FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution (12-11-9, 45 pts.) closes in the end of the 2013 regular season when the team hosts the Columbus Crew (12-15-5, 41 pts.) at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night, Oct. 19, in the first game of a crucial, season-ending home-and-away series against Columbus.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, with Comcast SportsNet broadcasting the game live on TV, and 98.5 the Sports Hub’s HD2 channel carrying the game on the radio.
The Revs enter Week 34 of MLS regular-season one point out of the fifth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. However, only three points separate the teams in third through seventh place. The conference is so tightly-packed that a Revs win on Saturday against Columbus, coupled with other favorable results around the league this week, could boost New England into third place in the East entering the final week of the season.
This will be the second of three meetings between New England and Columbus, and the first of a home-and-away set to close out the regular season for both teams. Jose Goncalves scored the game-winner in the team’s 2-0 win at Columbus on July 20 for his first career goal in MLS.
THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES
Home-and-away set with Columbus up next
The Revs have two regular-season games remaining, both against the Columbus Crew … the Revs host Columbus this Saturday and then travel to Ohio’s capital on Sunday, Oct. 27, to close out the regular season … the teams have already met once this season, with Jose Goncalves and Diego Fagundez lifting the Revs to a 2-0 win at Crew Stadium on July 20.
Fan Appreciation Day set for Saturday
With the Revolution’s home schedule wrapping up on Saturday, the Revs will host its annual Fan Appreciation Day … among the many fan-centric activities planned, fans could be sitting in Lucky Seat and Lucky Rows, win prizes randomly dropped around the stadium by the Rev Girls, or win a great prize from the free raffle for autographed items from the Revs and Boston’s other sports teams, Revolution sponsors and partners … lucky fans could also win 2014 Revolution season tickets, or a 2014 four-game pack … additionally, 18 lucky fans will be given Saturday’s game day jerseys by the players directly off their backs immediately after the game.
Pan-Mass Challenge cyclists to be honored Saturday
The Revs will host the inaugural PMC Night on Saturday, where Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) cyclists will be honored at the Revs game for their participation in the 34th annual bike-a-thon, riding and raising money to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund … the PMC raises more money for charity than any other single athletic fundraising event in the country … on Aug. 3 and Aug. 4, 5,533 cyclists rode up to 190 miles in the two-day fundraising event with the collective goal of raising $38 million … the PMC annually contributes 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to The Jimmy Fund … since its 1980 inception, the PMC has raised $375 million.
The Hunt for “Red Line” October
The Revs enter the weekend just outside of the playoffs, looking in just one point back of fifth-place Chicago – which is currently above the “red line” … however, a total of three points separates the third through seventh place teams in the Eastern Conference, with Houston (48 pts.), Montreal (46 pts.), Chicago (46 pts.), Philadelphia (46 pts.) and New England (45 pts.) all in striking distance … Saturday’s opponent – Columbus (41 pts.) – is five points out of a playoff position in eighth.
Eastern Conference Standings (Entering Week 34)
1. X New York Red Bulls 15-9-8 53 pts.
2. X Sporting Kansas City 15-10-7 52 pts.
3. Houston Dynamo 13-10-9 48 pts.
4. Montreal Impact 13-11-7 46 pts.
5. Chicago Fire 13-12-7 46 pts.
6. Philadelphia Union 12-10-10 46 pts.
7. New England Revolution 12-11-9 45 pts.
8. Columbus Crew 12-15-5 41 pts.
X – clinched a playoff berth
Playoff jockeying continues
While the Revolution are unbeaten in their last four games, they remain outside the MLS Cup Playoffs in seventh place entering the final two weeks of the regular season … however, the Eastern Conference playoff race is so tight, that with a win and some favorable results around the league, the Revs could enter the final week of the regular season sitting in third place in the East … with two weeks left in the season, only two teams have claimed playoff spots, with no teams in the West yet clinching a spot.
Scoreboard watching ensues
Although a Revolution win on Saturday against Columbus would go a long way in lifting the team into playoff contention, the Revs need some help from teams around the league if they hope to make the postseason … this weekend’s games that directly impact the Revs’ push for the playoffs include: Montreal at LA (Oct. 16); Philadelphia at Montreal (Oct. 19); Toronto at Chicago (Oct. 19) and New York at Houston (Oct. 20).
