Revolution Meet Philadelphia Union in Preseason Friendly

February 5, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - New England Revolution News Release

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. - The New England Revolution fell 2-0 to the Philadelphia Union on Sunday in the club's second match of the 2023 preseason. Five Homegrown Players suited up for New England on Sunday, with midfielder Jack Panayotou starting and playing 61 minutes. Esmir Bajraktarević, Noel Buck, Justin Rennicks, and Damian Rivera all entered the match in the second half.

The Revolution nearly pulled in front early when Panayotou slid a line-breaking pass to Jozy Altidore, who narrowly missed from a tight angle. Philadelphia grabbed the lead in the 36th minute when Dániel Gazdag slotted home a through ball from Julian Carranza for the game's opening goal. Revolution midfielder Dylan Borrero had a chance to equalize moments before halftime but was denied by a kick-save from Union goalkeeper Andre Blake. In the 71st minute, the Union doubled the advantage when Jesus Bueno finished off a rebound from a Mikael Uhre shot.

Midfielder Joshua Bolma, New England's first-round pick from the 2023 MLS SuperDraft and a Generation adidas signing, started and played the full 90 minutes. Reigning Revolution Team MVP Djordje Petrović also notched a start on Sunday before being relieved by Earl Edwards Jr. for the second half.

The Revolution resume training this week before playing their third preseason match behind closed doors on Friday, Feb. 10 against Nashville SC at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. (12:00 p.m. ET).

New England kicks off its 2023 MLS Regular Season slate on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Charlotte FC (7:30 p.m. ET), before the home opener on Saturday, March 4 vs. Houston Dynamo FC at Gillette Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET). Every Revolution, MLS and Leagues Cup match airs on MLS Season Pass - all in one place, with no blackouts.

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Match Notes:

Newly signed Homegrown midfielder Jack Panayotou started in central midfield for his second appearance of the preseason. The Cambridge, Mass. native played 61 minutes alongside Latif Blessing and Carles Gil.

In all, five Homegrown Players saw minutes for New England in Sunday's contest, with Justin Rennicks starting the second half and Esmir Bajraktarević, Noel Buck, and Damian Rivera all entering the match in the 61st minute.

2023 MLS SuperDraft picks Joshua Bolma and Victor Souza each saw action, with the former serving as the lone Revolution player to log 90 minutes.

Dave Romney, acquired from Nashville SC in January, logged 61 minutes as he continued to see action in his first preseason with the Revolution.

Revolution II center back Pierre Cayet notched 29 minutes off the bench. The Frenchman is currently the only Revolution II player in preseason camp with the first team.


New England Revolution 0, Philadelphia Union 2

February 5, 2023 - Premier Sports Complex (Lakewood Ranch, Fla.)

Weather: 72 degrees and partly cloudy.

Scoring Summary:

PHI - Dániel Gazdag (Julian Carranza) 36'

PHI - Jesus Bueno (Unassisted) 71'

Disciplinary Summary:

NE - Latif Blessing (Yellow Card) 40'

PHI - Jakob Glesnes (Yellow Card) 40'

NE - Giacomo Vrioni (Yellow Card) 57'

New England Revolution (1st Half): Djordje Petrović; Ryan Spaulding, Dave Romney, Christian Makoun, Brandon Bye, Joshua Bolma; Latif Blessing, Jack Panayotou, Carles Gil ©; Dylan Borrero, Jozy Altidore.

New England Revolution (2nd Half): Earl Edwards Jr.; Dave Romney (Victor Souza^ 61'), Christian Makoun (Omar Gonzalez 61'), Brandon Bye (Pierre Cayet* 61'); Joshua Bolma, Carles Gil © (Esmir Bajraktarević 61'), Jack Panayotou (Noel Buck 61'), Latif Blessing (Damian Rivera 61'), Emmanuel BoatengT; Justin Rennicks, Giacomo Vrioni.

* = Revolution II player

^ = Unsigned 2022 MLS SuperDraft pick

T = Trialist

Postgame Quotes

Revolution Forward Justin Rennicks

On takeaways from the first two preseason matches:

Rennicks: "Yeah, like you said, it's early and it's never going to be easy. The whole reason we came down to Florida was to play in this heat and prepare us for the first game of the season. I thought we had a few great starts, and now it's just about working. It was our first week here and it's all looking good."

