5 Thoughts from Revs v. Union

The New England Revolution continued its preseason campaign on Tuesday with a 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union. Jack McInerney put the Union ahead in the 44th minute before Revolution trialist Evan Melo leveled the score in the 60th. The game, which was played in three, 30 minute segments, wasn’t streamed. Regardless, here are five thoughts about the game.

1. Donnie Smith could be Tierney 2.0. Primarily used as a midfielder last year, Smith has now logged 105 preseason minutes at left back. While it will take some time to get him fully acclimated to the new position, it’s clear that Smith has the skillset to make the change. The left-footed player has a natural ability to cross and the pace to get up-and-down the field. Listed at 5’11, Smith isn’t the biggest player, but he does have a great jumping capacity. He’s also a level-headed individual that will work hard and listen to his coaches. An important part of the Smith experiment will be his ability to get regular minutes, whether in Foxboro or Rochester.

2. Competition will help both Bobby Shuttleworth and Brad Knighton. After a 90 minute performance by Shuttleworth in which he recorded three saves, Knighton received his chance between the pipes. The former Vancouver man made the most of his 90 minutes by making several crucial saves. Although neither player has recorded a shutout, they both have the attributes needed to be starters in MLS. The competition between Shuttleworth and Knighton will encourage both players to get better in order to solidify the starting spot.

3. The injuries of Steve Neumann and Charlie Davies are concerning. After the game, the Revs revealed an injury list that included Neumann (ankle), Davies (calf), Diego Fagundez (concussion), Saer Sene (ankle) and Chris Tierney (foot). A long injury list is never good, but the inclusion of Neumann and Davies is particularly bothersome because both players needed an active and productive preseason. For Neumann, preseason is needed to help him transition from college to MLS, a jump that is often difficult to make. For Davies, preseason is needed to help him adjust to his new teammates and formation. Both are reportedly suffering minor knocks, which means that they will hopefully be back on the field soon.

4. Evan Melo is pushing for a roster spot. Melo rejoined the Revs this preseason after previously training with the team last summer. The former FC Sion player has experience as a striker and a left winger, both positions of need. His stock further rises because of his association with club captain Jose Goncalves. Melo, who put in a solid 34 minute shift against Malmo FF, added to his push for a roster spot on Tuesday by netting a goal. While scoring doesn’t always lead to a contract (just ask Marko Jesic), it is a positive moment for Melo.

5. Expectations are high for Andrew Farrell. After playing 45 minutes at center back against Malmo FF, Farrell lined up as defensive midfielder on Tuesday. The position isn’t completely new to him since he spent some time there while at Louisville. Experimenting with Farrell is all about getting the most out of a talented player. It’s clear that Farrell is a high quality right back but moving him to the center would allow for more touches and potentially help create a stronger overall team. Heaps knows that he has a defensive stud in Farrell and he’s now trying to figure out the best way to use him.

Potential Starting Lineup on Opening Day (as of 2/5/2014):

Tracking Preseason Contributions (as of 2/5/2014):

 

Player

Total Minutes

Stats

Woodbine

135

 

Smith

105

1 Assist

Caldwell

105

 

Knighton

90

1 Goal Allowed

Soares

90

 

Alston

90

 

Farrell

90

 

Perovic

90

 

Nguyen

90

 

Rowe

90

1 Goal

Mullins

90

 

Bengtson

90

 

Barnes

90

 

Dorman

90

 

Sundley

90

 

Imbongo

90

 

Shuttleworth

90

1 Goal Allowed

Melo

79

1 Goal

DelPiccolo

75

 

Omanga

56

 

Sanchez

45

 

Perotti

45

 

Fagundez

45

 

Goncalves

30

 

 

Dustyn Richardson

About Dustyn Richardson

Managing editor and Houston Dynamo writer for Total-MLS. Fan of all Houston sports teams and Manchester United supporter. Still angry at Bud Selig for moving the Astros to the American League.

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