Preview: Revs prepare to host Dynamo this weekend in an early-season rematch
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Familiar foes will clash on Saturday evening when the New England Revolution hosts the Houston Dynamo in an early rematch of the March 8 season opener.
Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. from Gillette Stadium, which was recently upgraded with a brand new FieldTurf surface. Saturday’s meeting between the Revs (1-3-1, 4 pts.) and Dynamo (2-2-0, 6 pts.) will be the first event since installation was completed earlier this week.
Comcast SportsNet will televise the game live in HD, while 98.5 The Sports Hub will have the radio call.
Current Form: Both sides looking to bounce back after frustrating losses last weekend
The Revs had their modest two-game unbeaten run snapped at RFK Stadium last Saturday night when they suffered a 2-0 loss to D.C. United. New England’s backline was steady – holding D.C. without an official shot on target until the 80th minute – but the attack once again struggled to find a breakthrough as the Revs were shut out for the fourth time in five matches.
“We didn’t give away many chances. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really matter because we didn’t win the game,” said goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. “I think everybody knows it’s got to be better and we’ve really got to start making steps forward and start getting results.”
After opening the season with back-to-back wins, Houston has since suffered back-to-back losses, including a rare setback last weekend at BBVA Compass Stadium. In the 4-1 loss to FC Dallas, the Dynamo couldn’t overcome David Horst’s 60th-minute ejection, conceding three goals in the ensuing 10 minutes.
Houston suffered a 2-1 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the club’s only road game this season.
Past Meetings: For Revs, memories of season-opening loss in Houston still linger
Saturday’s contest will be the Revolution’s first rematch of the 2014 campaign, pitting the Revs against a Dynamo side which handed them a comprehensive 4-0 loss in last month’s season opener. While exacting revenge isn’t the primary concern this weekend, the memories of that night do provide a little extra fuel in the buildup.
Houston has built a reputation on its home form, but in recent years Dominic Kinnear’s side has also found success on its journeys to Foxborough. On Saturday the Revs will be looking to snap a four-game winless run (0-1-3) against the Dynamo at Gillette Stadium, dating back to 2011.
Injury Report: Rowe and Tierney both questionable; Dynamo captain Davis doubtful
Kelyn Rowe’s path back to the field received a boost this week when the young midfielder was upgraded to questionable on the latest injury report. Rowe has missed the past two games with a left hamstring strain and is hopeful for a swift return, but the Revs are also taking every precaution to avoid a potential setback.
Joining Rowe on the injury report are Donnie Smith (L foot contusion) and Chris Tierney (L hip irritation), both also listed as questionable. Tierney has started all five of the Revolution’s games this season at left back.
New England will have to cope with a suspension this weekend, as well, but not on the field. Head coach Jay Heaps won’t be on the sidelines on Saturday after being ejected in the late stages of last weekend’s loss to D.C., leaving top assistant Tom Soehn to take the reins in his stead.
Houston, meanwhile, will be without center backs David Horst (suspension) and Eric Brunner (ankle surgery), potentially opening the door for rookie AJ Cochran to make his first MLS start alongside Jermaine Taylor. Cochran made his professional debut last weekend, playing the final half hour of Houston’s 4-1 loss to FC Dallas.
In addition to Horst and Brunner, Dynamo captain and attacking lynchpin Brad Davis is also a doubt after he was forced out in the first half of last weekend’s loss with a sprained right ankle.
Final Thoughts: Revs looking forward to some home cooking in Foxborough
“You just get comfort playing at home,” said Andrew Farrell. “The fans are great, the atmosphere’s good and I think that we feel very comfortable at home. So I think going into Saturday, it’s a really, really good opportunity for us to get some points and get a head of steam.”