On the challenge of building fitness in warmer weather:

Rennicks: "Absolutely, yeah. The heat is definitely making that easier to get to that right fitness. But yeah, I mean, it just comes with minutes and the more we play, the fitter we get."

On Latif Blessing:

Rennicks: "Yeah, [Latif Blessing] has got great energy and he's a hard worker. He's in the right place at the right time and I think he's going to fit in well."

On the team's younger players establishing themselves:

Rennicks: "They're great and they have a bright future ahead of them. We're excited to see them this year in that first game or wherever they get playing time."

On Giacomo Vrioni:

Rennicks: "It's just about keeping the right mindset and working every day, never get discouraged. A good way to think about it is you only learn, you don't really lose, so you either win or learn."

On the priorities for the team ahead of the regular season opener at Charlotte FC:

Rennicks: "Sure, I think it's just being comfortable with each other. We've got a lot of new guys trying to squeeze the weigh in and we've seen a lot of positive things and I'm sure it's going to be there."

Revolution Defender Dave Romney

On takeaways from the first two preseason matches:

Romney: "It has been good work. There's been a lot of positives we can take out, some things we've got to correct, but all-in-all, it's kind of these first couple games just getting a fitness baseline. You kind of get used to playing 45, 60, 70 minutes and get used to this heat, which is always tough. But we're going to have to be down here in the summers, so just kind of getting acclimated to that stuff."

On the team's fitness at this point in preseason:

Romney: "Yeah, it's definitely getting better. It's never easy to play out in the sun and humidity like that, but it's one of those things where you kind of have to grind mentally more than anything physically. I mean, no matter how fit you are, you're going to feel pretty terrible in these humid areas. So, it's just being able to mentally recognize how bad you feel and just push through it. And I don't think I did good enough today with that. I think it was kind of a shock to the system, but this is kind of one of those things where you can get better, despite the experience and kind of it's been a while since we've played in really hot, humid weather."

On experimenting with different formations and tactics:

Romney: "Yeah, I think it's huge. You want to be able to play different formations because different teams are going to bring a different test, or say we want to move to a different formation in the closing moments of the game. You want every player to be comfortable playing multiple positions and multiple formations. So, it's just kind of getting that base underneath you, kind of getting those relationships used to each other whether I'm playing on the left or in the center, stuff like that, and who's playing next to me. So, just getting those lines of communication open and kind of knowing what you're doing so that when you are tired and hot, it's just second nature to you."

On building relationships with his new teammates:

Romney: "Yeah, it's been good. I've gotten to play with Omar [Gonzalez] a lot, Christian [Makoun], [Andrew] Farrell, [Henry] Kessler, everyone kind of there. And then on the left it's either been DeJuan [Jones] or Ema [Boateng] or [Ryan] Spaulding. So, just kind of getting those relationships, keeping those lines of communication open and constantly talking, and then just honing in things we do, tendencies we like, stuff we like. But yeah, we definitely need some more games to go, but excited for the season to start."

On Jack Panayotou:

Romney: "Yeah, Jack [Panayotou] is incredibly talented. There's a lot of young guys we have that I was shocked when I found out how old they were, just because we didn't have an academy in Nashville that was kind of playing with us. So, just level that these guys have, the raw talent they have is crazy. So, it's just kind of getting, I mean, they're all confident so it's not like confidence up, which is a great thing, but just kind of knowing when to make the right decisions here and there and not being on the ball too long. And then, just more so teaching them the structure defensively of kind of where we need them and stuff like that, because on the ball in tight spaces they're all incredibly talented and they have so much to offer."

On what the group is looking to accomplish in the final two weeks of preseason:

Romney: "I would say fitness definitely and then just certain things on how we want to press, where guys need to be, and stuff like that. Then just normal build out and shape, I guess. I mean, it's a lot of things but you can never be to sound on those. So, even if we're 30 games in the season, you kind of want to be honing in on all those things all the time."

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