News & Notes: Revs vs. Sounders FC

Revs return home for clash with Seattle Sounders FC and USMNT captain Clint Dempsey

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Following last Saturday’s come-from-behind victory at Toronto FC, the New England Revolution returns home to host league-leading Seattle Sounders FC this Sunday, May 11. Kickoff at Gillette Stadium on Sunday is set for 6 p.m. The Revs enter the match riding a four-game undefeated streak that has seen them go 3-0-1 in their last four matches and surge into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Comcast SportsNet will televise the game, while 98.5 The Sports Hub will have the call on the radio. Sunday’s match will be the only meeting between the two clubs this season.

New England (4-3-2, 14 pts.) earned a 2-1 win against TFC at BMO Field last Saturday behind Lee Nguyen’s game-winning penalty kick. The 82nd-minute goal was Nguyen’s team-leading fourth of the season and third from the penalty spot. Rookie Patrick Mullins scored his first goal in MLS to level the game in 24th minute, and also drew the penalty that Nguyen converted.

Seattle (6-2-1, 19 pts.) enters Sunday’s match against New England with the best record in MLS, and is riding a five-game undefeated streak, which includes four straight wins. They will host FC Dallas in a league match at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday night before traveling east to Foxborough.

Seattle features U.S. Men’s National Team captain Clint Dempsey, who is expected to make his first league appearance in Foxborough since 2006. The former Revs star is also the league’s leading goal scorer with eight goals so far this season.

Following this Sunday’s match against Seattle, the Revs travel to face the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, May 17 in the second of three meetings this season. The Union earned a 1-0 win when the two teams met at PPL Park on March 15.

TEAM NOTES

Revs host league’s best on Sunday …

The Revolution hosts Seattle Sounders FC at Gillette Stadium this Sunday, May 11, in the only meeting between the two teams this season … Seattle currently boasts a league-best 6-2-1 record (19 pts.), before their match against Dallas on Wednesday night … the Revs (4-3-2, 14 pts.) are currently tied for first in the Eastern Conference with Sporting Kansas City (4-2-2, 14 pts.) and New York (4-3-2, 14 pts.) … the Revs and Sounders last met on April 13, 2013, playing to a 0-0 draw at Century Link Field in the teams’ only meeting last year.

… And welcome back a familiar face

Clint Dempsey, who began his MLS career in New England with the Revolution in 2004, will make his first appearance against his former club when Seattle visits Gillette Stadium on Sunday … Dempsey spent three years with the Revs, from 2004 through 2006, making 71 appearances (70 starts), while scoring 25 goals and adding 14 assists on his way to 2004 MLS rookie of the year and 2005 and 2006 MLS Best XI honors before transferring to Fulham FC (England).

Match-up of top teams

Sunday’s match is set to feature the top two teams in each MLS conference … the Revs are co-leading the Eastern Conference (with New York and Kansas City – all with 14 points) … Seattle is on top of not only the Western Conference (19 pts. entering their match Wednesday night), but also the top team in MLS.

Lone Western test for some time

Sunday’s match against Seattle Sounders FC is the Revs’ last against a Western Conference opponent before the MLS World Cup break … since April 5, the Revs have played five straight matches against Eastern Conference opponents, posting a 3-1-1 record … the last time the Revs played a Western Conference opponent was March 29, when the club earned a 2-1 road win at San Jose … the Revs have gone 1-0-1 against the Western Conference this season.

Springing into May

The Revs continued their solid play from the month of April right into May with a 2-1 win over Toronto last Saturday at BMO Field … after falling on the road in D.C. to start the month of April, the Revs have surged into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference behind a four-game undefeated streak, picking up wins at home over Houston and Kansas City and earning a draw on the road in Chicago and last weekend’s win at Toronto … last season, the Revs enjoyed a successful month of May, going 2-1-2 record in five games.

Stout Revs defense faces tough task

Sunday’s match against Seattle is set to feature one of the league’s top defenses against the top offense … New England is tied for third in MLS, allowing 1.11 goals per game, while Seattle boats MLS’ top attack with a league-best 20 goals and a 2.22 goals per game average … Seattle’s attack is led by USMNT captain – and former Rev – Clint Dempsey, who has eight goals and three assists on the season.

