Revs move on! New England boot Atlas FC from Leagues Cup amid tumultuous week


Headed into their Leagues Cup Round of 32 match against Atlas FC, plenty of off-field headlines surrounded the New England Revolution.

First came reports on Sunday the Revs rejected a pair of overseas transfer bids for goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic. Then, on Tuesday, head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena was placed on administrative leave pending a review into allegations he made insensitive and inappropriate remarks.

But on Thursday, with backup Earl Edwards Jr. in goal and Revs assistant Richie Williams serving as acting head coach, New England fought back from an early deficit to draw Atlas 2-2 before triumphing 8-7 in penalties. They now advance to the Round of 16 Monday at Gillette Stadium against Querétaro, who defeated Pumas UNAM, 1-0, on Thursday.

Farrell's penalty sees Revs through

While Gustavo Bou's brace pulled New England level after an early 2-0 deficit, it was Andrew Farrell converting the decisive penalty to eliminate Atlas after the match ended in a draw.

The defender, a mainstay in Foxborough for over a decade and the Revs' all-time leader in appearances, delivered from the spot weeks after his potential equalizer against the New York Red Bulls was ultimately disallowed.

"I'm really happy for Andrew...what a way to end the penalties with him getting the winning penalty there," Williams said. "We were just all excited obviously to advance, but it's great for Andrew, and he got up there and took the penalty with confidence."

Edwards steps in for Petrovic

Petrovic's omission from the starting XI loomed large amid reports of the Revs turning down a pair of transfer requests from the English Premier League's Nottingham Forest and Ligue 1's FC Nantes, per The Athletic's Tom Bogert.

That meant Edwards was called into action. The 31-year-old, in just his second appearance in 2023 across all competitions, conceded a pair of early goals, but ended the evening credited with six saves.

Williams didn't elaborate on Petrovic's status, but said the 23-year-old MLS All-Star has been training with the team.

"We're just doing what's best for both sides for Djordje, for the future," Williams said. "We just felt Earl was the best choice for the game tonight, and obviously he showed it in the game. He did a really good job."

Gil exits late

A potential area of concern for the Revs arose in the second half when Carles Gil appeared to suffer a lower-leg injury, ultimately leaving the match in the 73rd minute.

With the 2021 Landon Donovan MLS MVP well entrenched as one of the top No. 10s in the league – his 12 assists lead all players in MLS play – a possible absence would prove a massive blow in the Revs' Round of 16 match against Querétaro.

However, it's not "anything serious", per Williams, who deemed it a "knock."

"It just basically got swollen, so it was very difficult for him to continue on," Williams said.