20220423_DC_Preview

MLS Regular Season | Match #8
New England Revolution at D.C. United
Saturday, April 23 | 7:30 p.m. ET
Audi Field | Washington, D.C.

Watch: TV38, myRITV (Rhode Island), Cozi TV (Western Mass.)
- Talent: Brad Feldman (play-by-play), Charlie Davies (analyst)
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2 (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)

CURRENT FORM

New England Revolution
11th in Eastern Conference (2-4-1, 7 pts.)
Last Result | 2-1 win vs. Charlotte FC

Matt Polster had the first one-goal, one-assist performance of his career and Adam Buksa scored his first league goal of 2022 as the Revs snapped their five-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over Charlotte FC last Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. Brad Knighton was also a key figure in the victory, making five saves to pick up his first win of the campaign.

The Revs will now aim to use those three points as a building block in the midst of an important stretch, as they’ll follow up this weekend’s trip to D.C. United with a pair of home games against Inter Miami CF and the Columbus Crew, three teams currently sitting in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference.

D.C. United
14th in Eastern Conference (2-4-0, 6 pts.)
Last Result | 3-2 loss vs. Austin FC

It’s been a tumultuous start to the 2022 season for D.C. United, who parted ways with head coach Hernán Losada on Wednesday after a little more than one season with the club. D.C. currently sit at the bottom of the East standings following a gut-wrenching 3-2 to loss to Austin FC last weekend, as they carried a 2-0 lead into the late stages before conceding three times in the final 10 minutes. They did respond, however, with a 3-0 win over Flower City Union (NISA) in the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night.

This will be D.C.’s fifth home game in the early part of the season, but they’ve struggled at Audi Field, losing three of their first four games in the District. Their seven goals scored are tied for the second-fewest in the East, but they’ve been somewhat resolute defensively, conceding just eight goals through six matches.

KEY PLAYERS

Revolution forward Adam Buksa
Adam Buksa returned from a one-game suspension last weekend against Charlotte and made an immediate impact, scoring the game’s opening goal in just the eighth minute when he headed home Brandon Bye’s right-wing cross. It was Buksa’s third goal of the season in all competitions but his first in MLS after leading the Revolution with 16 goals last year.

New England’s 6-foot-3 forward has found success against D.C. in the past, including goals on each of the Revolution’s last two trips to Audi Field. Buksa scored the Revs’ first goal in their 3-2 victory last October, and also bagged the insurance strike in a 2-0 triumph in September 2020.

D.C. United forward Michael Estrada
Ola Kamara has long been a Revolution killer and has been the primary danger man for D.C. in recent years, totaling 19 goals and five assists last season and losing out on the MLS Golden Boot award only because of the assists tiebreaker. But Kamara – who has four of D.C.’s seven goals this season – will be unavailable on Saturday night as he serves a one-game suspension following his red card against Austin FC.

That could put much of the attacking burden on Ecuadoran forward Michael Estrada, who has two goals in just 148 minutes of action during his first season in MLS. After playing 45 minutes in D.C.’s Open Cup win over Flower City on Tuesday night, he could be in line for a start on Saturday night at Audi Field.

STATUS REPORT

Revolution
Down from eight last weekend, the Revs now list five players as questionable on their availability report: Jon Bell (upper leg), Gustavo Bou (upper leg), Maciel (upper leg), Ryan Spaulding (upper leg), and Matt Turner (lower leg). Asked last weekend about Bou, who has missed the last four games, head coach Bruce Arena said that Bou is “moving along.”

“I don’t know when he’ll be ready to play, but he’s improving,” Arena said.

Center back Henry Kessler, meanwhile, has returned to training and will be available for selection on Saturday night after missing last weekend’s win over Charlotte with an illness.

“Hopefully he’ll be ready to go come Saturday,” Arena said of Kessler. “We don’t know what our starting lineup is yet, but Henry will be available on Saturday.”

D.C. United
In addition to missing leading goal scorer Ola Kamara through suspension, D.C. will also be without Andy Najar, Adrien Perez, Bill Hamid, Moses Nyeman, and Chris Odoi-Atsem on Saturday night. Najar and Hamid are two of five D.C. players to have started each of the first six games, helping backstop United to one of the better defensive records in the Eastern Conference.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“I think it leaves us without a scouting report. Who knows what the new coach [Chad Ashton] will do, what kind of formation he’ll play, the players he’ll use, so that's an unknown. So, all concentration has to be on our team. Regarding the dismissal of the coach [Hernan Losada], I never like to see a coach or a player get fired or dismissed, however you want to term it. So, that's all I have to say. I know the coach worked really hard to try to get D.C. United moved up the ladder in terms of where they stand in Eastern Conference, and he worked really hard. So, I wish him the very best.”

New England Revolution midfielder Emmanuel Boateng
“I think the big thing for us is we just saw, when we looked at the videos, a lot of the time just working for each of the guys running. I saw so many times when Carles Gil would run 30 yards deep into midfield to try and help us defend and run off the balls. Our ball movement was great, maybe in the second half we gave up a little bit too much possession in terms of giving the ball away. But we worked harder for each other, I think that was very consistent in the video that we saw. We moved for each other on the ball and just covered each other's backs, and that was great. We communicated a lot, and everybody was hungry. We fought for it. And we know just winning one game is not enough, we’ve got to sustain that. So, coming into this weekend, it’s the same attitude to work hard for each other and work all 90 minutes, don’t give anything up.”