Preview: Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – A calm and straightforward victory over New York on Sunday night would provide a welcome respite for New England after the late drama over the past two weekends.
While the Revs will take the two points collected after scoring two 94th minute equalizers in 2-2 draws against Toronto FC and Seattle over the past fortnight, they would like to secure a win in a more simplistic manner against the Red Bulls, according to midfielder Benny Feilhaber.
“We got a goal early in the [Seattle] game,” Feilhaber told MLSsoccer.com. “We just couldn't hold the lead. It's good to see us fight for that long – into the 94th minute for the second game in a row. But I'm hoping we don't have to keep it that late every game.”
Revolution coach Jay Heaps believes the path toward a positive and ultimately mundane result starts by cutting out the defensive errors that have marred the past couple of games. All four goals conceded over the past two matches have occurred in a fairly similar fashion – cross from the left wing, header in the middle – and have left Heaps to lament how those letdowns marred otherwise solid defensive performances.
New York will certainly provide a stiff test at the back with its preference to operate through the wide areas and its potent attacking options, but the internal emphasis on cutting out those mistakes at the back must take precedence, according to Heaps.
“For us, we feel that we have to work on ourselves right now,” Heaps said. “We feel like we're giving away games right now. We've won a couple of games in the past, but, since then, we've gotten back into giving away games and giving away points. We have to focus on ourselves. When they get here, we need to do the things that we do well: move the ball quickly, get in behind and make it difficult for them to play.”
Heaps will hope to have Kevin Alston (left hamstring tightness), Jerry Bengston (awaiting visa and ITC clearance after his transfer from Honduran side C.D. Motagua), Shalrie Joseph (left knee strain), Jose Moreno (left ankle sprain) and Kelyn Rowe (concussion) available to help the Revs accomplish those tasks and extend their season-high four-match unbeaten run with a victory.
“It's just important because teams are kind of drawing away from us a little bit in the playoff spots,” Feilhaber said. “We have to stay with the pack. In order to do that, we have to start getting three points, especially at home.”