Adam Buksa Lifts Revolution to 2-2 Draw at Atlanta United
ATLANTA, Ga. - The New England Revolution (3-5-3, 12 pts.) played Atlanta United FC (4-4-3; 15 pts.) to a 2-2 draw at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Adam Buksa scored two goals for the second time this week as his scoring streak improves to six games in all competitions, while Carles Gil and Sebastian Lletget picked up assists on the two goals.
Matt Turner made a world-class save in the 11th minute, leaping to deny Thiago Almada's free kick from the top of the penalty area. However, Almada got his revenge in the 15th minute as his curling right-footed shot tucked just inside the back post to put Atlanta ahead 1-0. Turner and defender Brandon Bye both made their 100th MLS regular season starts, while Henry Kessler earned his 50th career league start - all with New England.
Adam Buksa equalized for New England in the 30th minute as he scored in a career-best sixth straight game in all competitions. Carles Gil recorded the assist on Buksa's goal, marking his fourth consecutive league game with a helper, the longest streak in MLS this season.
In the 55th minute, Buksa chested down a pass from Sebastian Lletget and roofed a shot past Bobby Shuttleworth for his second goal of the game. Buksa now has back-to-back braces after he scored a pair in the Revolution's U.S. Open Cup win on Wednesday night. Buksa has tallied 24 goals from open play since arriving in New England, most in MLS by two since 2020, as he increases his totals to six league goals and 10 in all competitions.
Atlanta pulled level via Luiz Araujo's goal in the 63rd minute, forcing the two sides to split the points. Tommy McNamara had an opportunity to win it for the visitors late, bus his shot rang off the post in the 87th minute.
The Revolution are back on the road next Saturday, May 21 for a rematch with FC Cincinnati at TQL Stadium. Saturday's match kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET locally on WSBK-TV38 and myRITV (Rhode Island), as well as on the radio via 98.5 The Sports Hub and 1260 AM Nossa Radio.
New England Revolution 2, Atlanta United FC 2
May 15, 2022 - Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, Ga.)
New England has scored multiple goals in seven consecutive games, including Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup win vs. FC Cincinnati.
The Revolution move to 0-3-2 on the road this season as their record in the all-time series with Atlanta United shifts to 2-4-3.
New England is now unbeaten in four straight games in all competitions (2-0-2), including Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup win vs. FC Cincinnati.
Adam Buksa's career-best scoring streak improves to six games, including five consecutive league matches. Buksa has eight goals in the last six games across all competitions.
Buksa leads MLS with 24 goals scored from open play since 2020, surpassing LA Galaxy's Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez (22). His 28 league goals are tied with Ola Kamara for third-most during that span.
Buksa leads the Revolution with 10 goals in all competitions and six in MLS play, which is tied for fourth most in MLS this season.
Carles Gil registered an assist for the fourth consecutive league game, the longest streak in MLS this season, and the fifth straight match overall. The Spaniard now has four goals and six assists in his last seven games in all competitions.
Gil now has 45 assists since the start of 2019 (inc. playoffs), the most in MLS by a margin of four over NYCFC's Maxi Moralez (41).
Gil's sixth assist of the MLS season moves him one behind Austin FC's Diego Fagundez (7) for the league lead.
Gil's 40th league assist moves him into a tie with Kelyn Rowe for fourth most in Revolution history.
Sebastian Lletget delivered a pinpoint cross to Buksa on the Revs' second goal, his third assist of the campaign and his 30th in MLS play.
GK Matt Turner and D Brandon Bye both made their 100th MLS regular season start today, while D Henry Kessler recorded his 50th league start, all with New England.
Bruce Arena made one change to the starting lineup from the Revolution's last MLS match on May 7, as Emmanuel Boateng started in place of Damian Rivera.