Fortress Foxborough coming under assault

The Revolution has treated Gillette Stadium like its own fortress this year … in three home games this season, the Revs have yet to concede a goal and have posted a 2-0-1 record … the Revs’ .833 winning percentage (2-0-1) is the best in MLS, while the team’s home 0.00 goals against average is best in the league … Seattle enters Sunday’s game with the league’s best road record, going 3-0-1 in four away matches … the Sounders average 2.75 goals per game on the road, the league’s best road scoring mark.

Team Home Record Win Pct.
New England 2-0-1  .833
Kansas City 3-0-2 .800
New York 2-0-2 .750
Salt Lake  2-0-2 .750
D.C. United  3-1-1  .700

Central Powers

The central defense tandem of A.J. Soares and Andrew Farrell has proven extremely stingy this season in their short time together … in the 409 minutes the duo has played centrally together this year, the Revolution has a goals against average of 0.66 – allowing just three goals in that span, including two shutouts – and has gone 3-1-1 … while Soares has played exclusively at center back in each of his four professional seasons, Farrell has transitioned centrally as needed this year, his second pro season … Farrell first appeared at CB on March 15 at Philadelphia, and has also played the team’s last 319 minutes (spanning four games) at center back in place of the injured Jose Goncalves.

Matches  Minutes  GA Result
March 15 at Philadelphia 90 1 L
April 12 vs. Houston 49 0 W
April 19 at Chicago 90 T
April 26 vs. Kansas City 90 0 W
May 3 vs. Toronto 90 1 W

Mullins opens up Revs account …

Patrick Mullins, the Revs second pick (11th overall) in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, earned his second start of the season at Toronto last Saturday, and his second overall … the rookie made the most of his opportunity, scoring his first career MLS goal in the 24th minute to level the game at 1-1, and then drew a penalty that led to Lee Nguyen’s game-winning goal in the 82nd minute … along with being involved in both goals against Toronto, Mullins showed well up top, providing strong hold-up play and defensive pressure on Toronto’s physical back line.

… And up for Goal of the Week

Patrick Mullins’ left-footed strike against Toronto is up for Week 10’s MLS AT&T Goal of the Week for Week 10 … Mullins – who won the last two collegiate player of the year awards while at Maryland – struck from 20-yards out to pull the Revs even at 1-1 in the match … his left-footed rocket off a Daigo Kobayashi defense-splitting through ball beat Brazil national team goalkeeper Julio Cesar to the upper corner. | WATCH MULLINS’ GOAL HERE

Penalties becoming the norm for Nguyen

For the third straight week, Lee Nguyen stepped up to the penalty spot and converted for the Revs … Nguyen now has four goals on the season, with three coming from the penalty spot … Patrick Mullins had a shot handled in the box in Toronto last Saturday with the game tied at 1-1, and referee Mark Geiger signaled for the penalty … Nguyen stepped up and buried a shot to Julio Cesar’s left to give his team the lead in the 82nd minute … of Nguyen’s four goals this season, two have been game-winners, tied for first in MLS.

Time to start watching Nguyen?

After another impressive 90-minute performance last Saturday against Toronto, MLSsoccer.com’s Matthew Doyle believes Lee Nguyen is the best player in MLS that fans aren’t watching:

Doyle on Nguyen’s performance this season: “There's been a disappointing lack of buzz for Nguyen so far this year, given that he's been playing at a Best XI level … Nguyen's positioning and close-quarters skill unbalanced Toronto [last Saturday], and his ability to get out of those close quarters and into space is what changed the game after the first 15 minutes. He ended up outplaying (Michael) Bradley, becoming more influential as the game went on and tilting most of the best chances towards the Revs even as possession tipped 60-40 to TFC … he is the best player in MLS that nobody is talking about at the moment. But after [last] weekend, that should change.”

Kobayashi adds another helper

Daigo Kobayashi added his second assist as a member of the Revs in the team’s 2-1 win in Toronto last Saturday … Kobayashi, who had four assists in 30 appearances with Vancouver in 2013, already has two assists in just nine appearances with the Revs … Kobayashi’s two assists as a Rev have both set up first career MLS goals … the midfielder set up Patrick Mullins in Toronto last Saturday and set up Kevin Alston’s first career MLS goal against Houston on April 12.

