MLS Regular Season | Match #9
New England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City
Saturday, April 22 | 7:30 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.
Watch: Watch FREE on Apple TV
- English Talent: Callum Williams (play-by-play), Lori Lindsey (analyst)
- Spanish Talent: Juan Arango (play-by-play), Carlos Suarez (analyst)
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
- English Talent: Brad Feldman (play-by-play), Charlie Davies (analyst)
o Call also available to sync on MLS Season Pass
Click here for a guide on how to sync the home call with Brad Feldman and Charlie Davies on MLS Season Pass
New England Revolution
1st in Eastern Conference (5-1-2, 17 pts.)
Last Result | 1-1 draw at Columbus Crew
The Revs put together one of their best performances of the season last Saturday night in Columbus, but ultimately they conceded a 98th-minute equalizer and settled for a 1-1 draw at Lower.com Field. That single point still pushed New England to the top of the Eastern Conference, however, ahead of FC Cincinnati on goal difference and just one point back of St. Louis CITY SC for the Supporters’ Shield lead.
Now the Revs will return to Gillette Stadium, where they’re 3-0-1 on the season, to begin a stretch in which they’ll play three games in eight days. Following this weekend’s showdown with Sporting KC, the Revs will then host Hartford Athletic in the Third Round of the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday evening, before returning to league action against FC Cincinnati next Saturday night.
Sporting Kansas City
14th in Western Conference (0-5-3, 3 pts.)
Last Result | 3-0 loss at San Jose Earthquakes
Goals have been hard to come by for Sporting KC through the early part of the season, as they’ve found the back of the net just twice in their first eight games. According to Opta, it’s the fewest goals any team has scored through eight games in MLS history, as no previous club had scored fewer than four goals through eight games. SKC also enter Matchday 9 as one of two teams in MLS – along with the LA Galaxy – yet to record a win.
It’s been five years since Sporting KC last visited Gillette Stadium, as their most recent trip to Foxborough was in April 2018, when a Teal Bunbury goal lifted the Revs to a 1-0 victory. Of the 18 players on that matchday squad, only two – Brandon Bye and Andrew Farrell – remain on the Revolution’s current roster.
Revolution forward Giacomo Vrioni
With both Gustavo Bou and Bobby Wood missing last weekend’s draw with Columbus because of injury, Giacomo Vrioni returned to the Revolution’s starting XI for the first time since the season opener. Vrioni put in a 76-minute shift, registering a team-high four shots and hitting the crossbar with a delicate chip late in the first half.
The 24-year-old Vrioni will be eager for another opportunity should it come on Saturday night, especially having impressed with a stellar goal in his last appearance at Gillette Stadium in the Revolution’s 4-0 win over CF Montréal two weeks ago.
Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia
With goals in short supply for SKC this season they’ve relied on solid defensive performances when they’ve picked up points, which they’ve done with a trio of 0-0 draws. Veteran goalkeeper Tim Melia was in goal for the most recent clean sheet, making four saves to shut out the high-powered Philadelphia Union attack in early April.
Melia has long been one of the steadiest goalkeepers in MLS, starting 20 or more games for Sporting KC in every season since 2015 and winning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017.
Henry Kessler will be sidelined for the next four months according to sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena, who announced the news Thursday afternoon during his weekly interview with Zolak and Bertrand on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Kessler was removed at halftime of the Revolution’s win over CF Montréal two weeks ago, and veteran center back Andrew Farrell has stepped in to partner Dave Romney since that move.
Kessler is joined on the “out” portion of the Revolution’s availability report by Nacho Gil (right leg), Jacob Jackson (left ACL), Maciel (left Achilles), and Tommy McNamara (left leg), while winger Dylan Borrero will also be unavailable on Saturday night as he serves a one-game suspension for his red card last weekend in Columbus.
Bobby Wood (left foot) and Gustavo Bou (right leg) are officially listed as questionable after they both missed last weekend’s trip to Columbus.
“We've only played eight league games, so we're going to be challenged at times and due to injuries, suspensions, all of that and then we'll see how our so-called depth really is,” said Arena. “I'm looking forward to seeing that, as well. Hopefully it is better than we had last year.”
Both sides are banged up heading into Saturday night as Sporting KC list eight players on their official availability report. Veteran defender Graham Zusi (muscle strain) has started each of SKC’s first eight games but is listed as questionable for the weekend along with Gadi Kinda (knee), Nemanja Radoja (hamstring), and Willy Agada (leg).
Three others – Kortne Ford (Achilles surgery), Tim Leibold (hamstring), and Kayden Pierre (hamstring) – are listed as out with injuries, while defender Robert Castellanos will serve a one-game suspension after being sent off in last weekend’s 3-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“There's quality players there in their front line. They're all good players. They're good on attacking set pieces. So, one would think that they're going to start scoring goals. Hopefully, it’s not against us on Saturday, but I do believe that have a really solid team and again, we're only eight games into the season and I think they have plenty of time to move their team in the right direction.”
New England Revolution defender Andrew Farrell
“I think we have confidence in everybody and in every player on our team. The coaching staff, the GM, and everyone in the front office has done a good job of bringing in players that can help us win games. And I think that’s on the depth we talked about – anybody can step in and be called upon to play important minutes in the season. We trust everybody in the locker room and hopefully when we keep on getting guys back we’re just a deeper team.”