NEW ENGLAND AGAINST INTERNATIONAL CLUBS SERIES INFORMATION PLAYER NOTES VS. TORONTO FC INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES NOT THAT COMMON WINLESS STRETCH MAKING A BUSY MAY EVEN HARDER STILL CAN’T WIN AGAINST THE WEST, BUT… PLAYED SAN JOSE TOUGH NEW ENGLAND TAKES AIM AT FIRST WIN AT BMO FIELD TRENDING IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS REVOLUTION COMES OUT FIRING CAN SCHILAWSKI TOP TFC PERFORMANCE IN REMATCH? PHELAN STAYS FLEXIBLE FOR THE GOOD OF THE CLUB REVS ALIVE AND WELL IN EASE-TERN CONFERENCE THE OFFENSE IS LACKING YOUTH UPDATE
NEW ENGLAND VS. TORONTO FC SERIES INFORMATION
NEWS & NOTES
REVS WELCOME INTERNATIONAL CLUB SL BENFICA TO GILLETTE
The New England Revolution will play Portuguese powerhouse SL Benfica - for the third time in club history and first time since 2003 - on Wednesday evening at Gillette Stadium … the Revs dropped the only two meetings between the clubs, in 1998 and 2003 … Benfica, based in Lisbon, Portugal, was founded in 1933 and has won a record 33 Portuguese Liga titles, including the most recent 2009-10 championship.
With the advent of SuperLiga and CONCACAF Champions League, the Revs had rarely had a chance to play international clubs outside of competitions while in season … the last time the Revs played an international friendly during the season was 2006 when the team hosted Scotland’s Celtic FC at Gillette Stadium, playing to a 1-1 draw … New England did not play any friendlies in 2009, but did participate in SuperLiga 2009 and faced Mexico’s Santos Laguna and Atlas … in 2008, the Revs spent much of their preseason tuning up with international friendly matches, playing five games against international opponents during February and March and later faced Mexico’s Santos Laguna, Pachuca and Atlante in SuperLiga 2008, as well as a pair of matches against Trinidad’s Joe Public FC in the play-in stage of the CONCACAF Champions League … in 2007, the Revolution played four international friendly matches during the preseason – two Mexican clubs, the Bermudan selection team and a Honduran club.
With Saturday’s draw against San Jose, New England is now 0-4-2 in its last six MLS matches … even with the draw, the current winless stretch still is one of the longest in recent history… the Revs have now experienced minimum six-game winless streaks five times since 2003 … although, the two points collected in the last six matches a similar six-game run in 2008 … in 2003, the team collected four points during a nine-game winless streak.
With the 0-0 draw with San Jose on Saturday night, New England is now winless in its last eight games against Western Conference opponents, going 0-5-3 since the end of the 2009 season … the Revs last win over a Western Conference opponent came in a 2-1 victory over Seattle in Foxborough on Sept. 26, 2009 … since then, the Revolution has been outscored 12-3 in those seven games … New England’s next chance to snap its losing streak against Western Conference opponents comes when the Revs travel to the Seattle Sounders on June 5.
Even though the Revs failed to win against another Western Conference opponent, the Revs did become the first Eastern Conference club in 2010 to take a point from the San Jose Earthquakes … prior to Saturday’s match with the Revs, the Earthquakes were 3-0-0 against Eastern Conference clubs, including a 2-0 win over the Revs in Santa Clara on April 17 … the Earthquakes have outscored Eastern Conference foes, 8-1, including a 4-0 drubbing over the Eastern Conference leading (and 10-man) New York Red Bulls on May 8 … additionally, the Revs held San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski scoreless for the first time in four games.
Through three matches at Toronto’s BMO Field since the club entered MLS in 2007, the Revs have struggled in three visits to BMO Field, compiling an 0-1-2 record … while team has been unable to secure a win at BMO, the team hasn’t had issues scoring, tallying four goals in three matches … if the Revs win at BMO Field on Saturday, not only will the club pick up its first MLS regular-season win on foreign soil, but New England will be the first MLS team to beat TFC at home in 2010 … the Reds are 3-0-0 at home this season and are outscoring opponents, 8-2.
