Weekly Update: Chicago Fire

Revs host the Chicago Fire in the second of three regular-season meetings

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution (8-9-6, 30 pts.) returns home on Saturday, Aug. 17 to host the Chicago Fire (9-9-4, 31 pts.) in the second of three regular-season meetings between the clubs.

Kickoff for Saturday’s match is set for 7:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet will televise the game while 98.5 The Sports Hub will carry the game on the radio.

Also on Saturday, the Revolution will conduct a school supply drive at Gillette Stadium. Fans attending the game are encouraged to donate school supplies to support Boston’s Cradles to Crayons. Cradles to Crayons provides school supplies to children up to the age of 12 living in homeless or low-income situations. Fans who donate will receive an autographed player card.

Injury Reports: This year, Revolution injury reports will be available in the team’s game notes, which are distributed ahead of each game and included in the MLS Game Guides … the Revolution aims to distribute game notes 48-72 hours in advance of each game.

Online Media Archives: New for 2013, the Revs have loaded all of the team’s historical archives – previously found in a printed media guide – online at revolutionsoccer.net … media can access this digital information at revolutionsoccer.net/history … information posted includes year-by-year results, stats, lineups and box scores, club records and opponent capsules with information updated entering the 2013 season.

THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES

Charlie Davies joins Revs Tuesday

The Revs added veteran Charlie Davies to its roster on Friday … the Manchester, N.H.-bred Boston College product is expected to be available for the first time at the club’s training session on Tuesday, Aug. 13 … Davies comes to the Revs on loan with a purchase option from Denmark’s Randers FC after the Revs traded their final natural selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft to D.C. United to obtain him … Davies last played in MLS in 2011, scoring 11 goals in 26 appearances for D.C. United.

Alston makes first start in more than four months

Despite a disappointing result at Kansas City on Saturday, the return of Kevin Alston to the starting lineup was certainly an encouraging sign for the Revs … Alston, who made his last start against FC Dallas on March 30, played 57 minutes in the team’s 3-0 loss … Alston made his first appearance since being diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) at D.C. United on July 27 as a late second-half substitute and helped preserve a 2-1 win, but Saturday’s match against Sporting was his first start  since his return.

Big test as Fire come to Gillette

The Revs return home on Saturday to host one of the hottest team in MLS in the Chicago Fire (9-9-4, 31 pts.) … the Fire, currently riding a four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1), jumped past the Revs in the Eastern Conference standings with a win over Montreal last Saturday coupled with the Revs’ loss at Kansas City … the Fire currently sit in sixth place in the East with 31 points with the Revs just one point behind in seventh … Saturday marks the second of three meetings between the two clubs … the Revs earned three road points in their season opener on March 9 at Toyota Park as Jerry Bengtson headed home the game’s only goal.

Charitable drive series continues on Saturday

On Saturday, the second of three charitable drive collections will take place at Gillette Stadium … fans are encouraged to donate school supplies before Saturday’s match against the Chicago Fire to support Boston’s Cradles to Crayons … Cradles to Crayons provides children up to the age of 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive … fans who donate school supplies will receive an autographed Revs player card … the final donation drive will be Saturday, Sept. 21, when the Revs host D.C. United and the team collects winter coats in conjunction with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department.

Avoiding the rut

Last Saturday’s loss to Sporting Kansas City marked just the second time this season the Revs have lost consecutive games … the Revs fell at home to Houston on July 13 and then at Colorado on July 17 last month before earning a 2-0 win at Columbus on July 20 and again at D.C. United on July 27 … the Revs have now gone 2-4-0 since the midpoint of the regular season.

Defense still ranks high

Once again, entering Week 25 of the MLS season, the Revs’ defense is still one of the league’s best … through 23 games, the Revs have allowed 23 goals (third fewest) and are tied for second in goals against average (1.00) … Revs goalkeepers (Bobby Shuttleworth – 21 games played, Matt Reis – 2 games played) have also recorded a league-high 11 shutouts and are tied for fifth in save percentage (71.1) … last Saturday’s loss against Kansas City also marked just the 6th game – in 23 total – that the Revs have allowed two or more goals this season.

In need of some home cooking

With back-to-back home games on tap for the Revs, earning points at home is a must for the Revs as the season begins to wind down … the team has posted just a 4-4-3 record at home (15 out of 19 in MLS) … the Revs’ last win at home came against San Jose on July 6 … the Fire have struggled away from Toyota Park, posting just a 2-5-3 record on the road, the 11th best mark out of 19 in MLS.

Digging themselves a hole

The Revs allowed the first goal for the third consecutive game on Saturday against Kansas City …The Revs have allowed the first goal in a game eight times this season, most recently against Kansas City, and the Revs are 1-6-1 in one those meetings … the lone victory after surrendering the first goal came at D.C. on July 27, a 2-1 win at RFK Stadium … conversely, the Revs are 7-3-1 record when scoring the first goal.

