TORRANCE, Calif. – Returning to league action for the first time in two weeks, the New England Revolution makes its fourth and final West Coast trip of the season on Saturday night to visit Chivas USA.
Kickoff from the recently-renamed StubHub Center is set for 10:30 p.m. ET, with regional coverage on both Comcast SportsNet and 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Current Form: Revs aim to bounce back from Open Cup exit; Chivas USA winless since March
The Revolution (5-5-5, 20 pts.) arrived on the West Coast directly from Washington, D.C., where the club was eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup with a 3-1 loss to D.C. United on Wednesday night. Juan Toja scored his first goal in a Revolution jersey with a fantastic free kick, but Juan Agudelo and Diego Fagundez had shots hit the woodwork and the Revs saw their deepest Open Cup run since 2008 end at the quarterfinal stage.
Saturday night’s return to league action will be the Revolution’s first regular-season match in two weeks after enjoying their third and final bye on the 2013 schedule. Although it’s been 14 days since that wild 4-3 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the Revs are still looking to build upon the success they had early in that match.
“We did a lot of good stuff early in the game and we did a lot of good stuff in the second half, as well, being a man down,” said Lee Nguyen. “We have to take that and have that confidence going into Chivas, knowing that we can go into a place as tough as Vancouver, play anywhere away and bring that same type of mentality and game.”
Chivas USA (3-10-2, 11 pts.) is a team in transition after recently parting ways with head coach Jose Luis “El Chelis” Sanchez Sola and naming Jose Luis “Guero” Real as his successor. The change has yet to yield dividends on the field as the Goats enter the weekend having lost seven straight games, in which they’ve been outscored 19-2.
Past Meetings: Revs winless in last six meetings with Chivas USA
Despite racing out to a 3-0 first-half lead the last time these two teams met on August 29, 2012, at Gillette Stadium, the Revs ultimately had to settle for a 3-3 draw and a share of the points. Saer Sene scored a pair of goals that night before suffering a season-ending knee injury early in the second half.
The result kept the Revolution winless (0-5-1) against Chivas USA since July 2009 but did manage to snap a string of five consecutive losses to the Goats.
Injury Report: Andrew Farrell suspended, Clyde Simms back in the fold for New England
Top overall SuperDraft pick Andrew Farrell will miss just his second game of the season on Saturday night as the rookie defender will be suspended following his red card in the loss to Vancouver. Farrell has started the Revolution’s last seven games at right back, but the Revs have dealt with numerous changes along the backline this season and have coped well enough to still lead the league in most defensive categories.
“Any guy that’s stepped in there has done his job and we’ve continued to play well, get some decent results and get shutouts,” said goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. “So I don’t think it’s anything new for us or anything different. We have some good depth along the backline, so hopefully we can continue going and working and the next person that steps in does their job and keeps it rolling.”
Darrius Barnes seems the likeliest candidate to start in Farrell’s absence, while Ryan Guy has appeared at right back for the Revolution, as well.
Clyde Simms could make his return to the Revolution lineup after missing four games with a knee sprain. The veteran midfielder was recently removed from the injury report and was available on the bench for Wednesday night’s Open Cup match.
As for Chivas USA, the most recent available injury report lists Daniel Atunez (L ACL reconstruction) as out, while Gabriel Farfan (L hamstring tightness), Edgar Mejia (L ankle sprain) and Aaron Ponce (L hamstring tightness) were all listed as questionable.
Final Thoughts: Despite opponent’s struggles, Revs not underestimating Chivas USA
“Players that are playing at this level, they’re all good players,” said Shuttleworth. “Everyone poses their own threats and every team is going to have good players who can score and do everything. Each week we go in knowing those players that are going to be dangerous to us and try to key in on those guys.
“Chivas USA is just like any other team. They have their dangerous players that are doing well and we need to key on that, keep our tight lines and keep our organization.”