The New England Revolution made nine changes to the starting lineup, so it was clear from the get-go that they were not exactly looking to win down in Orlando, having already clinched the Supporter’s Shield.
Matt Turner and Andrew Farrell were the only starters that stuck in the lineup, with a complete second choice one distributed otherwise. New England’s first half was actually not a negative one, the B team was moving the ball pretty well through Wilfrid Kaptoum.
It did begin to fall apart late in the first half, though. Joao Moutinho whipped in a perfect cross for Nani, who hadn’t scored in eleven straight games. He changed that narrative by heading home the cross, one that Turner perhaps should’ve saved. Bruce Arena was clearly unhappy with the sloppy finish to the half though, substituting Carles Gil and Adam Buksa into the match at halftime.
As the subs tried to get going, AJ Delagarza seemed to throw away their chances with a horribly mistimed jump, and as a result, gave up a penalty on a very poor challenge. Nani gave the ball to Daryl Dike, as he cannot seem to beat Turner from the spot. Dike did though, slotting it into the bottom right corner to make it 2-0. Still missing that firepower, Bruce Arena added DeJuan Jones, Gustavo Bou, and Tajon Buchanan to the list of starters in the game.
It was a lethargic 10-15 minutes for the big names of the Revs in their first minutes on the pitch. It didn’t last long, as Bou chipped a great ball into the box that put Gallese in no man’s land. Buksa redirected it into the back of the net to pull a goal back in minute 81. Five minutes later, Bou centered it for Jones, who was denied by an incredible Pedro Gallese diving save to hold Orlando’s lead. At that point, New England may have thought their change went begging. That turned out to be false, because in minute 93, with all the drama included, DeJuan Jones made a menacing run down the left wing. He cut onto the right foot, found Buksa on the curled cross, and the Polish striker headed home the equalizer for a 2-2 result.
Under the circumstances, this is one of those draws that feels like a win. The Revolution improve to 21-4-7 on the season, good for 70 points. This means that a win in either of their last two home matches with Colorado and Miami would guarantee the Revs the best ever MLS season, with the most points ever accumulated. Bruce Arena will likely continue to rotate the lineup to keep fresh legs and avoid injuries for the playoffs. The Rapids will visit Gillette Stadium on Wednesday night for the second and final East vs. West matchup of the MLS regular season for the Revolution.