Waking the Red: What happened to the high scoring offense and the exciting young attackers that I expected to hear a lot about this year? Is it just a matter of time before things start clicking or are there serious problems there?
The Bent Musket: Us Revs fans would like to know where the high-scoring offense went, as well. Obviously, Juan Agudelo leaving was a harsh blow. This team was most productive in the attack last year when he was on the field. But we knew it was coming. Probably the biggest issue that the Revs have faced in regards to their offensive power is that they were unable to bring in a comparable player to Agudelo to fill his shoes. Teal Bunbury has been working hard, but only just broke through last weekend. It doesn't help that Kelyn Rowe has been injured, Diego Fagundez has been disappearing for large stretches of games, and Saer Sene hasn't quite been himself. Basically, we're still waiting for things to come together. But I wouldn't say there are any *serious* problems other than needing a true center-forward to lead the line.
WTR: Jose Goncalves seems to have had a weird start to the season. When he's fully fit again, can he go back to being the dominant player he was last year?
TBM: The short answer is: yes, absolutely he can. He was looking to be back to his 2013 self before this most recent injury. So, there's reason to believe that he'll be just as effective once he's back. There's no doubt in anyone's mind that JoGo is this team's leader. And even though he hasn't been on the pitch, his influence in the locker room is still very important. I think that he'll be vying for a spot in the MLS All-Star Game Starting XI this year once he returns from this knock, which we expect to be in the near future.
WTR: Toronto of course passed up the chance to draft Andrew Farrell in favour of allocation money. Now in his second season, with time spent at right back and centre back, how well is Farrell playing? What position do you see him eventually sticking at?
TBM: Andrew Farrell is definitely in the top two players on the pitch for New England so far this season (the other being Lee Nguyen). He's playing out of his mind at both spots. What's been most intriguing is his versatility to step into either position and dominate. He was worth every Garber-buck we spent for that #1 pick. Farrell reminds me of someone like Marvell Wynne. I'd argue that Wynne is best as a center back, but he can hack it as a right back because he's got such great speed. I think Farrell is much of the same, but plus some impressive footwork in there as well. Ultimately, I think Farrell will mainly be a center back down the road, but I don't see him necessarily sticking to that position for his whole career. Wherever he's playing, I just hope it's in a Revolution kit for a long, long time.
WTR: Absences/Lineup prediction.
TBM: I expect Goncalves to be out for this one, but Rowe to be back (but most likely as a 2nd half sub). Predicted lineup (L to R): Shuttleworth | Alston - Soares - Farrell - Barnes | Dorman | Fagundez - Nguyen - Kobayashi - Bunbury | Davies
WTR: Bonus question: Paul Mariner as a TV co-commentator, how many TV's have you and Revs fans in general smashed already?
TBM: You have no IDEA how much of an upgrade Paul Mariner is over Jeff Causey. Love the guy, but he was about as exciting as a plain bagel. I don't think a single TV has been smashed yet because of him. Jerry Bengtson, on the other hand.........
Many thanks to Corey, and be sure to check out The Bent Musket for the Revs perspective on the game.