Revs welcome Rapids for midweek showdown
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution looks to get back in the win column against the visiting Colorado Rapids on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium.
Kickoff between the Revs (2-5-0, 6 pts.) and Rapids (4-4-0, 12 pts.) is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised live in high definition on Comcast SportsNet New England, while the radio call will available on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Current Form: Revs looking to end three-game slide; Rapids just snapped a skid of their own
The Revolution will be happy to see the calendar flip to May after suffering three straight losses in the month of April while scoring just one goal in the process. Most recently the Revs were dealt a 1-0 setback at Red Bull Arena as a slow start doomed New England and the visitors were unable to claw out of an early hole despite dominating possession for the majority of the second half.
“Right now, we’re not being beaten; we’re losing,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “We’re losing it ourselves. We’re hurting ourselves. That’s tough. The way we started the game on Saturday just wasn’t good enough.”
New England can find hope in the fact that Colorado was on a similar skid – three straight losses and just one goal scored – before exploding for a 4-0 win over Chivas USA this past weekend at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Three of the Rapids’ four goals in that match were scored in the final 10 minutes, including a brace from newcomer Kamani Hill.
Past Meetings: New England winless against Colorado since 2007
The Rapids have been a tough test for the Revolution in recent years as the Revs haven’t beaten their Western Conference foes since the final meeting of the 2007 season. Since then the Revs are winless (0-3-5) against the Rapids, including four meetings (0-2-2) at Gillette Stadium.
Last season the teams played to a pair of draws. A scoreless encounter in Foxborough was followed up by a thrilling 2-2 draw at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in which Benny Feilhaber scored his first MLS goal and Shalrie Joseph registered the equalizer with a 90th-minute penalty kick.
Injury Report: Guy still sidelined for New England; Mastroeni missing for Colorado
In the midst of a three-games-in-eight-days stretch, the Revs are likely to trot out a slightly altered starting lineup on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium. Heaps has emphasized the importance of roster rotation and managing minutes during the physically demanding period and confirmed this week he’d make a few changes from the group which took the field at Red Bull Arena on Saturday.
One of those changes will not be the insertion of Ryan Guy, however, as the versatile 26-year-old has been ruled out while continuing to recover from right calf tightness.
“We’re just waiting to see when he can be fit again,” said Heaps. “He’s close, it’s just a matter of when.”
Colorado continues to forge on without the leadership of captain and central midfield lynchpin Pablo Mastroeni, who has missed the past six games with lingering headaches following a clash of heads during the season opener. The Rapids did regain the services of forward Conor Casey for a brief cameo appearance against Chivas USA – his first action since rupturing his Achilles tendon last July – but the burly target man didn’t make the trip to Foxborough as he continues his return to full health.
Key Player: Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber
Feilhaber has come off the bench in the Revolution’s past two matches as he continues to regain full fitness after missing almost a month with a left peroneal strain, but the dynamic playmaker could be ready to return to the starting lineup on Wednesday night. If he does, Feilhaber will be looked upon to steer the Revolution’s attack as the club aims to end its recent scoring drought.
“We want Benny to get back to be a full, fit player,” said Heaps. “The injury took a lot out of him from a fitness standpoint and now we’re starting to see him get back to the player he is and the player we need him to be, which is carrying a heavy load for us.”
Final Thoughts: Better start – and potential early goal – the objective against Colorado
“They have a good team,” said Joseph. “Defensively, offensively; they’re a good team all over the field. With Jeff (Larentowicz) in the middle and Omar (Cummings) up top, they’re a solid team. We’ve just got to match their intensity, be ready to play from the start of the whistle and get that early goal which is going to allow us to settle a little bit, then take it from there.”