NYC_VS_Preview

Audi MLS Cup Playoffs | Eastern Conference Semifinals
New England Revolution vs. New York City FC
Tuesday, November 30 | 7:30 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.

Watch: FS1 (English), FOX Deportes (Spanish)
Listen: ROCK 92.9 FM (English), SiriusXM FC (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
Revolution Pregame Live (6 p.m. ET)
- Special guest Taylor Twellman
- Facebook, YouTube, revolutionsoccer.net
CBS Boston pregame coverage on TV38 (6:30 p.m. ET)

CURRENT FORM

New England Revolution
1st in Eastern Conference (22-5-7, 73 pts.)
Supporters’ Shield Champions
Last Result | 1-0 loss vs. Inter Miami CF

The Revs have endured a 23-day wait for their first playoff game after wrapping up an historic regular season on November 7, when they lifted the first Supporters’ Shield in club history having set a new MLS single-season points record (73). The result that evening was disappointing – an exceedingly rare 1-0 loss to Inter Miami CF – but still the Revs have gone 15-2-4 since the middle of July.

As the league’s top seed New England will have homefield advantage throughout the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, a potential boon for a team that went 12-2-3 in Foxborough this season to tie the best home record in club history. Tuesday night’s game, meanwhile, will be the Revolution’s first home playoff game with fans in attendance since the 2014 Eastern Conference Championship, a span of seven years and one day.

New York City FC
4th in Eastern Conference (14-11-9, 51 pts.)
Last Result | 2-0 win vs. Atlanta United FC

New York City FC advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals courtesy of a comfortable 2-0 win over Atlanta United FC last Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Valentín Castellanos and Alexander Callens scored just four minutes apart early in the second half and goalkeeper Sean Johnson made four saves in a shutout effort as NYCFC claimed their first postseason victory since 2018.

Tuesday night’s visitors are now unbeaten in six (4-0-2), outscoring opponents 14-3 in that stretch, so they’ll arrive in Foxborough full of confidence. Four of those games were at Yankee Stadium, however, and NYCFC have won just twice in their last 13 road games (2-7-4).

KEY PLAYERS

Revolution midfielder Carles Gil
One of five finalists for Landon Donovan MLS MVP – and a frontrunner to win the award – Carles Gil was the catalyst for New England’s attack all season, racking up a league-leading 18 assists while setting an MLS record for chances created with 130 (according to Opta). The Revolution captain also found his scoring touch in recent months, scoring two of his four goals since late September.

Like many teams around MLS this season, NYCFC felt Gil’s wrath as the Spanish playmaker registered three assists in two appearances against the New Yorkers, both Revolution wins. Gil was unavailable for New England’s lone loss to NYCFC in late August.

NYCFC forward Valentín Castellanos
Valentín Castellanos is an obvious threat for NYCFC as the Argentine forward took home the MLS Golden Boot this season with 19 goals and eight assists in 32 appearances. Castellanos has proven to be a streaky scorer but is red hot at the moment, having scored in five straight games for a total of seven goals during that stretch.

New England will need to neutralize both Castellanos and primary playmaker Maxi Moralez on Tuesday night, as Moralez assisted Castellanos on both goals when NYCFC beat the Revs 2-0 on August 28.

STATUS REPORT

Revolution
Adam Buksa is officially listed as questionable ahead of Tuesday night’s playoff showdown, but the Revolution’s leading goal scorer (16) provided good news during Monday’s media access. Having missed the regular season finale on November 7 through injury, Buksa spent the past three weeks rehabbing and has declared himself fit and ready to go against New York City FC.

“I worked really hard to get ready for the games,” said Buksa. “I’m ready. I’m ready for tomorrow. Ready for 100 percent, there is no doubt about that.

“It was a good time of preparation, I would say, because I worked hard on my physicality. I worked a lot with physical therapists, so a little bit different style of training. I had to let my foot rest a little bit, but that doesn't mean that I was out. I was just training a different way. Now I'm back on the field. I've had four training sessions with the team, and I feel very good, so you can be sure that I'll be ready for 100 percent tomorrow.”

NYCFC
The visitors will be missing a pair of key pieces on Tuesday night as both Anton Tinnerholm (Achilles tendon) and Keaton Parks (blood-clot surgery) are unavailable. Tinnerholm has been a fixture at right back for NYCFC since arriving in 2018 and made 25 appearances before suffering his injury in early October, while Parks was fourth on the team with 31 appearances this regular season.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“Things can happen early in the game, maybe a team gets an early goal and it changes things. If you've watched these playoff games to date, I think they're highly unpredictable. Certainly, New York City is a team that attacks, has good players, they have a good mentality as a team, and they're well coached. But they also defend well as a team, and they've defended much better collectively over the last month. They have a good goalkeeper, experienced center backs, and the attack, they obviously have an outstanding goal scorer [in Valentin Castellanos], and they have a good player and playmaker [Maximiliano] Moralez. Every player on the field for New York City is good player.”

New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil
“I think it was a very good experience for us, what we did last season. Like you said, it’s a different game. It’s 90 minutes, you have extra time and penalties too. We need to be focused, to know that it’s 90 minutes and not try to win the game in 10 minutes because that’s very difficult and it’s a very good team, and try to play like we did all season, play like we know. I’m sure we’ll have many chances to win and go to the [Eastern] Conference Final.”

New York City FC head coach Ronny Deila
“I think they are two very good football teams. Every game we have played against them, it has been very, very even. I expect the game to be even now as well. At the same time, they have been very effective this year, they have almost won very game they have played. We need to be at the level we were against Atlanta. If we do that then, I think we’ll match them and then we have a chance to win. That’s our only focus.”

New York City FC midfielder Alfredo Morales
“I have a lot of respect for them, they have played a tremendous season. Maybe everyone will say they are the favorites, but I think we’re at the same level and this is how I approach the game with my teammates. We want to go there to win.”