New England Soccer Today

Three Thoughts: #NEvCLB

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Three thoughts from Saturday’s 0-0 draw between the Revolution and Crew:

Jones makes his return: Even if it was only for 45 minutes — and his teammates, by the way, wished it was more — Jones made his very noticeable 2015 debut. His physical play on the field was spot on in the first half, though his distribution was more suspect. He also seemed to float in between offense and defense rather than only doing so during transitions. Jones clearly isn’t match fit yet, but that will come with time. The expectation is that he, in tandem with Scott Caldwell in the center of the pitch, will be a major force in midfield. Jones turned the Revolution’s season around last year by helping the Revolution win possession battles and by adding a new, physical dimension. That paid dividends for every one in a Revolution uniform. The question shouldn’t be whether Jones will make that kind of contribution in 2015, but how long it will take him to get back to putting in those types of performances on a regular basis.

Shutout streak continues: It’s incredibly rare to see squad fail to put a shot on target entirely, no question. But the Revolution thwarted the Crew — and their highly dangerous group of attacking players — without too much trouble on Saturday. Here are some key stats: the Revolution haven’t lost at home this season (1-0-2), and are on a four-game unbeaten run. They haven’t allowed a goal in the run of play since the second week of the season. They’ve also done this while playing musical chairs along their back line with Jeremy Hall, Kevin Alston and Darrius Barnes all putting in good shifts so far.

Teal Bunbury makes his return, but the crossing was nowhere to be found: Bunbury started on the left flank on Saturday and appears to have fully recovered from the shoulder injury he sustained in week one. But Bunbury, Kelyn Rowe, and Kevin Alston didn’t stretch the field as much as they needed to. To be sure, not having Chris Tierney was quite the blow. But is it healthy for a team to put so much on one player? The Revolution crossed the ball 16 times throughout the game, though they didn’t have one cross in the second half. Bunbury deserves plenty of credit for tracking back and defending a speedy Chris Klute, as do Alston and Rowe for their solid two-way performances, but they needed to be more lethal along the flanks.

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