Down the stretch they come

The Revs have 11 regular-season games remaining, all against Eastern Conference opponents … the Revs play Chicago, Montreal and Columbus twice and have single games remaining with Philadelphia, Toronto, Houston, D.C. United and New York … the eight remaining opponents have a combined winning percentage of .464 … the only Eastern team the Revs will not play in their final 12 games is Kansas City, with whom they wrapped the season series last weekend.

Eastern Conference playoff picture

The top five teams currently in a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference are all separated by just six points … Sporting Kansas City currently holds the top spot with 39 points (11-7-6), while Houston holds down the fifth spot with 33 points (9-7-6) … the Chicago Fire are just two points out of the playoffs and sit in sixth place with 31 points (9-9-4), while the Revs are in the seventh position with 30 points (8-8-6).

Play, Eat, Score! With Revs, Papa Gino’s

All season, the Revolution and Papa Gino's will be giving away a prize package to New England soccer teams … the prize packages include: an appearance by a Revolution player at the team’s soccer practice, 50 Revolution tickets, 20 drawstring bags, 20 water bottles, 10 large Papa Gino’s pizzas and 20 Papa Gino’s small cheese pizza coupons … for a chance to win, simply explain WHY your team should have a Revolution player deliver the prize package to a practice … eight (8) winners will be selected throughout the season to win … enter HERE.

Sovereign | Santander’s “Goals for Charity” program in full swing

Sovereign | Santander, the official bank of the New England Revolution, has launched the “Goals for Charity” campaign to coincide with the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2013 and by the Revolution … in the program, Sovereign | Santander will contribute $500 for every goal scored during the Gold Cup 2013 and Revolution games between now and October 17 (a total up to $50,000) to three Boston non-profit organizations: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, Cradles to Crayons and Camp Harborview.

THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT INFO

Revolution vs. Chicago Fire (regular season): 16-19-9

Home: 11-8-3

Away: 5-11-6

Team Notes against Chicago

  • Saturday’s match will be the 45th regular-season meeting between the two teams and the 64th meeting overall, including MLS Cup Playoffs, U.S. Open Cup and SuperLiga meetings.
  • Chicago leads the all-time, regular-season series between the two teams, 19-16-9 … in all meetings including outside competitions, Chicago holds a 29-24-10 edge in the series.
  • The Revs are 11-8-3 in home games against the Chicago Fire, including a 9-7-2 mark at Gillette Stadium since its opening in 2002.
  • The Revs won the 2012 season series, 2-1-0 ... the Revs won both games at Gillette Stadium: 2-0 on June 2 and 1-0 on Oct. 20 ... the Revs’ 2-0 victory on June 2 snapped the team’s 10-game, regular-season winless streak (0-7-3) against Chicago that dated back to October 6, 2007.
  • The Revs are a combined 5-10-4 in all competitions against the Fire since the start of the 2008 season ... that record includes 13 regular-season games, four playoff matches and two SuperLiga games.
  • The Revs and Fire have met in seven postseasons (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) … in total, the teams have met in the playoffs in eight seasons, all since 2000.

Player Notes against Chicago

  • Despite playing in Europe between 2008 and 2012, Andy Dorman is the Revs’ active leading scorer against Chicago with two goals and two assists in 14 games against the Fire ... all of his points came in 2006.
  • Kelyn Rowe has recorded one goal and three assists against Chicago in four meetings.
  • Ryan Guy has two goals in four appearances against the Fire … Guy recorded two stoppage-time goals at Chicago on Sept. 25, 2011.
  • Jerry Bengtson  and Juan Agudelo are the only other current members of the Revolution who have scored a goal against the Fire … Bengtson had the game-winner in the season-opener on March 9 at Toyota Park … Agudelo scored against the Fire as a member of Chivas USA earlier this season.
  • Diego Fagundez recorded his first career assist on Ryan Guy’s second goal against Chicago on Sept. 25, 2011.
  • Matt Reis is the Revolution’s all-time wins leader against the Fire with 12, and has posted a 1.41 goals against average with seven shutouts … Reis also has three career postseason shutouts in seven appearances against Chicago.
  • Bobby Shuttleworth is 1-0-0 against Chicago, posting a one-save shutout against the Fire on Oct. 20, 2012.

THIS WEEK IN ROCHESTER

  • The Rhinos earned a 1-0 shutout-win over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Sahlen’s Stadium on Friday, Aug. 9.
  • On the season, Rochester is 5-9-10 and is 11th in the 13-team USL PRO … the Rhinos have two games remaining in their season: Aug. 16 at Phoenix and Aug. 17 at Los Angeles.
  • The Revs currently have four players on loan to the Rochester Rhinos as part of the teams’ affiliation agreement: defender Bilal Duckett, midfielder Gabe Latigue, forward Matt Horth and defender Tyler Polak.
  • Duckett leads all Revs players with one goal and 1236 minutes played in 17 games … Polak has made 16 appearances and has played 981 minutes … Horth is the only other player to record a goal and has played 804 minutes in 15 games.
  • Latigue suffered a knee injury in training on July 22, and has returned to Foxborough for treatment … before the injury, Latigue played 871 minutes in 16 games with two assists.