New England Soccer Today

Delamea: Communication Key at Portland

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Last weekend, the Revolution found themselves particularly busy putting the ball in the back of the net. But if they aren’t careful against the Portland Timbers, the script could get flipped post haste on Sunday.

With prospect of facing a Timbers team that’s racked up a league-best 12 goals in a few days, Revolution center back Antonio Mlinar Delamea believes the key to getting a result at Portland – who’ll have potent striker Fanendo Adi tow – will boil down to a simple, yet difficult to adopt concept.

“I think it’ll be a lot about communication,” Delamea told the media on Tuesday. “We shouldn’t allow (Adi) to have much space, so like I said, communication will be a huge factor here and of course, we need to be sharp.”

Staying sharp for a full 90 hasn’t been an easy proposition for the locals so far this season. They’ve yet to collect a clean sheet, and even conceded two soft goals against the lowly Loons last week.

But the fact New England hasn’t been strong out of the gate isn’t exactly a surprising development. The team boasts two new center backs in Delamea and Bnejamin Angoua, both of whom are trying to get on the same page with Cody Cropper, a young goalkeeper with only four MLS starts under his belt.

“During games, there’s some times where there may be a bit of confusion here and there, but we always figure it out,” Cropper told the media Tuesday. “Each and every day in training, we’re working on different things with the back four and the goalkeepers.”

Cropper credits Revolution goalkeeper coach Remi Roy for helping get the defensive corps up speed. Roy, who also speaks French, has helped ease the transition for fellow French-speaker Angoua.

According to Cropper, the Revolution newcomers have tried ironing out as many wrinkles as they can out on the training pitch in the hopes they’ll be able to bottle up an attack as strong as Portland’s.

“Obviously, after a set or a rep in training, we can pull each other aside and talk to each other about what we wanted in this situation or that situation,” Cropper said. “It’s getting a lot better as we build those relationships in that triangle. We can only continue to get better going forward.”

They’ll have to get better quickly to put a lid on the Timbers’ attack come Sunday. Adi and teammate Diego Valeri have each scored four goals this season, with the former tallying twice the last time the Revolution visited Providence Park back in 2015.

“We need to take every duel strong,” Delamea said. “We need to show that we are not afraid.”

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