Preview: Losing streak has Revs angry ahead of Saturday night visit to FC Dallas
FRISCO, Texas – The New England Revolution closes out a seven-day, two-game road trip on Saturday night when the club visits Western Conference foe FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium.
Kickoff between the Revs (7-9-2, 23 pts.) and FCD (7-7-5, 26 pts.) is set for 9 p.m. ET, with both Comcast SportsNet and 98.5 The Sports Hub covering the game.
Current Form: Revs motivated by anger after sixth straight loss; FCD unbeaten in four
Two of Major League Soccer’s streakiest teams will meet on Saturday night – both the Revs and FCD boast unbeaten runs and winless runs of five-plus games this season.
New England has followed a five-game winning streak with a six-game losing streak, capped by Wednesday night’s 5-1 loss to the LA Galaxy to kick off the current road trip. Head coach Jay Heaps said on Friday that the Revs need to use the subpar midweek performance as motivation against FC Dallas.
“Everyone was really down after the game and rightfully so. We should be. It was a terrible performance across a lot of sectors,” he said. “So we took a day to really internalize that and then [Friday] I think was more about anger, about getting up and saying let’s get back after it.
“There’s some organics – you can’t just force anger on people – but now you’re starting to see it.”
FC Dallas raced to the top of the West with a 5-1-1 start to the season before tumbling out of the playoff picture with an eight-game winless run (0-6-2). But Oscar Pareja’s side has turned it back around in recent weeks, advancing to the U.S. Open Cup semifinals while putting together a four-game unbeaten run (2-0-2) in the league.
“They’ve tinkered with their lineup more than most in terms of how they play and what they do, and knowing Oscar taking over this team, he wants to find the best blend,” said Heaps. “I think we’re in a little bit of that as well right now – finding the right chemistry with the right formation and starting points.”
Past Meetings: Revs own big edge in all-time series, but FCD boasts recent success
A dominant stretch between 2001 and 2009 saw the Revolution beat FC Dallas 15 times in an 18-game span, but the Texas club has turned the tables in recent years to gain a foothold in the series.
In the past five years the Revs are just 1-4-2 against FCD, including a 0-3-1 mark in Frisco.
Blas Perez scored the game’s only goal to lift Dallas to a 1-0 win at Gillette Stadium in the only meeting between these sides last year, while FCD won by an identical score line in the most recent meeting at Toyota Stadium.
Injury Report: Dorman and Soares both unavailable for NE; Goncalves and Sene questionable
After starting the first 18 games of the regular season, A.J. Soares will see that streak come to an end on Saturday night as he serves a one-game suspension following his red card at StubHub Center. Soares was issued straight red for a challenge on Juninho in the 29th minute.
Against the Galaxy, Soares was playing as a holding midfielder in place of the injured Andy Dorman, who will likely be sidelined until at least mid-September while recovering from the knee injury he suffered last weekend against Chicago.
While Soares and Dorman are most definitely unavailable on Saturday, the statuses of Jose Goncalves (R hamstring tightness) and Saer Sene (R quad tightness) are up in the air. Both are listed as questionable on New England’s official injury report.
Regardless of the Revolution’s injury situation, Heaps indicated there could be changes this weekend as he searches for the spark to ignite the Revs and snap the current losing streak.
“There are guys that deserve an opportunity because certain guys aren’t getting it done,” Heaps said. “We haven’t had a ton of practice time because of our schedule as of late, so the best chance for an opportunity is in the game.”
FC Dallas will be without the suspended Fabian Castillo, the club’s second-leading scorer with five goals and two assists. The 22-year-old Colombian is in the midst of a four-game suspension after making contact with a match official following a game in Portland on June 11.
FCD also has a lengthy list of injuries to contend with right now – defenders Kellyn Acosta, George John and Jair Benitez, midfielder Hendry Thomas and goalkeeper Chris Seitz are all listed as out on the club’s injury report.
Final Thoughts: Revs keep losing streak in perspective in midst of rollercoaster year
“This is just how the season is,” said Lee Nguyen, a Texas native who’ll have 50-plus friends and family in the stands on Saturday night. “You can go back to last year, too. At the beginning of the season we had a little rough patch, but we turned it around at the end. So it’s all up and down, up and down, but it’s all about how you overcome those downs. I think as long as we have more ups than downs, we’re going to be fine.”