For many New England soccer fans, the international break represents a an opportunity to focus their attention on their national teams of choice.  They get to watch their favorite players on a larger stage, with higher stakes.  Revs fans got to watch Matt Turner, Tajon Buchanan, and Adam Buksa play for their respective nations.

For others, the reduced number of games can make them go a little crazy.

Luckily for me, the Revolution were one of only 6 MLS teams back in action this weekend.  They embarked into the heat (literally) of the cauldron at Sporting Kansas City’s Childrens Mercy Park.  With players off with international duty, games like this present an opportunity for those left behind to show their capabilities.  This is especially true of the Revs.  Of the three players mentioned above, 2 of them are no longer on the Revolution roster.  Tajon Buchanan left over the winter, while Adam Buksa just joined French RC Lens for a reported $10M fee.  Matt Turner, meanwhile, has already come to terms with Arsenal and will play his last game on June 19th against Minnesota United.

It’s a new era for the Bruce Arena led Revolution.  Three key players in the record setting 2021 season have now been sold for a combined $24M.  This leaves many Revs fans, myself included, wondering how the team will take shape, and which players will step up to fill the void.

Here are my impressions of which players saw their stock rise, and which ones saw their stock fall over the weekend.

Stock Up: Gustavo Bou

Let’s be honest, the biggest piece of news out of the Revolution this week was the official transfer of Adam Buksa to RC Lens in France’s Ligue 1.  The team made the official announcement last Tuesday and Buksa officially transferred when the window opened on Friday.

This leaves Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou as the two remaining designated players for the Foxboro club.  Buksa racked up 7 goals, by far the most on the team.  Therefore, it’s only fair to wonder who is going to score the goals now that he’s gone.  The answer appears to be Bou, who has scored 2 goals in his last 2 games after returning from an injury.

When New England was dangerous on Sunday, it was mostly thanks to Bou who looked hungry to get himself on the score sheet.  After scoring a penalty last week, he put home the game’s opening goal on Sunday and then took the shot that lead to Boateng’s rebound goal.

Stock Down: Wilfrid Kaptoum

Wilfrid Kaptoum got his third start in a row on Sunday and, as I wrote a few weeks back, he has earned those minutes.

Unfortunately, Kaptoum looked a bit flat today.  His decision making wasn’t the best, and he lost possession in dangerous spots.  In one particularly notable example, he misplaces a pass to Matt Polster.  Johnny Russel intercepts the pass and as a result, Polster needs to commit a tactical foul to stop the counter-attack.  Polster received a yellow card for the interaction.

Stock Up: Dylan Borrero

Dylan Borrero signed with the Revolution, theoretically, to take Tajon Buchanan’s place in the starting 11.  The 20 year old is still a developing prospect, but Bruce signed Borrero because his attributes aligned well with those of the outgoing Canadian international.  What we have gotten on the field is a player who always looks to play forward and, as we can see in Bou’s goal from Sunday, a player who can hit an absolute dime of a pass if needed.

Stock Down: Jon Bell

Jon Bell came on for an injured Omar Gonzalez in the 55th minute.  From the get go, he looked out of place and that continued for large stretches of the second half.  Gonzalez was, himself, starting this match to cover an injury to Henry Kessler.  It is clear that Bruce Arena sees Gonzalez as the 3rd option at center-back and Jon Bell as the 4th option.

Usually, I wouldn’t put a whole lot of stock into how well the 4th option plays, but center-back has been a position of need for New England this season.  Henry Kessler has been the Revs best defender when healthy, but has now missed 7 games this season.  Omar Gonzalez has become somewhat of a meme for his defensive efforts.  This is why many Revs fans have been clamoring for Bell to play in his stead.

He had a few moments like this.  He looked uncertain of his positioning and needed to be told on a few occasions where to go on the field.  For now, I’ll chalk this up to a lack of playing time this season, but it’s concerning to say the least.

Stock Up: Ema Boateng

Ema Boateng did what he often does, when he comes on as a substitute.  He changes the game.  Boateng would “bungle” the decisive touch that gave New England all 3 points.

It was described by Bruce Arena as an “ugly goal”, but there’s something beautiful about the way Ema knows to follow up on Gustavo Bou’s shot.  He was quoted after the game saying that he could tell Bou was winding up for a shot, and he knew the best place to be to clean up the rebound.  “He hits some pretty powerful shots” said Boateng, “so I just took the chance on it, knowing if he gets a touch on it, I will be there for the rebound.  So I just read it.”

Boateng didn’t just score the winning goal.  In his 18 minutes, he also managed to provide a team leading 3 chances.  Not a bad day in the office.

Stock Down: The credibility of the injury report

In the Bruce Arena era, the Revolution, haven’t exactly been forthcoming with injury information.  This is why it came as no great shock to learn that Sebastian Lletget was out on Sunday with an injury.  He was not listed on the official injury report.  It is becoming a bit tiresome, as a fan, to learn information about the team after the fact.

I hope Sporting KC set their entire game plan to counteract Lletget, otherwise I can’t think of a good reason to continually shroud player health behind a veil of secrecy.


photo credit: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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