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Adam Garner (AR1), Logan Brown (AR2)
Fourth Official: Alyssa Nichols
Video Assistant Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Jonathan Johnson
Weather: 72 Degrees & Indoors (Roof Closed)
ATL - Thiago Almada 2 (Unassisted) 15'
NE - Adam Buksa 5 (Carles Gil 6) 30'
NE - Adam Buksa 6 (Sebastian Lletget 3) 55'
ATL - Luiz Araujo 2 (Thiago Almada 2, Marcelino Moreno 4) 63'
ATL - Andrew Gutman (Yellow Card) 68'
NE - Tommy McNamara (Yellow Card) 87'
NE - Matt Polster (Yellow Card) 90+3'
New England Revolution: Matt Turner; DeJuan Jones, Henry Kessler, Andrew Farrell, Brandon Bye; Matt Polster, Tommy McNamara (Justin Rennicks 90+1'); Emmanuel Boateng (Maciel 63'), Carles Gil ©, Sebastian Lletget (Arnór Traustason 79'); Adam Buksa
Substitutes Not Used: Djordje Petrović, Wilfrid Kaptoum, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Damian Rivera, Ryan Spaulding
Atlanta United FC: Bobby Shuttleworth; Alex De John, Alan Franco, Brooks Lennon, Franco Ibarra, Andrew Gutman, Thiago Almada, Matheus Rossetto © (Dom Dwyer 85'), Marcelino Moreno, Luiz Araujo, Ronaldo Cisneros (Emerson Hyndman 71')
Substitutes Not Used: Rocco Rios-Novo, Ronald Hernandez, Amar Sejdic, Tyler Wolff, George Campbell, Mikey Ambrose, Jackson Conway
Atlanta United FC Team Statistics New England Revolution
26 (5) Shots (on Target) 14 (4)
10 Blocked Shots 5
1.80 Expected Goals (xG) 1.12
2 Saves 3
10 Corner Kicks 5
2 Offsides 0
7 Fouls 10
527 (86.9%) Passes Attempted (% Completed) 409 (83.6%)
56.6% Possession 43.4%
POSTGAME QUOTES: New England Revolution 2 at Atlanta United FC 2
Revolution Sporting Director & Head Coach Bruce Arena
On if he feels like things are coming together more in recent games:
Arena: "Yes and let's be fair, not our best day. We made some mistakes, obviously, in the game and probably could have done a little better job of protecting the lead in the second half. But the one thing that was a positive at the end of the game, we at least closed the game out and didn't concede a goal like we've done in a number of games this year, so that side of it is positive."
On if he's concerned with the team's defensive performance this season:
Arena: "I haven't thought of it like that. I think obviously, if we improve defensively, we'll probably win some more games. The positive part is I think over the last half-dozen games or so, we've scored a bunch of goals. So certainly, if we can be a little bit better defensively, we'll win more games."
On starting Emmanuel Boateng in place of Damian Rivera:
Arena: "Well, [Damian] Rivera played two 90-minute games in a row, and for a player of his age and with not that much experience at this level, it's hard to ask him to rev it up again for the third game in a week, so that's the reason for that."
On if getting Gustavo Bou back will allow them to take over games earlier:
Arena: "I have no idea how to answer that question. We'll see. It's going to take a while for him to get back in a rhythm. He's been out an awful long time, so we just have to wait and see."
On the pass Sebastian Lletget made on Adam Buksa's goal:
Arena: "Well, it was a situation where he took advantage of the space ahead of him, and I was surprised how he saw Adam [Buksa] there. It was a great ball and a great finish. Sebastian [Lletget] is capable of that. I think he still needs to be more aggressive in the attacking third of the field, but on that play, he certainly showed that."
Revolution Forward Adam Buksa
On scoring his first goal from a difficult angle:
Buksa: "Well, in this particular situation, that was the only way to score a goal honestly, because the angle was very tight. I tried to find this way to score a goal and it worked out. Obviously, you need to be lucky a little bit in this kind of situation, but yeah, that was my that was my idea, how I wanted to finish that situation off."
