“I think my confidence is high and I'm going to continue to work hard," says Bunbury, who has scored 47 MLS goals, including a career-high 11 last season. "I know once you know that first [goal] comes, many more will fall.”
Bunbury’s conviction that the dam will break is integral to the 10th-place Revs' chances of climbing the Eastern Conference table into the playoff positions.
New England are tied for next-to-last in shots on goal this season with 18 and are bottom of the league in percentage of shots on target at 25.4 percent. Both of those numbers sit slightly above winless Atlanta United, which travel to Gillette Stadium on Saturday (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; DAZN in Canada).
Designated Player signing Carles Gil has scored three of the Revolution’s five goals in 2019 and has a team-best six shots on goal. Both Juan Agudelo (43 career MLS goals), and Juan Fernando Caicedo, who scored 89 goals in the top divisions of Argentina and Colombia and was handed the No. 9 shirt upon arrival this winter from Independiente Medellin on loan, join Bunbury without a shot on target yet this season. The trio has combined for 17 total shots in 915 minutes this season while moving between traditional forward positions and wide roles.
Bunbury says scoring opportunities do look “a little bit different” depending on which role he's in. Even so, he says it simply boils down to seizing shooting opportunities when they present themselves.
“It’s something that you can't just overthink all the time,” Bunbury said. “There are times where maybe we are not being as selfish as we might need to be in the final third.”
The best scorers Friedel played with during his long European career “never seem to be fazed by missing the chance,” he says, which is a lesson he's trying to pass on to his squad.
“They would always take the next and take the next,” Friedel said. “The thing I always say to [my players now], no matter what kind of personality they are: Never pass up your opportunity to score. If you are low on confidence, you still need to shoot, you still need to try.”