It was an exciting start to the New England Revolution 2022 MLS campaign, to say the least. Tensions were high throughout the entire match at Providence Park, as the Portland Timbers were able to counter the punches from New England, making for a very exciting draw.
Coming off the best regular season in MLS history, the Revolution received the primetime FOX televised game against last year’s Western Conference Champions.
In the early goings, the Revs looked very comfortable. Three debuts were made, by Omar Gonzalez, Sebastian Lletget, and Jozy Altidore. It’s safe to say that Gonzalez’s age showed, and he is definitely not the same player he once was back in his United States National Team days. Henry Kessler was unable to suit up due to injury.
Portland had a solid chance inside the first few minutes, conceded by Gonzalez, but Earl Edwards Jr. — the third stringer who started after Matt Turner and Brad Knighton were both out — was able to make the stop.
The inaugural goal of the Revs’ season came from the somewhat unlikely source of Brandon Bye, who finished a beautiful header. Carles Gil’s corner kick cross was served on a platter, and Bye’s header nicked the underside of the crossbar before going in. The goal was scored just before halftime, giving them a lead into the break.
The Timbers were active in the second half, finding the equalizer through Dairon Asprilla in minute 60. He found space between the defenders and poked his shot into the net from a couple yards out. New England’s response was immediate though, with DeJuan Jones getting down the left flank with pace. His low cross found newcomer Lletget, and his first-time shot with the left foot found the bottom right corner.
The Revolution held the lead for a while, but the magic of Yimmi Chara tied the game back up. The ball deflected off Andrew Farrell’s neck, and Chara unloaded for the incredible bicycle kick that found its home in the bottom right corner. Altidore would sub on straight after the goal and made a positive impact in his short debut.
There’s plenty to be excited about around the Revolution. Going on the road to Portland and grabbing a point is never a bad thing, what’s most important is that they looked strong coming out of the gate.
The Revs will need to remain strong and the depth will have to be used in an upcoming busy month of March. They are next in action on Saturday, March 5th in a 1:30 p.m. ET matinee against FC Dallas, which will be the home opener at Gillette Stadium.