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Revolution Fall to Nashville SC, 2-0

May 8, 2021 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - New England Revolution News Release


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The New England Revolution (2-1-1; 7 pts.) fell to Nashville SC (1-3-0, 6 pts.), 2-0, on Saturday afternoon at Nissan Stadium. Nashville took a 1-0 lead on C.J. Sapong's goal in the 25th minute, which snapped the Revolution's run of 283 minutes without conceding from open play. Nashville then closed the scoring with Alex Muyl's 75th-minute strike.

New England was unable to get back into the match despite generating several scoring opportunities in the contest. Carles Gil delivered six key passes as Adam Buksa matched his single-game high with five shots, including a 63rd-minute header that was denied by the post. Brandon Bye also nearly pulled one back for the Revs with a powerful header in the 90th minute that was one of four saves on the day made by Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis.

Newcomers Wilfrid Kaptoum and Arnór Traustason each registered their third MLS appearances in today's match. Traustason logged one of New England's four shots on target, while Kaptoum recorded a 26-minute appearance off the bench. Gustavo Bou and DeJuan Jones each registered their 30th MLS starts in today's match, as Bou returned to the lineup after missing last week's game due to injury. For the second straight contest, Brazilian midfielder Maciel starting alongside Matt Polster, who surpassed 7,500 minutes played for his MLS career. After completing 100 percent of his passes in his MLS debut last week, Maciel led all starters with 92.9 percent passing accuracy in the opposing half.

New England continues a busy stretch of three matches in nine days on Wednesday, May 12, with a trip to face the Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park for a rematch of last season's MLS Cup Playoffs Round One matchup. Wednesday's match will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET on myTV38, myRITV, 98.5 The Sports Hub, and in Portuguese on WBIX 1260 AM Nossa Radio USA.

POSTGAME NOTES

New England Revolution 0, Nashville SC 2

May 8, 2021 - Nissan Stadium (Nashville, Tenn.)

The New England Revolution fell to Nashville SC, 2-0, on the road on Saturday afternoon. The Revolution move to 2-1-1 (7 pts). on the season and 0-1-1 on the road.

Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena made one change to the Starting XI from last Saturday's victory over Atlanta United. Gustavo Bou returns to the lineup after missing last weekend's match due to injury, with Brandon Bye shifting to the bench.

New England's record against Nashville SC moves to 0-1-2 in the all-time series (0-1-1 at Nissan Stadium).

C.J. Sapong's goal for Nashville in the 25th minute ended the Revolution defense's streak without conceding from open play at 283 minutes.

21-year-old midfielder Maciel made his second career MLS start and played 64 minutes alongside Matt Polster. Maciel completed 37 of his 41 passes (90.2 percent) and recorded one key pass on the afternoon. His accuracy rate of 92.9 percent in the opposing half led all Revolution starters.

Midfielder Carles Gil recorded a game-high six key passes according to Opta, more than twice the next-highest total for any player on either side.

Forward Adam Buksa matched his MLS career-high with five shots on the afternoon, including two blocked shots and another headed shot off the post.

Midfielders Arnór Traustason and Wilfrid Kaptoum both made their third MLS appearances on Saturday. Traustason started in the midfield and recorded one shot on target, while Kaptoum came on in the 64th minute in place of Maciel and completed all 22 of his passes on the day.

Goalkeeper Matt Turner made five saves on the afternoon, eclipsing 250 saves for his MLS career. His 252 career MLS saves are third most in Revs history.

Defender Andrew Farrell made his 243rd appearance for the club, tying Jay Heaps for fifth all time in Revs regular season annals. Farrell finished the game with team highs in recoveries (11) and clearances (5).

GAME CAPSULE

REFEREE: Victor Rivas

AR1: Claudiu Badea; AR2: Jeffrey Greeson

4th Official: Katja Koroleva

Video Assistant Referee: Ricardo Salazar

Attendance: 12,510

Weather: 61 degrees and rain showers

Scoring Summary:

NSH - C.J. Sapong (Walker Zimmerman) 25'

NSH - Alex Muyl (Unassisted) 75'

Misconduct Summary:

NSH - Daniel Lovitz (Yellow Card) 28'

NE - DeJuan Jones (Yellow Card) 57'

NSH - Anibal Godoy (Yellow Card) 90'+3

New England Revolution: Matt Turner; DeJuan Jones (Brandon Bye 64'), Andrew Farrell, Henry Kessler, Tajon Buchanan; Matt Polster (Tommy McNamara 76'), Maciel (Wilfrid Kaptoum 64'); Arnór Traustason (Teal Bunbury 64'), Carles Gil ©; Gustavo Bou (Edward Kizza 76'), Adam Buksa

Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Jon Bell, A.J. DeLaGarza, Scott Caldwell

Nashville SC: Joe Willis; Daniel Lovitz (Jalil Anibaba 83'), Dave Romney, Alistair Johnston, Walker Zimmerman; Dax McCarty © (Matt LaGrassa 83'), Alex Muyl, Anibal Godoy; Randall Leal, Dominique Badji (Jhonder Cadiz 64'), CJ Sapong (Taylor Washington 72')

Substitutes Not Used: Jack Maher, Rodrigo Pineiro, Dylan Nealis, Luke Haakenson, Bryan Meredith

Nashville SC Team Statistics New England Revolution

16 (7) Shots (on Target) 12 (4)

2 Blocked Shots 4

4 Saves 5

5 Corner Kicks 4

2 Offsides 1

12 Fouls 12

402 (77.9%) Passes Attempted (% Completed) 553 (86.1%)

42.0% Possession 58.0%

POSTGAME QUOTES

Revolution Sporting Director & Head Coach Bruce Arena

On the loss at Nashville SC:

Arena: "Tough game. We were thoroughly outplayed in the first 30 minutes of the game. I thought in the second half we played much better. We needed to get a break. I think we had a chance to make things interesting at the end when [Adam] Buksa was taken down in the box. I have no idea why they have VAR if they can't use that technology to correct the mistake. But having said that, give Nashville SC credit, I think they're deserving of the win today."

On creating chances in the second half:

Arena: "As I said, the second half was much better. First half, I think in the field, we were probably outplayed in nine of the 10 positions over the first 30 to 35 minutes of the half and it got better in the second half. So that was encouraging. I thought the players we brought in the game helped us. I thought [Edward] Kizza did a very good job holding the ball up at times. I thought [Wilfrid] Kaptoum made a good contribution as did Brandon Bye, so that part was positive. The goal that was called back in the beginning of the second half I believe was a correct call. The foul on [Adam] Buksa was not so it could have gotten really interesting if we'd gotten that penalty at the 80-minute mark. And then the other part, to have only four minutes of extra time is almost comical in that half especially when we got three minutes in the first half. So, anyway, that's that. It's all part of the game and we got to move forward."

On the concern with turnovers in the defensive third:

Arena: "Yeah, there was some poor passing out of the back at times that hurt us. And certainly, their second goal was created by a poor turnover on our part. So, certainly that was disappointing."

On the team deploying a 4-4-2 formation instead of a 4-2-3-1:

Arena: "We're better suited to play better soccer. If we're not playing well, the formation doesn't matter. Over time, we'll see what's the best formation for our team but the issues in the first 30 minutes of game had nothing to do with our formation, it had to do with our play."

On moving Tajon Buchanan to left back:

Arena: "He didn't play left back, he played left side midfield. We had three in the back. So he's playing on the left side of midfield and Teal [Bunbury] was playing on the right side in that formation."

On Gustavo Bou returning to the lineup:

Arena: "It wasn't his best for sure. I think missing what would be two weeks today since the last game set him back a little bit. You know that typically happens when a player recovers from an injury so we got to get him back in form."

Revolution Defender DeJuan Jones

On his reaction to today's 2-0 defeat:

Jones: "Definitely disappointing. Every game we come into we want to win. We got off to a tough start, giving up a goal in the first half. We got better in the second half but it just still wasn't enough in the end."

On his view of Nashville SC's first goal:

Jones: "Just a situation where we have to clear our lines better and then once we're getting out and the ball comes back in the box, you have to follow the runner to the box. We knew Zimmerman would be big in the air for them, so he was there. We knew he was putting it back across so we just have to have guys there, in the middle, to stop that second goal."

On moving forward from today's loss and shifting focus to Wednesday's match at Philadelphia:

Jones: "Yeah the season's coming quick so we have to move on quick. We'll look at the film soon, learn from it and then like you said we have to move on. Wednesday we have a big matchup at Philly."

On the difficulties in finding entry passes:

Jones: "I mean, Nashville's a good team. The crowd behind them gave them some good energy. We just have to have more movement, I think, from the front. Defensively, getting the balls to the right spots quick so the gaps don't close as quick. They did a good job of closing gaps quickly. Like you said, we're going to learn from this, look at the film and get better next week."

On whether he feels the officiating impacted the result:

Jones: "You hate to blame the refs at all. I think there were definitely a lot of questionable calls. But, I mean, that's going to happen every game. So we just have to play through it and do the best we can with what we have with the refs."

