FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – A hectic week will see the New England Revolution play two home games in the span of four days, beginning on Wednesday night when Real Salt Lake visits Gillette Stadium.
Kickoff between the Revs (2-3-3, 9 pts.) and RSL (4-4-2, 14 pts.) is set for 8 p.m., with both Comcast SportsNet and 98.5 The Sports Hub’s HD2 channel covering the game regionally.
Current Form: Riding back-to-back shutouts, Revs begin critical stretch of home games
Wednesday night’s meeting with RSL kicks off a month-long stretch in which the Revs will play five of their next six games at Gillette Stadium. The two-part home-stand presents a massive chance for the Revs to put together a strong run of results, which they’ve already started with a home win over the Philadelphia Union and a road draw with the Portland Timbers in their last two matches.
“We play strong and we attack well (at home), so I’m excited to see what we can do with this stretch of games,” said center back Stephen McCarthy. “We have to get three (points) out of the [RSL game], but this stretch is going to be really big for putting together a run and trying to move up the table.”
Real Salt Lake recently wrapped up a home-stand of its own, going 2-1-0 in a trio of games at Rio Tinto Stadium, including a 2-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC this past weekend. The results improved RSL’s record to 3-1-1 at home, but the Utah side has struggled on the road, going 1-3-1 outside the Beehive State.
Past Meetings: Revs aim to snap five-game winless run against RSL
Real Salt Lake has held a distinct upper hand over the Revolution in recent years as the Revs have gone winless (0-4-1) against RSL since the start of the 2010 season. RSL’s superiority in the series has included success at Gillette Stadium, where the Claret-and-Cobalt has picked up victories in two straight visits.
The sides met just once last year as Alvaro Saborio scored twice to erase Blake Brettschneider’s opener and lift RSL to a 2-1 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Injury Report: Revolution’s backline to receive a boost; Saborio sidelined for RSL
After using a makeshift backline in last week’s 0-0 draw at Jeld-Wen Field, the Revs are set to receive a defensive boost on Wednesday night. Left back Chris Tierney is eligible to return after serving a one-game suspension, while right back Andrew Farrell (L knee contusion) has been upgraded to questionable after making his return to training.
New England’s backline is still short of a completely clean bill of health, however, as A.J. Soares continues to be sidelined by a hamstring strain and McCarthy is questionable with an adductor strain.
Whoever features on the Revolution’s backline won’t have to deal with the prolific Saborio, who’s out after suffering a tear in his right quad. The Costa Rican forward has led Real Salt Lake in goals each of the past three years and leads the line again this season with three goals in just six appearances.
Final Thoughts: Despite roster turnover, RSL continues with possession-based approach
“Salt Lake’s a great team,” said Lee Nguyen. “They have a great coach and you know they’re always going to play that possession football no matter who it is. Even their young academy teams play the same way. We have to be prepared for that knowing they’re going to want to come in here and play, so we just have to play the same way we’ve been playing; be strong in the back and be confident going forward.”