Revolution Update: August 23, 2010

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution looks to rebound from two consecutive road losses last week when Philadelphia Union makes its first-ever visit to Gillette Stadium this weekend in a pivotal regular-season series finale between the two clubs. Currently sitting seven points out of the eighth and final playoff spot, the Revs face Philadelphia on Saturday night in Foxborough at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night’s game will be broadcast live on Comcast SportsNet, while radio listeners can catch the action live on 98.5 The Sports Hub.

The Revs will train three times this week in anticipation of Saturday’s match against Philadelphia – on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on the Lower Practice Field beginning at 10 a.m. Media wishing to attend any of the team’s training sessions must email the Revolution Communications office (media@revolutionsoccer.net) by the close of business on the previous day to RSVP and guarantee admittance, as well as to learn of any schedule changes. Please check with the Revolution Communications staff for an approximate time for media availability as it changes daily.

Media who plan to attend Saturday's match must alert the Revolution Communications staff at media@revolutionsoccer.net no later than 5 p.m., on Thursday, August 26. No late credential requests will be honored.

Listed below is the Revolution’s complete schedule through Thursday, Sept. 2. Please keep in mind that this schedule is subject to change.

New England Revolution Schedule: Aug. 24-Sept. 2

Tuesday, Aug. 24 – OFF

Wednesday, Aug. 25 – Training (Lower Practice Field), 10 a.m.

Thursday, Aug. 26 – Training (Lower Practice Field), 10 a.m.

Friday, Aug. 27 – Training (Lower Practice Field), 10 a.m.

Saturday, Aug. 28 – vs. Philadelphia Union (Gillette Stadium), 7:30 p.m. TV: Comcast SportsNet; Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Sunday, Aug. 29 – OFF; Meet the Revs Season-Ticket Holder event (Gillette Stadium Field and concourse), 1 p.m. – no public access

Monday, Aug. 30 – Training (Lower Practice Field), 10 a.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 31 – Training (Lower Practice Field or Gillette Stadium Field), 10 a.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 1 – SuperLiga Final vs. Monarcas Morelia (Gillette Stadium), 7 p.m.TV: Telefutura; Web: superliga2010.com

Thursday, Sept. 2 – TBA

NEW ENGLAND VS. PHILADELPHIA SERIES INFORMATION

Saturday night’s match will be the second meeting between the Revolution and Union, and the first-ever at Gillette Stadium … the clubs met for the first time on July 31 at PPL Park, with each team tallying a goal in the 1-1 draw. 
The Revolution became the first team to ever play to a draw at PPL Park … Philadelphia was 2-1-0 at its new facility heading into the July 31 meeting with New England and has gone 0-1-3 in at home in league matches since the Revs visited PPL Park. 
In the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft conducted last November, Union selected Revs goalkeeper Brad Knighton with the third of its 10 selections ... Knighton has made one MLS appearance for Philadelphia, serving as its backup goalkeeper for most of the season. 
The Revs are 9-7-4 all-time against expansion teams in their inaugural seasons ... that record includes two draws with the Houston Dyanmo, which was considered an expansion team after relocating from San Jose in 2006. 
Since 2005, New England is 8-2-4 against expansion teams in their inaugural seasons ... the Revs went 1-5-0 against the Chicago Fire and Miami Fusion in 1998, just two years after MLS’s inaugural season. 

PLAYER NOTES VS. PHILADELPHIA

Marko Perovic scored New England’s only goal on a free kick in the 71st minute to ensure the Revs would return home with a point.

Matt Reis made three saves in the Revs’ 1-1 draw at Philadelphia on July 31, as the Revolution came back to tie for the first time this season.

NEWS AND NOTES

REVOLUTION RETURNS TO FOXBOROUGH FOR A MUST-WIN MATCH WITH PHILLY

After the Revolution went more than one month without losing a game in all competitions, the club dropped two road matches in four days at Chicago and Kansas City last week … New England returns home after being out-scored, 6-2, in two matches and now faces a virtual must-win match this weekend against the Philadelphia Union in the expansion club’s first-ever visit to Gillette Stadium … the Revs are seven points out of the final playoff spot with 10 games left to play, and must pick up as many points as possible in its remaining games if the club hopes to qualify for the postseason for the ninth straight year.

REVS FLEX MUSCLE OVER EXPANSION CLUBS

In 2005, MLS added two teams and has continued adding one additional club every year since … the Revs have had great success against these expansion clubs in their first season of play, posting an 8-2-4 mark against first-year clubs since 2005, including a 1-1 draw with Philadelphia last month … New England has nearly doubled up first-year clubs, outscoring the seven teams by a 23-12 margin in 14 regular-season matches:

Year     Team                Record             GF        GA

2005     Chivas USA      1-1-0                 1          1

2005     Real Salt Lake   2-0-0                 5          1

2006     Houston            0-0-2                 2          2

2007     Toronto FC       2-0-1                 9          2

2008     San Jose          1-1-0                 4          2

2009     Seattle              2-0-0                 3          1

2010     Philadelphia      0-0-1                 1          1

TOTAL:                        8-2-4                 23         12

REVS ARE HOME SWEET HOME FOR THREE STRAIGHT GAMES

The Revolution returns to Gillette Stadium this week for a three-game home stand (Aug. 28 – Sept. 4) in all competitions … MLS matches against Philly (Aug. 28) and Seattle (Sept. 4) sandwich the SuperLiga 2010 Final against Monarcas Morelia on Wednesday, Sept. 1 … New England then takes to the road for three straight matches at Western Conference clubs Chivas USA (Sept. 10), Colorado (Sept. 18) and Dallas (Sept. 22).

