20220211_Preview_Chicago

MLS Regular Season | Match #28
New England Revolution vs. Chicago Fire FC
Wednesday, August 31 | 7:30 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.

Watch: TV38, myRITV (Rhode Island), Cozi TV (Western Mass.)
- Talent: Brad Feldman (play-by-play), Charlie Davies (analyst), Tamara Brown (sideline)
- “Revolution Kickoff” pregame coverage begins on TV38 at 7 p.m.
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)

CURRENT FORM

New England Revolution
9th in Eastern Conference (8-9-10, 34 pts.)
Last Result | 2-1 loss vs. LA Galaxy

Carles Gil’s late golazo – his sixth goal of the season to go along with 13 assists – made for a tense finish on Sunday night at Gillette Stadium, but ultimately it wasn’t enough as the Revs began their three-game, weeklong homestand with a 2-1 loss to the LA Galaxy. The setback snapped the Revolution’s nine-game home unbeaten run ahead of two more home games this week against Chicago and New York City FC.

With seven games remaining the Revs find themselves two points below the playoff line in the Eastern Conference, where just seven points separate fifth place from 12th place. Wednesday night’s showdown with Chicago is the first of two meetings with the 13th-place Fire down the stretch run, and another opportunity to potentially climb back into the postseason places.

Chicago Fire FC
13th in Eastern Conference (8-13-6, 30 pts.)
Last Result | 2-0 loss vs. CF Montréal

It’s been a rollercoaster summer for the Fire, who rekindled playoff hopes with an impressive 4-0-1 run from mid-July through early August, only to see those hopes take a massive hit in recent weeks, suffering three straight losses to the top three teams in the Eastern Conference. Still, a crowded East means Chicago enters the week six points back of the final playoff place with seven games remaining.

Chicago’s primary issue this season has been goalscoring, as their 28 goals through 27 games are fewest in all of Major League Soccer. Those struggles have been particularly apparent through the Fire’s current three-game losing streak, as they’ve scored just once during that stretch.

KEY PLAYERS

Revolution midfielder Carles Gil
Now is the stage of the season when teams need their biggest stars to step up week in and week out, and there’s little question that reigning MLS MVP Carles Gil is the star in New England. Another stunner on Sunday night against LA gives the Revolution captain two goals and two assists in his last five appearances, while Gil has registered one goal and three assists in his last four appearances against the Fire.

Gil will also be celebrated in bobblehead form on Wednesday night, as a fan vote chose the midfield maestro as this year’s commemorative giveaway. Fans coming to Gillette Stadium on Wednesday night should arrive early to secure their Carles Gil bobblehead while supplies last.

Fire forward Kacper Przybylko
Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri has been the primary attacking force for Chicago this season, racking up four goals and 11 assists for a team that has struggled to score, with the Fire’s 28 goals the fewest in MLS. Shaqiri, however, left in the 30th minute of Chicago’s loss to Montréal last weekend, leaving his status in doubt.

That could leave much of the attacking onus on Kacper Przybyłko, who clocks in as Chicago’s leading goal scorer with five tallies on the season. Two of those goals came in the Fire’s most recent win – a 3-2 triumph over Charlotte in early August – and Przybyłko has also historically found success against the Revs during his time with the Philadelphia Union.

STATUS REPORT

Revolution
Gustavo Bou returned this past weekend from the leg injury that sidelined him for six games, going 45 minutes against the Galaxy and playing a role in the buildup to Carles Gil’s late goal.

“We’re taking it one [game] at a time,” Arena said of Bou. “Getting him on the field is important. Hopefully, improving his minutes. He played more the other night than we anticipated, so that was encouraging. So, we’re hopeful he can give us another good effort tomorrow.”

Noel Buck also returned with a 25-minute performance off the bench on Sunday night, while Maciel was back in the matchday squad, though didn’t appear.

Recent arrival Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (leg) and rookie goalkeeper Jacob Jackson (ACL surgery) are both listed as out for the midweek meeting with the Fire, while Dylan Borrero (leg), Wilfrid Kaptoum (leg), Giacomo Vrioni (leg) are all listed as questionable.

Fire
Information not available.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“We'll be ready to play. Our guys have been pretty steady at that most of the year, despite the fact we haven't played that well and have had, obviously, some issues that you could say point to the reasons why. We went 17 games [with two losses], so it's not like we're walking around with our heads down here. The team will be ready to play and I'm sure Chicago will as well, so it should be a good game.”

New England Revolution defender DeJuan Jones
“It's going to be a great game. I think both sides need the three points at this stage of the season, so both teams going for it for all 90 minutes, so it’s going to be a competitive game, obviously with us being at home, it’s a must win game. The support at home has been amazing for us this year, so we got to get the three points.”