Milestone for Shuttleworth … 
Bobby Shuttleworth made his 50th career MLS start last Saturday in the team’s 2-1 win in Toronto … all of Shuttleworth’s 52 appearances have come as a member of the Revolution … the sixth-year keeper began his career with the Revs in 2009 and made his first career start in 2010 … this season, Shuttleworth is tied for second in MLS in shutouts with three (tied with Houston’s Tally Hall, Colorado’s Clint Irwin and Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando) and is sixth in goals against average with a 1.11 mark

… And up for Save of the Week

Bobby Shuttleworth drew a nomination for MLS save of the week with his 86th-minute reaction save on TFC forward Gilberto’s header from eight yards out … Shuttleworth got his left hand on the shot, and deflected it off the post where he was able to control the ball as Issey Nakajima-Farran challenged … Shuttleworth made two saves in the match, but his nominated save late in the game helped preserve the Revs’ first-ever victory in Toronto. | WATCH SHUTTLEWORTH’S SAVE HERE

Bengtson gets expected call-up for Honduras pre-World Cup schedule

Forward Jerry Bengtson got called up to the Honduras National Team for its pre-World Cup schedule, which begins in late May … Bengtson, who was CONCACAF’s leading scorer during World Cup Qualifying, has 41 career caps and has scored 19 goals for Honduras … Bengtson is part of the 23-man roster that was called up by Honduras technical director Luis Fernando Suarez for the country’s matches against Turkey (May 29 in Washington, D.C.), Israel (June 1 in Houston) and England (June 7 in Miami) … the FIFA World Cup is set to begin in Brazil on June 12, with Honduras playing its first group match against France in Alegre on June 15 … Honduras’ final World Cup roster is expected to be announced by FIFA’s roster deadline of June 2.

Honorary Captains will have Olympic feel Sunday

Sunday’s honorary captains for the Revs’ match against Seattle Sounders FC will have an Olympic feel … the Revs are set to welcome:

  • Meghan Duggan from Danvers, Mass. – captain of the silver-medal winning U.S. women’s ice hockey team
  • Marissa Castelli from Cranston, R.I. – a bronze-medal winning pairs skater on the U.S. ice skating team
  • Julia Krass from Hanover, N.H. – one of Team USA’s youngest members from the U.S. ski team, who competed in the inaugural slopestyle events

Rosie’s Place to be recognized this week

In recognition of Mother’s Day on Sunday, the Revolution are working with Boston-based Rosie’s Place on several activities … Rosie’s Place is the nation’s first-ever women’s shelter … on Wednesday evening, Scott Caldwell, Larry Jackson and Brad Knighton will volunteer at Rosie’s Place in Boston, and serve dinner to local homeless women and their children … on Sunday, representatives from Rosie’s Place will attend the Revolution’s match against Seattle and all proceeds from a special New England Revolution Charitable Foundation raffle – which will include a Clint Dempsey autographed Seattle Sounders FC jersey – will be donated to Rosie’s Place.

Revs waiting for days gone “Bye”

With their designated bye weekend coming in Week 22 of the schedule (Aug. 9-13), the Revolution will be the last team in MLS who will enjoy a bye weekend outside of the league’s World Cup break … with the exception of Portland – who does not have an in-season bye week in their schedule besides the World Cup break – every other team in MLS will have enjoyed at least one bye weekend before the Revs sit out Week 22 of the schedule … this year’s schedule is a stark change from the 2013 slate that saw the Revs have two bye weeks in the first six weeks of the schedule: Week 1 and Week 6.

Portugal and Mexico set to meet at Gillette

Before the Mexican and Portuguese national teams make their way to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, they’ll face off in an international friendly at Gillette Stadium … on June 6, Cristiano Ronaldo will lead Portugal against Javier Hernandez and Mexico in a final tune up before the World Cup … kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m., and tickets are on sale and start at $40.

July 12: New England’s Fitness Event of the Year

International fitness star Shaun T – the creator of best-selling fitness programs INSANITY, Focus T25 and Hip Hop Abs – will make a special appearance at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, July 12, when he leads a live workout on the field before the New England Revolution hosts the Chicago Fire later in the evening … special ticket packages start at $85 and are on sale now through revolutionsoccer.net/shaunt … packages include a spot in the live workout, a Q&A session with Shaun T after the workout, a meet & greet and group photo session with Shaun T, access to a reserved tailgate area between the workout and the Revs match, and a midfield seat for the Revolution match … special package options are available for fitness fans who want to be closer to Shaun T and work out in the first 10 rows.