REIS, DEFENSE FAVOR HOME FIELD

The hallmark of New England’s recent eight-match unbeaten streak in all competitions was its defense and goaltending … through that eight game stretch, the Revs posted six shutouts and conceded no more than one goal … during that time, goalkeeper Matt Reis’ GAA dropped from 3.00 to 1.17 in regular-season play after the Aug. 14 match against Houston … but, on the most recent road trip, the Revolution conceded six goals in two losses and Reis’ GAA rose to 1.53 … Reis will look forward to the upcoming string of matches at home, where he has allowed just two goals in seven matches in all competitions since returning from offseason surgeries in late June.

REVS ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN

With 10 games remaining, the Revs are in danger of missing out on the playoffs for the first time since 2001 and for the first time under Steve Nicol’s watch (2002-present)… the club is seven points out of the eighth and final playoff position … with 11 losses, the Revs have already lost more games than the last five seasons – since 2004, when the Revolution finished 8-13-9, tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference, and qualified for the postseason and made it to the Eastern Conference Finals before bowing to D.C. United.

NEW ENGLAND HAS ITS WORK CUT OUT

With 10 games remaining in the 2010 MLS regular season, the Revolution has its work cut out to qualify for the postseason … the Revs have five home games and five away games left … the 10 games remaining come against 10 different clubs, six of whom, if the season ended today, would qualify for the postseason … the Revs’ 10 remaining opponents have a combined win percentage of .512 (78-73-54 record).

 

REVOLUTION RUNS OUT NEW FORMATION

On Saturday night,  the Revolution ran out a 3-5-2 formation to start the game for the first time in 2010 … Steve Nicol started with Emmanuel Osei on the bench, and started a three-man backline of Cory Gibbs, Darrius Barnes and Kevin Alston … Khano Smith was slotted into the left midfield spot with customary midfielders Shalrie Joseph, Pat Phelan and Sainey Nyassi … Marko Perovic stepped back into the playmaking role, while Kenny Mansally filled his forward spot alongside Iljia Stolica … the team has not started in a 3-5-2 since May 3, 2009, a 2-0 loss to Houston at home … it was Nicol’s preferred formation for the better part of the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons.

PEROVIC KEEPS PILING UP THE POINTS

Serbian playmaker Marko Perovic has been a highlight of the Revs’ attack the second third of the season… Perovic has scored seven goals and added one assist in 20 appearances in all competitions… Perovic has really affected the New England attack in his last eight appearances, tallying five goals and one assist, beginning with the game-winning strike on July 10 against LA … his latest tally came last Wednesday night, when Perovic scored an unassisted goal at Chicago to give the Revs a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute.

TIERNEY MAKES A RELIEF APPEARANCE

Defender and midfielder Chris Tierney has started almost everywhere for the Revolution this season – left midfield, left back, center back, right back and central midfield - and added one more task to his resume this past weekend … as one of the most durable, reliable and versatile members of the Revolution this year, Tierney made his first substitute appearance of 2010 when he replaced Pat Phelan at central midfield in the 78th minute … Tierney went in to play central midfield for the first time since the 3-2 win over the New York Red Bulls on May 29, when he started alongside Shalrie Joseph … Tierney moved to the bench on Saturday when Steve Nicol ran out a 3-5-2 formation at Kansas City, as opposed to the customary 4-4-2 … with 18 appearance and 17 starts, Tierney has already surpassed his previous season high for both categories (14 appearances, 13 starts), which came in 2009.

OSEI SUBS THE DAYS

Normally a fixture in the central defense of Steve Nicol’s starting 11, Emmanuel Osei moved to the bench when Steve Nicol deployed a three-man back line at Kansas City on Saturday … however, Osei’s time on the bench didn’t last too long as he came on as a substitute for Kevin Alston in the 39th minute when Alston aggravated a left hamstring strain … an instant starter in 2009 after he joined the team in May, Osei had started 10 matches this season after missing eight league matches (April 17-May 29) with a left foot contusion and leg infection… Osei returned to action as a sub against Seattle on June 5 and had been a fixture in the starting lineup since then, helping to solidify the back line in the team’s recent eight-game unbeaten streak.

MANSALLY BACK IN THE BOX SCORE

Forward Kenny Mansally made the most of his third regular-season start of 2010, scoring his third goal of the year in Saturday night’s 4-1 loss at Kansas City … Mansally’s appearance in the starting lineup was his second in New England’s last four games, also starting at forward in the Revolution’s 1-0 win over D.C. United on Aug. 7 … the Gambian’s 37th-minute goal marked the first time he scored since he tallied both goals in the Revs’ 2-0 win over D.C. United at RFK Stadium on April 3.

SMITH PICKS UP FIRST POINT OF 2010

Midfielder Khano Smith has filled in for his injured teammates admirably over the last month, appearing in the team’s last four matches, including three starts at left midfield … on Saturday, he recorded his first point of the year, assisting on Kenny Mansally’s goal that – at the time – cut the team’s first-half deficit to one goal and sent the team into halftime down 2-1 …the assist was his of the year and also marked the first time his name found an MLS score sheet since he scored a goal for the Revs against Chivas USA on Sept. 11, 2008 … after being selected by Seattle in the 2008 Expansion Draft, he was later traded to New York, where he made eight appearances before signing with Lincoln City of England’s second division.