FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Eastern Conference-leading New York Red Bulls are set to visit Gillette Stadium on Saturday night as the New England Revolution hosts its second home game in the span of four days.
Kickoff between the Revs (2-4-3, 9 pts.) and Red Bulls (6-4-2, 20 pts.) is set for 7:30 p.m. Both Comcast SportsNet and 98.5 The Sports Hub will carry the action.
Current Form: Revs aim to bounce back from midweek heartbreaker
On Wednesday night the Revolution kicked off a stretch in which the club plays five of six games at home by hosting Real Salt Lake, but it was a frustrating start as the Revs conceded a pair of late goals en route to a 2-1 loss. Ryan Guy’s first goal of the season gave the home side a lead entering the closing stages, but RSL struck twice after the 75th minute and Nick Rimando saved Saer Sene’s stoppage-time penalty kick to deny the Revs.
After the game Revolution coaches and players expressed disappointment in how the club responded to going ahead in the 51st minute, indicating they dropped off too much in an attempt to protect the lead.
“We stopped playing our game,” said Chris Tierney. “We kind of sat on our 1-0 lead as opposed to continuing to play and press for that second goal. I thought they had a little bit too much time on the ball. I think we were a little too nice and gave them a little too much respect in the middle of the park. They passed it around pretty much at will.”
The Red Bulls, meanwhile, have won four straight and have climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference standings, albeit with the benefit of games in hand over every other team in the league. New York has been equally impressive both home and away, securing victories in three straight road games while conceding just one goal.
Past Meetings: Decade-long home unbeaten streak on the line Saturday night
It’s been more than 10 years since the Revolution suffered a home loss to New York, racking up an unbeaten record of 11-0-5 in the past 16 regular-season meetings in Foxborough. The last time New York won a game in Foxborough was on June 29, 2002, when the club was known as the MetroStars.
That streak came dangerously close to ending last season when Joel Lindpere gave the Red Bulls the lead in second-half stoppage time, but a dramatic 95th-minute equalizer from Darrius Barnes kept the run alive.
New England’s dominance over New York hasn’t transferred to the road, however, as the Revs have suffered four straight losses at Red Bull Arena, including a 4-1 setback just three weeks ago.
Injury Report: Juan Agudelo may suit up; Thierry Henry’s status a question mark
Acquired from Chivas USA on Tuesday afternoon, Juan Agudelo could be available to make his Revolution debut on Saturday night against the club whose academy he developed in as a teenager in New Jersey.
Agudelo trained with the Revs on Thursday and Friday as he works his way back from a hamstring injury, but Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said the club would make a decision on whether the 20-year-old striker would be available in the next 24 hours.
The status of Red Bulls leading scoring Thierry Henry is also a question mark, but not because of injury. Henry has never played at Gillette Stadium because of an aversion to the venue’s artificial playing surface, telling the media earlier this week that he would discuss his availability with head coach Mike Petke.
The question of Henry’s availability takes on extra significance in the absence of fellow forward Peguy Luyindula, who will miss this weekend’s match after suffering a hamstring injury in a midweek win over the Montreal Impact.
Final Thoughts: Ahead of next week’s trip to Houston, Revs eying three points at home
“Our mindset with every home game is that three (points) are a must,” said Tierney. “We know that it’s very difficult to compete on the road and pick up points in this league. It’s just the way it is. Having good, strong home form is really important if you want to be a team that’s in the mix for the playoffs, which is obviously our goal. We’re moving past [the loss to RSL] and looking forward to the weekend. We’re going for three points at home and expect nothing less, regardless of the circumstances.”