Preview: Revs eager for another chance to end slide as Rapids come to town
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Another opportunity to get back in the win column beckons on Wednesday night when the New England Revolution hosts the Colorado Rapids in a midweek inter-conference tilt.
The Revs (7-11-2, 23 pts.) and Rapids (8-6-6, 30 pts.) will kick off from Gillette Stadium at 7:30 p.m., with coverage on both Comcast SportsNet and 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Current Form: Frustration continues for Revs as losing streak hits eight; Rapids stay steady
The stage was set for the Revs to secure their first points since late May when A.J. Soares equalized early in the second half of Saturday night’s meeting with the Columbus Crew, but a host of chances to push in front went by the board and Crew forward Ethan Finlay made New England pay, scoring in the 84th minute to condemn the Revs to a 2-1 loss.
It was the Revolution’s eighth straight setback – extending the club’s lengthiest losing streak in the post-shootout era – but the players remain confident in their abilities despite the maddening run of results, with Saturday night’s performance against the Crew ample evidence that wins are just a play or two away.
“Coming out of that game, we felt like we did enough to win,” said Soares. “It’s not a confidence issue. It’s just trying to put it all together for 90 minutes and do the right things in all aspects of the game – set pieces, offensive, defensive, defending as a group and attacking as a group. We’ve got to do everything for 90 minutes and I think that’s how you get out of this kind of slump.”
While the Revs have been Major League Soccer’s streakiest team this season – the current eight-game skid was preceded by a five-game winning streak – the Rapids have perhaps been the most consistent. Currently locked in a three-way tie for third place in the Western Conference, Colorado’s lengthiest unbeaten run and winless run this year stand at just three games apiece.
In their last match the Rapids snapped one of those three-game winless runs (0-1-2), using goals from Nick LaBrocca, Drew Moor and Gabriel Torres to roll to a 3-0 win over Chivas USA.
Past Meetings: Revs out to end recent struggles against the Rapids
Colorado has been a tough nut to crack for New England in recent years, as the Revs have managed just one win in their past 10 meetings (1-4-5) with the Rapids dating back to the start of the 2008 season.
However, that one win did come in the last meeting between these two sides at Gillette Stadium when Saer Sene and Fernando Cardenas scored to lift the Revs to a come-from-behind victory in May 2012.
A similar storyline played out in last year’s lone meeting at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park as Juan Toja gave the visiting Revs an early lead, only for the Rapids to claw their way back for a 2-1 win.
Injury Report: Tierney sidelined by MCL sprain suffered vs. Columbus; Rapids shorthanded
For the first time since early May, someone besides Chris Tierney will start for the Revolution at left back on Wednesday night. Tierney was forced off in the 21st minute of last weekend’s loss to Columbus and was subsequently diagnosed with a sprained left MCL, an ailment which will keep him out against the Rapids.
“Tough one to lose Chris,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “He’s such a key for us – not just on the field, but in the locker room. You hate to see him go down.”
Darrius Barnes came off the bench to replace Tierney against the Crew, while Kevin Alston and Donnie Smith are options on the left side, as well.
Joining Tierney on the sidelines will be Andy Dorman (R MCL sprain) and Shalrie Joseph (L calf strain).
Colorado is also likely to be without multiple potential starters on Wednesday night. Leading scorer Deshorn Brown (R groin strain), midfielder Jose Mari (L ankle sprain) and defender Shane O’Neill (R knee sprain) are all listed as questionable, but coloradorapids.com indicates that the trio will be sidelined midweek.
Meanwhile, midfielder Jared Watts has apparently recovered from the shin injury which forced him out of last weekend’s win over Chivas USA, while veteran Brian Mullan (L knee) will be unavailable.
Final Thoughts: Former teammates – and roommates – set to clash as head coaches
“Pablo was one of the hardest-working players in training that I’d ever seen,” Heaps said of former Miami Fusion teammate and current Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni. “Pablo brings that hard-working mentality. You can tell by the group. They press hard in the midfield. Any ball in the midfield, they’ve got guys diving in, giving their lives for it.
“It’s the same things we preach, so I see some things in their team that I see in our team. Fortunately for them, they haven’t had a dip in play like we’ve had and the results have gone their way. We were probably a little hotter at a time, but they’re certainly more consistent. They’ll win two or three, they even draw a game, and they lose their share, but at the same time, they’re always difficult to play.”