On the team rounding into form over the past few weeks:
Buksa: "Yeah, maybe you're right. But I think things are improving very, very slowly. It's been 10 weeks since the beginning of the season, and we're not happy with the amount of points that we've gained and I think things need to improve much, much quicker than they have."
On scoring in six straight games and if he feels like he's proving himself for a World Cup spot:
Buksa: "There's many, many months until the first game of the World Cup. So, I don't think about it. Well, it's not the right phrase. I think about it and obviously, it's a big, big dream for me to be part of the [Poland] National Team for the World Cup roster. But in order to find myself there, you need to prove game by game that you deserve that spot. So, it's a long-term goal, which is obviously my goal, but the way to find myself on the roster and in the national team at this time is just keep doing what I've been doing so far and don't think too much about the future in the long-term period."
On where he feels he's improved as a striker and if playing in MLS has allowed him to succeed:
Buksa: "Yes. I feel like I've improved a lot since the beginning of 2020, that was the time where I joined the league. Well, maybe we'll have time to talk about it, but right now it's not the right moment right after the game against Atlanta. I'll have to think about that. But yeah, I have definitely improved a lot."
On having Sebastian Lletget and Carles Gil providing service:
Buksa: "Well, they [Sebastian Lletget and Carles Gil] are two great players. And if you look closely at my goals that I've scored the last couple of games, most of the assists I believe came from Sebastian and Carles. So, these are the main manufacturers and why I keep scoring. These assists that they've delivered and that they've been delivering so far are great. And for me, it's easier and they make my life easier in terms of scoring goals. So, I hope they will keep up their great form and my job is to use their passes and their ability to cross balls in the right spot, and they've been great at it so far. But not only them, we have many, many players who are great at delivering balls, like DeJuan [Jones], Ema [Boateng], Brandon [Bye], Arnór [Traustason], there's many, many players on the team who can do that. Yeah, hopefully, there is more to come."
Revolution Midfielder Tommy McNamara
On coming close to scoring a winner late in the game for the second straight match:
McNamara: "Yeah, I hope so. That's the second week now the luck wasn't on my side. It is what it is. Hopefully, something falls soon."
On if the game felt like it could have been higher scoring:
McNamara: "Yeah, the game definitely opened up a lot in the second half and it was a lot of transitions back and forth. So, there was a lot of attacking opportunities for both teams. So yeah, like I said, it got very open there in the second half."
On how the team can lock things down defensively:
McNamara: "I think it's honestly in all areas. It's not just one specific area. It's all areas individually and collectively. We need to be better in literally every aspect of defending. It's not just the defenders and the goalkeepers or the sixes and the defensive and the backline. It starts from our front players and all 11 players need to collectively defend together and everyone is responsible defensively. So, I think everyone individually and collectively needs to be better in that regard."
On if things do feel like they are trending in the right direction as the season goes on:
McNamara: "Yeah, I feel that you are correct. Over the past however many games you mentioned - four or five games, whatever it is - that we're trending in the right direction. Our performances are trending in the right direction. We're playing a lot better through longer stretches of the game. I think the thing that's kind of been letting us down a little bit the last few weeks isn't necessarily the performance. It's in big moments, not wining those big moments. So, conceding a late goal, conceding a goal unnecessarily, and on the flip side, the opportunity to kind of kill the game off with a second or third goal and not capitalizing on that when we get the chances. So, I think we're trending in the right direction performance-wise for sure and we've been a little bit more consistent throughout the 90 minutes in general. But now, it's about putting it all together for a full 90 minutes and especially, to win the big moments of games, which we haven't really been able to win the big moments of games yet."
On if he views this as a good result or two points dropped:
McNamara: "A little bit of both. We came in with the mentality to win the game and we stood up with that. We wanted three points in this game. So, we're a little disappointed that we didn't get that. But on the flip side of it, Atlanta is a good team, at home. It's difficult in MLS to go away from home and win games. Atlanta had their chances and made the game very difficult for us. I think over the course of the game, I think a draw was kind of a fair result. We kind of need to take that away from home, so it's kind of a little bit of both."
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