FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution have one point through their first two games (0-1-1), and they’re eager to get their first victory of the 2020 campaign under their belts.
Through their first two matches, this group has seen encouraging signs of improvement.
“I think the team’s doing well,” Carles Gil said through an interpreter, having watched those games while recovering from a foot injury. “The second game against Chicago was better than the first game against Montreal.
“I think we had a lot of good, quality chances to win that game against Chicago. The team is improving. The team’s getting better and better, and hopefully we stay on the right track.”
That match against Chicago ended in a 1-1 draw, and kicked off an important string of games at Gillette Stadium.
As the Revs look ahead to their game hosting the Portland Timbers on Sunday, they will play four of their next five matches in Foxborough. This stretch gives the Revs an opportunity to secure up to 12 points on their home turf.
“I think it’s important,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “It’s not do or die, but I think we have to set the tone at home that we’re going to be a hard team to beat here.”
"It's huge,” said Teal Bunbury. “We have to take advantage of home games because we know on the road, it's difficult. You're lucky to get a point on the road. But for us at home, we have to make sure it's a fortress. It starts with this coming Sunday."
Forging this fortress will be put to the test against the Timbers this weekend. Defender Brandon Bye, who according to Opta is tied with New York Red Bulls midfielder Florian Valot atop the league rankings with three big chances created in 2020, understands that this group has what it takes to accomplish this task by converting these types of big chances on Sunday.
“Being home, we have to obviously keep the foot on the throttle and keep pushing forward, but sometimes be patient, as well,” said Bye. “I think we can play both styles [against Portland] – counterattacking, or be patient and swing it and wait for our opportunities, so I think we’re suited to do just that.”
"We're playing at home again in front of our fans,” said Bunbury. “We want to win. Every game we want to win. I think getting points early on is going to be important so we're going to go out there and play as a team and we want to get three points."