(W)Revs Wrap: Shells Get Shocked

Add another win against another minnow and you've got the New England Revolution at 6-0-0 and, as this guy points out, holding a +20 goal differential with 23 goals scored and 3 allowed. (If nothing else, BigSoccer people are always reliable about knowing such arcana.) And that's a 4-0 win to boot.

So, why am I not feeling easy about the season ahead?

patfan1, another BigSoccer commenter, takes the same view as me (here):

"These games mean nothing. It appears that the rookies can play, at least against the level they've played against. Now comes the test. Here's hoping they can do the same with the season here."

Sums it up nicely, I think. Still, it is good to see the names of the youngsters - Adam Cristman, Arsene Oka, Wells Thompson - all over the several write-ups, because that tells me they're performing at a level higher than that of a preseason Professional Development League (PDL) team; that's what you'd expect when you're players find themselves on the professional side of what a woman in the second link above calls a "half-professional" encounter...bet the Shell Shockers liked that.

Speaking of professionals, the Boston Globe's write-up on the game contained some intriguing details on line-ups, where people (Steve Ralston) played when another (Shalrie Joseph) left; the former elicited a reaction from another message boarder, which precisely matched mine:

"Most interesting news to me was the fact that [Steve Ralston] played center mid after Thompson subbed on."

Let me go on record now as saying this is something I'd like to see Nicol experiment with. Though I read good things about Ralston's fitness and activity further down in the larger discussion on this game, I'm wondering how he'd do as an outright playmaker. You'd lose the crossing (though not totally), but he's a smart passer of the ball and, through a quick first step and guile, has a decent knack for creating small openings for passes and shots. I'm just saying they could do worse.

Right. All for now. Thanks to the BigSoccer people I borrowed from. If I understood "repping" I'd be happy to pass on some...but I've got no idea what that means.


wilablog said...

I was at this game and it was fun to watch, even thought the competition wasn't equal. I was real impressed with Ralston. He started out on the right and did in fact shift to center mid when Joseph subbed out. Overall, his play in the center was solid, more of a distributer than Joseph was. When Ralston was on the outside it was impressive to see how wide he makes the field. He hugs the sideline and really spreads it out.

Cristman is big and fast. When this guy is running at you full speed you have to think twice. He also showed a ton of desire, high work rate, and was involved in 3 goals.

Smith looked dangerous on the outside as well.

N.O. challenged a couple times. Nothing big though.

Pictures from the game found in two places:
1. blades of blue
2. blades of blue, flickr

Harpo Marx said...

Ralston as A-mid is something I've been thinking about since Dempsey left for Fulham. I think the job still belongs to Andy Dorman, but with Thompson being groomed to be the new RM, Ralston could see some time in the middle.

The Manly Ferry said...

Wilablog: Thanks for the eyewitness details. Always welcome. And I expect Harpo is correct as well, though I think there's no harm in trying Dorman out right; he's got the legs for that position.