Preview | Quarterfinal spot on the line as Revs carry 4-0 aggregate lead into second leg at Alajuelense


Concacaf Champions Cup | Round of 16 | Leg 2
New England Revolution (4) at Liga Deportiva Alajuelense (0)
Thursday, March 14 | 8 p.m. ET
Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto | Alajuela, Costa Rica

Watch: FS2 (English), TUDN (Spanish)
Listen: 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)


New England Revolution
15th in MLS Eastern Conference (0-3-0, 0 pts.)
Last Result (MLS) | 4-1 loss at Atlanta United FC
First Leg (CCC) | 4-0 win vs. LD Alajuelense

It’s been a tale of two competitions for the Revs through the early part of the 2024 campaign. They’ve been nothing short of dominant in Concacaf Champions Cup, outscoring opponents 8-0 in three wins. Tomás Chancalay has been stellar (tied with Philadelphia’s Julián Carranza for top scorer in the tournament with four goals), scoring in each of the Revolution’s wins over CA Independiente (1-0 and 3-0) and Alajuelense (4-0).

That 4-0 win over LDA gives the Revs a significant advantage heading into Thursday night’s second leg on the road, knowing that just a single goal at Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto would force the hosts to need six. Should the Revs maintain their edge, they’ll advance to the quarterfinals to set up a meeting with either Club América or Chivas, with Club América currently holding a 3-0 aggregate lead in the all-Liga MX showdown.

A hectic schedule has left the Revs unable to convert their CCC form into league action just yet, as they’ve fallen to D.C. United, Toronto FC, and Atlanta United FC to open the MLS campaign. They’ll return to regular season play on Sunday afternoon, when they’ll host defending Supporters’ Shield champs FC Cincinnati at Gillette Stadium (2 p.m. ET).

Liga Deportiva Alajuelense
3rd in Liga de Fútbol de Primera División (6-3-3, 21 pts.)
Last Result (Liga FPD) | 3-0 loss at Guanacasteca
First Leg (CCC) | 4-0 loss at New England Revolution

It’s been a difficult week for LD Alajuelense, as they responded to last Wednesday’s 4-0 loss to the Revs by parting ways with head coach Andrés Carevic. Assistant coach Martín Arriola stepped in on an interim basis for LDA’s league match against Guanacasteca this past Sunday – a 3-0 loss played with 10 men for 76 minutes – before the club announced that he, too, would be leaving along with fellow assistant Mario Acosta. Alexandre Borges Guimarães, who led the Costa Rica men’s national team at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, has since been named head coach in the buildup to Thursday’s game.

Los Leones remain third in the Liga de Fútbol de Primera División with a record of six wins, three draws, and three losses, but they’re now 10 points back of league leaders Herediano.


Revolution defender Dave Romney
The Revs won’t head to Costa Rica simply to defend – that’s a dangerous proposition – but there’s little question they’ll be pragmatic with a four-goal aggregate lead from the first leg. New England have yet to concede a goal in a trio of Concacaf Champions Cup games, and if they can remain solid defensively on Thursday night, they’ll book their place in the quarterfinals.

Center back Dave Romney will likely once again play a significant role in that objective. The veteran defender has played every minute of the Revolution’s first six games in all competitions, partnering with Andrew Farrell, Henry Kessler, and Jonathan Mensah at various points to anchor New England’s backline.

Alajuelense forward Joel Campbell
The hosts will need at least four goals (without conceding) on Thursday night to draw level on aggregate, so Alajuelense is expected to throw caution to the wind in the attacking third. That will make players like Joel Campbell particularly important as LDA aim to claw themselves back into the series.

Campbell, whose career has taken him to England, Spain, Italy, France, Mexico, Portugal, Greece, and Costa Rica, has scored four goals in the current league campaign.