Since the Revolution’s 4-1 dismantling of Toronto FC in its home opener on April 10, the two clubs have headed in completely different directions … while the Revs have compiled an 0-4-2 MLS record, TFC has gone 3-2-1 in MLS play, amassing all 10 of its points in the last month of play … Toronto’s attack has kicked into high gear, averaging 1.67 goals per game in its last six matches.
In eight all-time meetings between the Revolution and TFC, the Revs maintain a 4-1-3 record and an 18-9 scoring edge … New England has made the most of its opportunities at the start of each half, tallying 10 of the 18 goals within the first 15 minutes of each half, 56 percent of its output between minutes 1-15 and 46-60 … four of the goals came within the first 15 minutes after kickoff, and the remaining six in the opening minutes of the second half.
Rookie forward Zack Schilawski made the most of his first game against Toronto on April 10, tallying his first three MLS goals in a 4-1 home-opener win last month … Schilawski will now look to carry over that performance and simultaneously get his club back on track offensively … if he tallies once more against Toronto, Schilawski will tie Taylor Twellman with four goals as the Revs all-time leading scorer against TFC in only his rookie season.
A week after picking up his first MLS regular-season assist, Pat Phelan made his first career start at central defense against San Jose on Saturday night … filling in for the injured Darrius Barnes, Phelan is a natural midfielder, and had made seven starts in the midfield prior to Saturday night … Phelan is not the first Rev player to play out of his natural position this season – Chris Tierney, a natural left midfielder, has started at four different positions in 2010, and Seth Sinovic – a natural left back – was slotted in as a right back while Khano Smith (a natural left midfielder) played left back at Columbus on May 8.
Though it is a bit early to assemble the playoff standings, the Revolution’s recent difficult stretch would have most counted out of postseason contention already … however, the Revs are tied in fifth place with eight points, only two behind third place Toronto FC … a win at Toronto this weekend will leap frog the Revs ahead of TFC in the standings … New England would be firmly in last place if it played in the Western Conference, as every club in the West has achieved double-digit points already, as opposed to the East, where only three of eight teams have double-digit points.
At the root of the Revolution’s month-long winless streak is the club’s real problem: the inability to finish… during the team’s six-game MLS winless streak, the Revs have been outscored 12-4 (15-4 overall), a -8 goal differential in MLS play … half of the Revs goals were scored by Zak Boggs in the May 8 match at Columbus … New England has been shut out three times (four overall) during the stretch, averaging 0.67 goals per game in six MLS matches since April 17.
The Revolution youth academy teams had another successful weekend, going a combined 3-1-0 in matches against Seacoast United and Empire United while the Under-16s qualified for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s playoffs for the first time in team history … the U16s started off with a 4-1 win over Empire United on Saturday afternoon, while the U18s followed with a 1-0 loss … the Revs then traveled to face Seacoast United on Sunday and closed out the weekend with a sweep … the U16s and U18s both walked away with 2-1 victories against their regional rivals to end a successful divisional weekend … the youth Revs next play on Wednesday night against FC Greater Boston on Wednesday evening at Brandeis University.
NEW ENGLAND AGAINST INTERNATIONAL CLUBS SERIES INFORMATION
PLAYER NOTES VS. TORONTO FC
INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES NOT THAT COMMON
WINLESS STRETCH MAKING A BUSY MAY EVEN HARDER
STILL CAN’T WIN AGAINST THE WEST, BUT…
PLAYED SAN JOSE TOUGH
NEW ENGLAND TAKES AIM AT FIRST WIN AT BMO FIELD
TRENDING IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS
REVOLUTION COMES OUT FIRING
CAN SCHILAWSKI TOP TFC PERFORMANCE IN REMATCH?
PHELAN STAYS FLEXIBLE FOR THE GOOD OF THE CLUB
REVS ALIVE AND WELL IN EASE-TERN CONFERENCE
THE OFFENSE IS LACKING