On what Nashville did to limit New England's attack:

Jones: "I think we were just losing the ball in some bad areas. When we were trying to get in and get the ball up the field we would have a bad turnover so now we're sprinting back and then now we get the ball and we're tired, which leads to more turnovers. We just have to do a better job of keeping the ball in the middle third and those dangerous areas and then I think our attack will be strong."

On the message at halftime and an improved performance in the second half:

Jones: "Just to wake up. Like you said, in the first half they were all over us. They were getting corner kicks, it seemed like every other play. I think we did a good job waking up in the second half but we have to start starting like we did in the second half. We can't start slow anymore, especially on the road against a good team. So, like I said, we're going to learn from this and we'll be better against Philly on Wednesday."

Revolution Defender Andrew Farrell

On Saturday's match at Nashville SC:

Farrell: "It was poor. The first half was poor for the first 35 to 40 minutes. Alone from like probably two of our guys, we weren't good enough. They came out and played well. Yeah, it was just poor, and then obviously the second half was a lot better. I though it was a lot better. We had some chances and just some didn't fall our way. Then we made a lot of mistakes throughout the game and then got punished on one of the mistakes to kind of really seal the deal in the second half there."

On why Nashville SC is a difficult opponent for New England:

Farrell: "This is the third time we played [Nashville SC], we've tied them twice and this is the first loss. They're obviously a new team in the league. They battle. They're a good team, it's not like they're a bad team. They're a good team in the league and made the playoffs in their first year. And obviously, if you don't come out and compete, then a team that's going to compete will give you 90 minutes of a battle, it's going to be a team that gives you a hard time. So I don't know if I'd say we have a particularly hard time with them, just if we don't come out and play well, that's what's going to happen."

On moving on quickly to prepare for Philadelphia on Wednesday:

Farrell: "Yeah, definitely. I think what we can take from it is if we don't start well, any team can beat you in the league. We've got to make sure we start better. It was very similar to the first game in Chicago when we didn't start well, but obviously we were able to dig ourselves out of that trench. But this one we just didn't compete enough and didn't have enough performances in the first 35-40 minutes where we obviously got behind, and then silly mistakes here and there, and obviously they capitalize on that. We're ready to move on to Philadelphia, another good team that's in form, in a mid-week [game]. So move on and get ready for that, but obviously look at what we can do to improve and start better. And that comes from the leaders on the team. We've got to get everybody ready to go and be ready to compete."

On playing from behind against Nashville:

Farrell: "They have some really good defenders and they work hard, especially as you saw late in the second half when they're still up 1-0. They drop off a little bit, you can play and you keep it, and they just keep two banks of four [players] and then the two forwards and they sit behind the ball. If they get the first goal, it's really hard to break them down and they obviously counter and hit you on set pieces and that's where they extend the lead. So yeah, I mean every game we want to score the first goal, because I think once we score the first goal it kind of opens up and gets our confidence going. Obviously going down early, it's tough especially against a team like Nashville. That's something that, I don't know if that's their game plan, but they're just really good at doing that and executing when they get that first goal. And we just couldn't find it today."

On adjusting to different tactical schemes:

Farrell: "Last game we had some injuries so we had to switch that up to 4-2-3-1. But this one obviously came back and played a 4-4-2 and then we also went to the 3-5-2 with wingbacks. It's something that we've kind of worked a little bit throughout preseason and obviously injuries happen and different situations. When you're trying to push for a game you might want to a little bit more width, so you put in two wingbacks and play a back three. We have two forwards, we have a lot of forwards on our team who can play in those two spots up top. So in a 4-4-2, we have guys who can fit those molds so it just depends on the team and what we want to do and what the coaching staff decides to do on the day."

On the three Designated Players continuing to build chemistry:

Farrell: "Yeah I think so. Last week, [Gustavo] Bou was injured so he wasn't in the plans for last week and then this week obviously building up. They've got good chemistry. I mean good players, when you've got guys like Carles [Gil], it makes things work. I think each game and each week they keep on getting better and better and improving as a cohesive group, those three guys. As the season goes along, they're going to keep on improving. So we'll just keep on looking forward to those guys carrying us to the next level and improving and winning us games."

On the three Designated Players continuing to build chemistry:

Farrell: "Yeah I think so. Last week, [Gustavo] Bou was injured so he wasn't in the plans for last week and then this week obviously building up. They've got good chemistry. I mean good players, when you've got guys like Carles [Gil], it makes things work. I think each game and each week they keep on getting better and better and improving as a cohesive group, those three guys. As the season goes along, they're going to keep on improving. So we'll just keep on looking forward to those guys carrying us to the next level and improving and winning us games."


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