing of Henry Kessler and Dave Romney) has looked calm and capable for most of the early part of the year. But as was also the case against Nashville earlier in the season, the Revolution looked less steady against set pieces.

The warning sign was there five minutes before Magno’s goal. A free kick in the 75th minute found the head of New York center back Thiago Martins, whose point-blank range header was parried by a quality reaction save from Djordje Petrović.


Magno’s goal moments later was the end result of what is probably he closest thing the New England defense has to a real issue in the 2023 season. It has largely been an effective unit through six games, but set piece defense cost the Revolution a chance at collecting a full three points at home against an Eastern Conference rival.


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