The debut of newcomer Ryan Guy on Saturday could have easily been lost in an exciting, but ultimately disappointing match that saw the New England Revolution draw 1-1 with the Chicago Fire. The 25-year-old midfielder assured that would not be the case, however, with his promising play on both ends of the pitch.
Guy was brought on for Chris Tierney in the 71st minute to provide a spark offensively as the Revs looked to find a late winner. While the team never did find that goal, Guy impressed with his creativity, energy and positive play when the Revs were on the attack.
“I think he did great when he came in,” said Revolution head coach Steve Nicol. “That sticks out.”
But Guy’s biggest contribution would come on the defensive end. Just three minutes after entering, the 5-foot-7 Guy kept the score level by jumping up to head a shot from Orr Barouch off the line after a Fire corner kick.
“He was alert on the goal line – that’s why he’s there, but you still have to make the header, which was obviously great,” said Nicol. “And he looked dangerous and decent on the ball going forward.”
And for a team that has struggled to find consistency from its outside midfielders all season, Guy’s performance was a welcome sight for New England. In fact, with none of the Revs outside midfielders having provided more than a solitary assist this season, the team desperately needs someone they can rely upon on to provide quality service on a regular basis. While Guy couldn’t prove he was that man in just 19 minutes of action, he seemingly showed enough to earn more playing time in the future.
Of course if his resume and highlight clips are any indication, the San Diego native has made a living by being an offensive threat on the wings. Guy scored 25 goals along with numerous assists in 139 games for St. Patrick’s Athletic in Ireland. If he can come close to replicating that success with the Revs, it’ll be a huge boost to the team’s struggling offense.
Though Guy is most comfortable with his right foot and playing on the right wing, as evidenced by his cutback to send in a cross with his right foot on Saturday, in filling in for Tierney he showed he has the versatility to play on the left as well. With right midfielder Zak Boggs currently suffering from an MCL sprain, Guy could prove useful in providing cover and challenging for a starting spot on either wing.
With the Revs heading on a tough road trip to face two of the league’s best in Seattle and Real Salt Lake, the team will need to be firing on all cylinders offensively if they hope to grab some positive results. If Guy– either starting or from the bench – can provide a bit of the spark to the midfield missing since Marko Perovic went down with season ending knee surgery, he’ll have proven quite the useful midseason addition for the struggling Revs.