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Revolution 1, Nashville 0

Gustavo Bou’s goal lifts Revolution over Nashville

Gustavo Bou's goal in the 52 minute was the only one the Revolution needed Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.Amanda Loman/Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH — The Revolution have found goals difficult to come by against Nashville SC since the Tennessee team joined MLS in 2020. And it took until their fifth meeting for the Revolution to come through with a victory, by a 1-0 score Saturday night.

Gustavo Bou’s 52d-minute solo run made the difference as the Revolution (3-1-0, 9 points) converted the first goal in three meetings between the teams at Gillette Stadium before a crowd of 14,930. Nashville (2-1-1, 7 points) went on the offensive more than usual in this game, but the Revolution, who visit D.C. United next Saturday, held off a late onslaught.


The Revolution, playing without captain Carles Gil (hamstring), took control early in the second half, Bou crashing a left-footer off the inside of the left post for his first goal of the season.

This was only the second time the Revolution have scored in the series and the first goal Nashville has surrendered this season. The sequence was set up as Bobby Wood dummied a pass from DeJuan Jones, Bou was held onside by right back Shaq Moore. Bou ran into the left side of the penalty area.

“Gustavo and Bobby have a good partnership,” Jones said. “One checks in and one checks away, and the space was in behind the center back. I played it through, and Gustavo shows his one-on-one brilliance and puts it top corner.”

Observations from Saturday’s game:

▪ Defining moment: Bou found himself ahead of the defenders on the goal, but still had to finish with power and precision to beat goalkeeper Joe Willis near post. Bou came through with his off foot – of the 38 goals he has totaled with the Revolution since 2019, six have been leftfooted, this the first since early in the 2021 season.

▪ Difference-maker: The Bou-Dylan Borrero pairing kept Nashville’s back line off balance, combined with Wood’s runs through the middle. Borrero’s threat on the left wing appeared to help keep Bou onside on the goal, Moore playing off him as the other defenders stepped up. The Revolution created plenty of other chances, including an 81st-minute three-on-three that fizzled on a weak shot by Borrero.


▪ Tactical: The Revolution went to a 4-4-2 alignment, Bou moving to forward after replacing Gil as playmaker in a 4-0 loss to Los Angeles FC last week.

“Carles Gil wasn’t playing,” Revolution coach Bruce Arena said of changing formations.

▪ Statistical analysis: Nashville outshot the Revolution, 16-10, thanks to Hany Mukhtar and a late-game rally. But the best Nashville opportunity was a Walker Zimmerman header off the bar from a Daniel Lovitz corner (34th minute).

▪ Road ahead: Usually, the Revolution contest most of their early-season games away. This season, the Revolution, 2-2-0 at home, will play four of five April games at home, after visiting D.C. United next Saturday. The Revolution, off to their best start since going 3-0-1 in 2005, will need to continue capitalizing on home-field advantage.

▪ What they said: Arena: “I thought the first half we played well, for 75 minutes. I didn’t like the last 10 to 15 minutes. We were a little bit too negative, we weren’t as well organized as we needed to be across the back line. After four games, to have three wins is a pretty good start to the season.”


Nashville coach Gary Smith: “We had a very, very difficult week, with regards to players’ health, illnesses, and a number of those guys came through for us. Walker has not trained all week with the flu. Lots of character out there in a game that we all knew was going to be extremely tough, extremely tight.”

Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at frankdellapa@gmail.com.