What’s a soccer team without a catchy nickname?
For most MLS reserve teams, it could be down to long-term survival not depending on their marketability. In New England Revolution II’s case, one could argue they technically already have a nickname. However, I consider “Revs II” more of a necessity, if only to spare people taking a deep breath every time they say the team’s name.
The candidates that’ve been floated so far aren’t exactly inspiring. For instance, “Baby Revs” feels a tad awkward when eleven guys on the roster are old enough to drink. Whilest boring as batsh*t, “Young Revs” solves that issue, but works equally well as the name for an Episcopal seminary’s soccer team. I’m partial to “PreRevs” but you’ve got to be bloody careful not to typo that.
Not that Revs II don’t have bigger worries than branding right now.
— 🏆 – North Texas SC (@northtexasSC) August 16, 2020
Still waiting for their first win, the team put in their best performance yet against the catchily-named North Texas Soccer Club down in Arlington…not that that’s saying much after last week. Then again, goals were finally scored, although as if in tribute to Shalrie Joseph, they had to rely on the midfield for most of those.
The striker crisis remains very much in effect. Having spent two games proving what the scouting department should have already known, poor old Orlando Sinclair (decidedly not an out-and-out striker) was benched. In his stead, Clint Peay fielded the makeshift duo of attacking midfielder Nicolas Firmino and bonafide winger Mayele Malango.
— New England Revolution II (@NERevolution2) August 16, 2020
Beautifully volleyed as Firmino’s goal was, it’s just as well stat lines don’t account for context, because NTSC goalie Luis Zamudio played a peach of a pass to the Brazilian’s feet. Playing centrally definitely to cramp Malango’s rangier style, so unless Meny Silva or another of the academy lads are sitting on a breakout performance, Peay may need to look elsewhere for his fox in the box.
Just a thought.
— Slyde (@REALSlyde) July 20, 2020
You’ve got to feel for Mayele Malango. After two games looking like Revs II’s most potent weapon (and getting stiffed by Sinclair against OCB), the Congolese winger had to settle for watching his teammates score around him. Of particular note was the prelude to the second goal, where in a moment of déjà vu, he clearly thought that he’d been stiffed by Mendonca, only to turn and find Isaac Angking had ghosted in behind him.
— USL League One (@USLLeagueOne) August 16, 2020
Here’s hoping he hasn’t lost heart. The law of averages would dictate so long as he keeps gesturing furiously at his footwear whenever a teammate mishits a cross (it’s rapidly becoming a tic), that precious first goal will come sooner or later.
The New Power Generation?
With draftee right-back Simon Lekressner apparently out for the season (at least according to commentator Joe Malfa), life has suddenly got a lot more interesting for 17-year-old Colby Quinoses. By essentially ruining NTSC wonderkid Redzic’s night, he threw down the gauntlet for Japanese draftee Ryo Shimazaki and may yet jump the queue for a contract upgrade. With all due respect to the NCAA, this boy looks destined for bigger things than spinning his wheels for four years in that stat-padding anachronism of a competition.
Rice Off The Boil?
The hell he was.
In spite of some Twitterati making out like Revs II had English national teamer-cum-professional benchwarmer Joe Hart in net, one late-game miscue doesn’t cancel out the many (and by God, there were a few) saves he did make. Particularly with NTSC’s Haitian sensation Ronaldo Damus and chums treating three-quarters of Revs II’s backline (with the exception of Colby) like bollards.
Of course, what turned out to be NTSC’s equalizer could just as easily been a consolation if the refs had done their jobs, given Revs II the penalty for NTSC defender Brecc Evans’s sleight of hand (footage of which USL1 tactfully omitted from their highlights package) and maybe even sent the cheeky Concacafer for an early shower.