Rejuvenated Revs aim for third straight win at FC Dallas
FRISCO, Texas – Five days after leaving The Home Depot Center with three points from a convincing win over the LA Galaxy, the New England Revolution closes out its two-game road trip on Thursday night against FC Dallas.
Kickoff from FC Dallas Stadium between the Revs (2-2-0, 6 pts.) and FCD (1-2-1, 4 pts.) is set for 8:30 p.m. ET and the match will be televised on Comcast SportsNet alternate channels throughout New England (click HERE for the channel listing in your area), while fans can also catch the action online during a free preview of MLS LIVE (click HERE to access MLS LIVE). The radio call will be available on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s HD2 station (which can be accessed online HERE).
Current Form: Back-to-back wins have Revs on the rise; FCD winless since season opener
Early goals from Kelyn Rowe and Chris Tierney set the stage for the Revolution’s 3-1 victory over the LA Galaxy last weekend in California and the Revs have now put together back-to-back wins for the first time since 2010. Confidence is up heading into FC Dallas Stadium, where the Revs have a chance to make it three wins in a row for the first time since 2009.
“I think we learned a lot and we’re really making strides,” said Stephen McCarthy, who partnered A.J. Soares in central defense against the Galaxy. “Our main thing is to keep the ball and we did that last game. Even though the possession (stats) might not show it, what we did with the ball, we did well. I think as long as we keep that up, we’ll be good.”
Since claiming a 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls in the season opener back on March 11, FC Dallas has gone winless (0-2-1) in its past three games. Last weekend at RFK Stadium FCD suffered a 4-1 loss to D.C. United as former Dallas forward Maicon Santos struck for two goals and one assist against his former club.
Past Meetings: Historically Revs have edge over FCD both home and away
New England and Dallas split the season series in 2011 with both sides winning at home via shutout. FCD claimed a 1-0 victory at FC Dallas Stadium on June 4 before the Revs returned the favor with a 2-0 win at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 10.
The Revolution’s win in the most recent meeting with FC Dallas snapped a four-game winless streak (0-2-2) against the Texas club dating back to 2009, but prior to that stretch the Revs had won 15 of their previous 18 meetings with FCD between 2001 and 2009. All-time the Revs have a significant edge over FC Dallas both at home (12-5-1) and on the road (11-6-2).
Injury Report: Alston likely sidelined by hamstring tightness; duo suspended for FCD
A broken nose couldn’t keep Kevin Alston off the field last weekend at The Home Depot Center, but tightness in his left hamstring forced the 23-year-old off at halftime of that match and the injury is likely to keep him out for Thursday night’s meeting with FC Dallas.
Flo Lechner made his MLS debut when he replaced Alston for the final 45 minutes of that win over the Galaxy and the German defender could be in line for his first MLS start against FCD.
“I think it was good for Flo just to get that initial game underneath his belt,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “He’s an experienced pro and being out [on the field] is going to be good for him.”
In addition to Alston, the Revs will also be without Benny Feilhaber (L peroneal strain), John Lozano (R hip flexor strain), Zak Boggs (R ankle sprain) and Sainey Nyassi (R hamstring strain).
FC Dallas will be missing 2010 league MVP David Ferreira, who recently recovered from a long-term ankle injury only to be told he required surgery to repair a small fracture in his right foot, a procedure which will sideline him for another 6-8 weeks. Ferreira will be joined on the sidelines by Jair Benitez and Daniel Hernandez, both of whom are suspended for Thursday night’s match.
Center back George John is also an injury concern for FCD, as the 25-year-old is listed as questionable with a left hamstring strain. John missed Dallas’ recent loss to D.C. United because of the injury.
Key Player: Revolution forward Saer Sène
Rowe and Tierney put the Revs in the driver’s seat with their goals against LA, but it was Saer Sène’s 65th-minute capper which truly pushed New England across the finish line. The big Frenchman did well to get on the end of Ryan Guy’s right-wing cross and his downward header found its way into the back of the net.
It was Sène’s team-leading second goal of the season on just his third attempted shot, making him one of the league’s most accurate sharpshooters in the early stages. It would greatly benefit the Revs if Sène continued his opportunistic finishing on Thursday night.
“We like the runs he’s making into the box, but we do want to see him get himself into more positions to have a shot on goal,” said Heaps. “I think he had a couple opportunities where he may have passed it. We want to see him with that right or left foot taking shots.”
Final Thoughts: McCarthy and Nguyen hoping for happy homecoming in Dallas
A pair of Dallas natives will ensure the Revolution of some fan support at FC Dallas Stadium and both will be eager to perform in front of their friends and family.
“It’s awesome,” said McCarthy. “Last year was amazing and this year I’m blessed to hopefully get another chance to play and I can’t wait to do it in front of my friends and family.”
“It’s going to be great,” said Lee Nguyen. “A lot of my friends and family, they wanted to see me play and it’ll be their first time to see me play here in the States. I’m excited.”