FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution II (9-9-4; 32 pts.) travel to Belson Stadium on the campus of St. John’s University to take on NYCFC II (8-9-4; 30 pts.) in a crucial Eastern Conference matchup on Saturday evening. The match kicks off at 5:00 p.m. ET and streams on MLSNEXTPro.com.
New England returned to the win column in its most recent match last weekend, shutting out Orlando City B, 2-0, at Gillette Stadium. Academy forward Malcolm Fry (2005 – Groton, Mass.) and defender Ítalo each scored their first professional goals to guide the attack. On the defensive end, Academy goalkeeper Max Weinstein (2004 – Montpelier, V.T.) made two saves enroute to the team’s seventh clean sheet performance of the season.
“I think it’s very important. You have to come to work every day. It’s a job, right? And you need to enjoy what you do,” Head Coach Clint Peay said of the team rediscovering their joy after last week’s victory. “I think even for players who play a professional sport, that stimulates you in a positive way and gives you that extra little bit of fight, I guess, when things are tough, that ‘I love this.’ You know, it’s something we discuss before the game as a group, talking about having fun, enjoying what we do, and letting that kind of carry us, so it was good to hear that.”
Revolution II and NYCFC II have met twice this season, with New England tying the season opener 2-2 before winning the shootout 4-3, then falling 4-0 in Foxborough on July 10. In their first meeting, Homegrown midfielder Damian Rivera recorded the third brace in team history, sending the two sides into the penalty kick shootout where Esmir Bajraktarevic, Trevor Zwetsloot, Jake Rozhansky, and Meny Silva each scored to secure the extra point.
With just four points separating the third and sixth place teams, New England has an opportunity to land above the playoff line in a tightly-contested Eastern Conference. Revolution II currently sits in sixth place with 32 points on the season, while NYCFC II is in seventh place with 30 points. Next weekend’s opponent, Philadelphia Union II, currently occupies the fourth and final playoff spot in the conference with 34 points.
“The mindset doesn’t really change week to week, it’s ‘we got to win the next game.’ I don’t think any time in this season we’ve thought any differently, so yeah, we’re ready for the game,” defender Mike DeShields stated. “We prepared and got a nice little drive out there and we’ll be good.”
WHAT TO WATCH FOR AGAINST NEW YORK CITY FC II:
· New England improving upon their sixth-place positioning in a tightly contested Eastern Conference with two games remaining in the regular season.
· Forward Marcos Dias adding to his team-leading six goals and 57 shots on the season.
· Defender Sean O’Hearn making his 45th appearance with Revolution II.
· Forward Weverton making his third consecutive appearance since signing with New England in August.
· New England adding to the 43 players – and 25 Revolution Academy products – who have made their professional debuts with Revolution II thus far.