FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Seattle Sounders FC’s recent slide down the Western Conference standings suggests a team struggling to put together performances on a weekly basis. But that’s not what New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps sees heading into this weekend’s clash at Gillette Stadium.
“To be honest with you, [for] Seattle, the results just haven’t gone their way,” Heaps said of the Sounders, who are 0-4-3 in their last seven league games, including a 2-1 loss to the rival Portland Timbers last Sunday at Jeld-Wen Field. “I think more so in the Portland game, I thought they pushed the game at the end. I thought in the (Sporting) Kansas City game they created a lot. But Seattle’s a very dangerous team and we have to be prepared for that.”
One of Seattle’s most lethal players is Fredy Montero, who’s been a notorious Revs-killer with four goals in five career appearances against New England. In the Sounders’ most recent visit to Foxborough last October, Montero scored both goals as Seattle claimed a 2-1 win.
But Montero won’t be adding to his goal-scoring total against the Revolution this weekend as the Colombian forward is suspended after being ejected in stoppage time of Sunday’s loss to the Timbers.
“I think we caught a break with Montero’s red card, but they’ve got so many options that they’ll work something out and put a quality side on the field,” said Revs forward Blake Brettschneider. “We’re going to do our studying and make sure we’re ready this week in training and hopefully give them a good match on Saturday night.”
During their studies, the Revs will undoubtedly highlight Seattle’s hectic schedule in recent weeks. The Sounders have bounced all over North America in the second half of June, with Saturday’s visit to Gillette Stadium arriving in the midst of a remarkable stretch in which they’ll play 10 games in 33 days.
This entire week was spent on the road as the Sounders visited the Timbers on Sunday before heading to San Francisco for a U.S. Open Cup meeting with the San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday. From there, the Sounders traveled directly to New England, where they’ll train on Thursday and Friday ahead of this weekend’s contest.
With that knowledge in hand, the Revs could look to test the Sounders’ potentially weary legs by pushing the tempo in the early stages.
“It’s going to be a tough one, but fortunately they’ve had a lot of games,” said Revolution midfielder Clyde Simms. “They’re doing well in the Open Cup, so they’ve had a tough stretch of games. A lot of flying, a lot of traveling, so (we’ll) look to jump on them early and often.”