Adam Buksa has been on a tear recently, with six goals in his last eight games helping the New England Revolution close out their historic Supporters' Shield-winning campaign and climb within three points of breaking the single-season MLS points record with two games to go.
The Revs' No. 9 pulled off one of his most impressive MLS feats during New England's last game, coming off the bench to score two goals, including a dramatic 93rd-minute leveler that salvaged a comeback 2-2 draw at Orlando City SC. The brace gives Buksa 16 goals on the season, leaving him well in contention for the 2021 MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi.
Discussing Buksa's development on the latest episode of Extratime, co-host Matt Doyle said his performance in Orlando is a perfect example of the traits that have turned him into a dynamic presence.
"He's developed massively over the past 18 months since coming to the Revs, just being a monster in the box," Doyle said. "That first goal, his run was timed to perfection, and obviously a perfect touch on the finish. That second goal reminded me of prime Kei Kamara, where it's just like you put the ball in that area and you know there's only one guy who's gonna be there able to get it."
One of the biggest revelations for New England this season, Doyle said, is how well he's functioned with fellow Designated Player Gustavo Bou, which was something of a question mark dating back to last season.
Doyle credited Bou with adapting his style of play to becoming more well-rounded, which has a ripple effect on the whole attack.
"Gustavo Bou has become a different kind of player. Gustavo Bou, prior to this last six-week stretch, was just shoot on sight," Doyle said. "If he got the ball 30 yards and in he was going to do everything in his power to get a shot off. There is value in that. There is more value in being the type of guy who will make the right pass, who will try to combine a little bit, who will recognize the attacking opportunity presented to him and will work to get an even better shot than a 24-yarder with three guys in front of him. That is a different version of Gustavo Bou, one that I would not have bet money on that version being in there. In addition to that, he's in there tracking back, being a defensive presence."
Added co-host Andrew Wiebe: "Not just tracking back. Winning almost every 50-50 ball in the last 20 minutes when they had to have it. Making selfless runs, combining with DeJuan Jones, doing things we just weren't accustomed to seeing Gustavo Bou do."
All told, Wiebe said the Orlando match is also a reflection of the depth the Revs possess, and their ability to lean on match-winners in crucial moments.
"That just speaks to the construction of the team, the ability to do it in different ways," Wiebe said. "It's not all just through one player whereas it sort of is with Minnesota United at times and others, where they have this talisman and he's got to be on the field otherwise it's not there. They don't have the best defense in the league, but they have a very effective one, they have guys that have cycled in and out, they have a game-changer in goal, and they have this squad that Bruce Arena didn't have to start that just came on and said, 'Actually, this is our game.'"
For more from Extratime, check out the full episode here.