Close race, but elimination possible
While the Revolution cannot clinch a playoff spot this weekend – and could even end up as high as third in the standings with a win against Columbus coupled with other results around the league – they could also be eliminated from the playoff race with a loss against Columbus on Saturday in combination with other results around the league … per MLS, the Revs would be eliminated if:
- New England Revolution lose vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday AND TWO OF THE FOLLOWING HAPPEN:
- Houston Dynamo win or tie vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday AND/OR
- Chicago Fire win vs. Toronto FC on Saturday AND/OR
- There is a winner in Montréal Impact vs. Philadelphia Union
- New England Revolution tie vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday AND
- Houston Dynamo win vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday AND
- Montréal Impact win vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday AND
- Chicago Fire win vs. Toronto FC on Saturday
This Week’s MLS Schedule
Wednesday, Oct. 16
LA vs. Montreal (at Carson, Calif.; 10:30 p.m. ET)
Friday, Oct. 18
Kansas City vs. D.C. (at Kansas City, Kan.; 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network)
Saturday, Oct. 19
Montreal vs. Philadelphia (at Montreal, Canada; 2 p.m. ET)
Dallas vs. Seattle (at Frisco, Texas; 2:30 p.m. ET)
Colorado vs. Vancouver (at Commerce City, Colo.; 6 p.m. ET)
New England vs. Columbus (at Foxborough, Mass.; 7:30 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet)
Chicago vs. Toronto (at Bridgeview, Illinois; 8:30 p.m. ET)
Portland vs. Salt Lake (at Portland, Ore. 10:30 p.m. ET)
Sunday, Oct. 20
Houston vs. New York (at Houston, Texas, 4 p.m. ET, UniMas)
LA vs. San Jose (at Carson, Calif.; 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Saer Sene injury update
Saer Sene suffered a dislocated left ankle and a broken left fibula on Saturday in Montreal … following a collision with the Impact’s Davy Arnaud in the penalty area, Sene was stretchered off the field and into a waiting ambulance, which took him to Montreal General Hospital, where doctors diagnosed his injuries … Sene was discharged from the hospital on Saturday evening and traveled home to Foxborough aboard the team bus with the rest of his teammates … Sene had five goals and five assists in 24 appearances this year, after returning from a season-ending knee injury suffered in August 2012.
Goncalves up for Performer of the Week
Jose Goncalves lifted his team to 1-0 win on Saturday in Montreal with his second game-winning goal this season while backing the team’s defense to its club-record – and league-high – 13th shutout of the season … a top candidate for MLS’ Defender of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, Goncalves is one of nine players up for MLSSoccer.com’s Top 3 Performers: Week 33 … Goncalves has started and played every minute (2,880) for the Revs, anchoring the league’s fourth-best defense while recording two game-winning goals.
Fagundez heating up when it counts
Diego Fagundez has been the team’s top offensive performer all season with 12 goals and seven assists entering Week 34 … Fagundez added an assist in Montreal on Saturday – his seventh of the season and the 10th of his career – in the team’s 1-0 win … more importantly, Fagundez has been one of the team’s most consistent scorers as the team pushes for the playoffs … the 18-year-old has recorded points in six of his last eight games (five goals, three assists).
Reis still unbeaten in 2013
Matt Reis kept his 2013 unbeaten streak alive on Saturday as the Revs earned a 1-0 win in Montreal … Reis has posted a 5-0-4 record in 10 appearances in goal this season, while registering a 0.66 goals against average and four shutouts … additionally, the Revs have only allowed more than one goal in games in which Reis has played 90 minutes… his nine-game unbeaten streak is the second-longest of Reis’ career, two back of his record 11-game streak to open the 2005 season (7-0-4, April 2 through June 11, 2005).
Nguyen out for Saturday
Revolution head coach Jay Heaps will be forced to make at least two lineup changes when his team hosts Columbus on Saturday … in addition to Saer Sene’s ankle injury that will keep him out the remainder of 2013, Lee Nguyen will miss the match after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season in Montreal on Saturday … Nguyen will serve his yellow-card accumulation suspension this Saturday against Columbus.
