COLUMBUS, Ohio – New England Revolution II (7-4-4; 26 pts.) is heading on the road to face Columbus Crew 2 (11-2-2; 35 pts.) for the teams' final regular season meeting on Sunday at Historic Crew Stadium. The MLS NEXT Pro Game of the Week kicks off at 5:00 p.m. ET and streams on MLSNEXTPro.com.
Coming off a bye week, New England last played on July 10 where they fell 4-0 at Gillette Stadium to New York City FC II. Homegrown midfielder Noel Buck lead Revolution II in the match with four shots and three on target while forward Marcos Dias notched three shots in the game to take over the team lead with 30 on the season.
“I’ve been happy with our group this year. I think we’ve played some good soccer over the course of the season, but it’s just been a little bit inconsistent, so I think the talent’s there, the goal creation is there. We haven’t been as sharp finishing our chances this season as I’d like to be,” Head Coach Clint Peay stated. “We started well, but certainly have been a little cold in that regard, so I think we can do better there. I think we started the season for the most part pretty good defensively and over the last few games I think we’ve stumbled. Again, inconsistent, but definitely the pieces to be a very competitive group, a very successful group on the field.”
New England and Columbus last met on May 8 at Gillette Stadium where Revolution II logged their first loss of the season, 4-0. Dias earned his first Revolution II start in that match while New England goalkeeper Djordje Petrović made four saves in his New England debut.
Facing the top team in MLS NEXT Pro, Revolution II currently occupy the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with nine games remaining in the regular season.
“I think we understand kind of where we are, what we’re capable of doing, so right now it’s stay in the top four, it’s pick away at the people above us when we can, so this weekend is a good opportunity for that and try to keep the teams just below us, below us,” Peay said. “It’s just week to week, being consistent with how we do things, not having big dips, and being able to be a little bit more effective in front of the goal.”
WHAT TO WATCH FOR AGAINST COLUMBUS CREW 2:
· Revolution II facing the top team in MLS NEXT Pro, looking to improve upon their fourth-place positioning in the Eastern Conference.
· Forward Marcos Dias adding to his team-leading four goals and 30 shots on the season.
· Homegrown midfielder Esmir Bajraktarevic making his 25th professional appearance with New England’s second team.
· Midfielder Jake Rozhansky making his 40th appearance with Revolution II.
· Academy midfielder Jack Panayotou appearing with New England’s second team following the U-19s MLS NEXT Cup win.
· Defender Sean O’Hearn making his 35th start with New England and surpassing 3,000 minutes played with a four-minute appearance.
· New England adding to the 38 players – and 21 Revolution Academy products – who have made their professional debuts with Revolution II thus far.