20220211_Preview_Houston

MLS Regular Season | Match #31
New England Revolution at Houston Dynamo FC
Tuesday, September 13 | 8:30 p.m. ET
PNC Stadium | Houston, Texas

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

CURRENT FORM

New England Revolution
8th in Eastern Conference (9-10-11, 38 pts.)
Last Result | 2-1 loss at New York Red Bulls

A familiar trend bit the Revs on Saturday night at Red Bull Arena, where Tommy McNamara’s fourth goal of the season gave the visitors a second-half lead, only for that advantage to slip away in an eventual 2-1 loss. The Revs are now 8-5-4 when scoring the first goal this season after going 17-0-3 in such situations during last year’s record-setting campaign.

That loss keeps the Revs in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, now three points back of the final playoff place with four games remaining. Following Tuesday night’s game, New England will close the season against CF Montréal, Atlanta United FC, and Chicago Fire FC looking to claim a postseason berth for a fourth straight year.

Houston Dynamo FC
13th in Western Conference (8-16-6, 30 pts.)
Last Result | 0-0 draw vs. Sporting Kansas City

Houston’s fate has already been sealed as the Dynamo will miss the playoffs for a fifth straight year, currently the only Western Conference team eliminated from postseason contention. That led to the club parting ways with head coach Paulo Nagamura after just 29 games, with Dynamo 2 head coach Kenny Bundy taking charge for the final five games of the campaign.

Tuesday night’s hosts are just 5-5-5 at PNC Stadium this season but they’ve been improved recently, taking four points from their last two home games, including an impressive 2-1 win over current Western Conference leaders Los Angeles FC less than two weeks ago.

KEY PLAYERS

Revolution midfielder Tommy McNamara
Injuries have decimated the Revolution in the attacking third of the field this year, with Dylan Borrero, Gustavo Bou, and Giacomo Vrioni all missing significant time. Stepping up to carry the load in their absence has been Tommy McNamara, whose goal on Saturday night at Red Bull Arena now gives him three goals and four assists in his last eight games.

McNamara will also be facing one of his former clubs on Tuesday, as the 31-year-old midfielder made 37 appearances for the Dynamo between 2019 and 2020, before he was traded to the Revolution in August 2020 in exchange for midfielder Wilfried Zahibo.

Dynamo forward Sebastián Ferreira
Houston have struggled to find a goalscoring punch this season, with their 36 goals through 30 games tied for 21st out of 28 teams in Major League Soccer. When they have found offense, however, it has often been through DP forward Sebastián Ferreira, who has registered 10 goals and three assists in his first season in Houston.

Ferreira, a 24-year-old striker once-capped by Paraguay, had three goals in his final four appearances in the month of August, though he has been held scoreless in a pair of games to begin September.

STATUS REPORT

Revolution
New England’s availability report is finally shrinking as Brandon Bye, Wilfrid Kaptoum, and Giacomo Vrioni all returned to the field this past weekend at Red Bull Arena after missing time recently, while captain Carles Gil has joined up with his Revolution teammates in Houston after missing the loss to the Red Bulls while remaining in Boston with his wife, Maria, for the birth of the couple’s first child.

Carles’ younger brother Nacho, meanwhile, made his Revolution debut with a brief appearance off the bench at Red Bull Arena, and earned positive reviews from sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena.

Dylan Borrero, who has now missed the past 10 games with a leg injury, remains questionable, while rookie goalkeeper Jacob Jackson (ACL surgery) and August arrival Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (leg) are still out.

Dynamo
Houston will be without captain Matías Vera on Tuesday night as the Dynamo midfielder was sent off for two bookable offenses in the 0-0 draw with Sporting Kansas City last weekend. Vera has been a consistent presence for Houston this season, starting 25 games and ranking sixth on the team in minutes played.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New England Revolution midfielder Tommy McNamara
“We have, obviously, a bad taste in our mouths after the last game ended, particularly myself. So, I’m happy that we can kind of turn the page on it quickly and re-focus on another game and not have it dwell over your head for a long time. I’m looking forward to this game tomorrow night to hopefully put us back into a better place.”

New England Revolution defender Henry Kessler
“I think one of the challenges is we're not exactly sure what to expect from [Houston Dynamo FC]. New coach and eliminated, they might try some new things. But, as you said, most of the focus is going to be on us and how we prepare and how we perform. But I think the challenge would be that we're not exactly sure how they'll line up. That being said, no matter how they line up, we should focus on ourselves and know our game plan.”