Bengtson scores (again) for Honduras
Revs forward Jerry Bengtson scored the game-winning goal for Honduras in their 1-0 win over Costa Rica on Friday in San Pedro Sula … Bengtson’s game-winner came in the 64th minute and helped Honduras remain in control of their own World Cup qualifying destiny … a win or draw on Tuesday against Jamaica would give Honduras one of CONCACAF’s three automatic berths in the 2014 FIFA World Cup … Bengtson has 38 caps with Honduras and has scored 18 international goals, and he has scored nine goals for Honduras during qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, the most in CONCACAF.
Points adding up
Saturday afternoon’s win at Montreal gave the Revs their 45th point of the season … it is the team’s highest point total since 2007, when the team secured 50 points by going 14-8-9 in the 30-game season … the Revolution have the opportunity to add as many as six more points in the final two games of the season … a full six points would give the Revs 51 points, their second-highest point total ever, after the 59-point 2005 season.
Sovereign | Santander’s “Goals for Charity” coming to close Saturday
Sovereign | Santander, the official bank of the New England Revolution, launched the “Goals for Charity” campaign to coincide with the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2013 and the second half of the Revolution season, and the program will come to a close on Saturday … in the program, Sovereign | Santander will contribute $500 for every goal scored during the Gold Cup 2013 and Revolution games between July 6 and October 17 (a total up to $50,000) to three Boston non-profit organizations: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, Cradles to Crayons and Camp Harborview … Sovereign | Santander will make a pregame check presentation on Saturday ahead of the Columbus Crew match.
THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT INFO
Revolution vs. Columbus Crew (regular season): 18-29-11
- Saturday’s match is the 59th all-time regular-season meeting, and the 65th overall meeting, between the two clubs … the overall total also includes five MLS Cup playoff meetings and one U.S. Open Cup contest
- Columbus leads the all-time regular-season series between the two teams, 29-18-11
- Columbus holds a 13-11-5 advantage in matches played in Foxborough, including a 7-7-4 mark at Gillette Stadium
- The Crew also leads the series in Columbus, with a 16-7-6 advantage in matches played in Ohio, including an 11-6-6 mark in matches at Crew Stadium
- Saturday’s match marks the second of three regular-season meetings between the two clubs this season … on July 20, Jose Goncalves scored the game-winner in stoppage time and Diego Fagundez added an insurance goal minutes later to give the Revs a 2-0 win Crew Stadium
- New England has won just four times in its last 16 meetings with Columbus dating back to the 2007 season … the Revs are 4-8-4 in that stretch
- The Revs’ last season-series victory over the Crew came in 2006, when the Revolution went 2-1-1 against Columbus
- The teams split the regular-season series in 2012, with the teams going 1-1-1 in the three-game series … the clubs played to a 0-0 draw on June 16 at Gillette Stadium, before Columbus earned a 4-3 victory at home on Aug. 25 … the Revs then won 2-0 at home Sept. 5 to close out the series
- Outside of MLS competition, the Revs are 3-0-3 against the Crew, including MLS Cup Playoff (2-0-3) and U.S. Open Cup (1-0-0) matches
- Chad Barrett is the team’s current leading scorer against Columbus with three goals and three assists 14 games against the Crew … he scored one goal each with the Chicago Fire (2007), Toronto FC (2009) and LA Galaxy (2011)
- Andy Dorman has scored three goals and added two assists against the Crew, his last goal coming in 2007
- Six current players have scored one goal against Columbus: Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez, Jerry Bengtson, Jose Goncalves, Ryan Guy and Dimitry Imbongo
- Lee Nguyen has also recorded two assists against the Crew, both coming in the July 20, 2013 win at Crew Stadium
- Diego Fagundez, who scored the second goal in stoppage time on July 20, 2013, also recorded a game-winning assist in the Revs’ 2-0 win at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 5, 2012
- Jose Goncalves’ goal was the game-winning goal in stoppage time on July 20
- Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis has started all but one of his 30 appearances against the Crew, going 8-10-10 with seven shutouts and a 1.46 goals against average
- Bobby Shuttleworth has made two career appearances against Columbus, posting a 1-1-0 record with one shutout and 1.50 goals against average