New England Revolution II (5-1-2; 18 pts.) are set to welcome Philadelphia Union II (4-2-2, 15 pts.) to Gillette Stadium this Friday, May 27 in the MLS NEXT Pro Game of the Week. The match kicks off at 7:00 p.m. ET and will stream on MLSNEXTPro.com.
Revolution II owns a 3-1-0 record at home while Philadelphia has a 1-1-2 road record. New England is coming off a 1-0 victory over FC Cincinnati 2 on Sunday, in which forward Marcos Dias scored his second game-winning goal in as many weeks. Goalkeeper Jacob Jackson made four saves in the win to secure his fourth consecutive clean sheet in MLS NEXT Pro. With the shutout performance, Jackson improved his saves percentage to 85.3 and lowered his goals-against average to 0.71, ranking first and second best among MLS NEXT goalkeepers (min. 400 minutes played).
“First it starts with how we want to try to press and defend,” Head Coach Clint Peay said of the defensive performance from his team. “I think we’ve done a good job at turning teams over in their half and winning balls there. Our backs I think have done a terrific job of defending in transition, but also defending the box and we’ve had good goalkeeping with Jacob Jackson.”
Defender Mike DeShields made his first start for New England last week at the center back position, logging 79 minutes. Revolution Academy graduate Meny Silva returned to the starting lineup for the first time since April 3, recording one shot on target.
“It felt really good. I’ve been working really hard for the past few weeks to get the start and be with the starting group,” Silva stated. “Last year I didn’t get to play much because I was really inconsistent, but this year I’ve been working really hard, exercising on my own.”
One of Revolution II’s regular contributors over the last two seasons is the latest Revolution Academy product to ascend to the highest level of the club’s Pro Player Pathway. On Monday, Midfielder Esmir Bajraktarevic, 17, was announced as New England’s ninth Homegrown Player signing and is eligible to compete in MLS competition beginning this August. The U.S. youth international is still expected to feature often for the MLS NEXT Pro side as he continues his development.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR AGAINST PHILADELPHIA UNION II:
· Revolution II earning points for the eighth time in their first nine matches.
· Forward Marcos Dias extending his goal streak to three games.
· Goalkeeper Jacob Jackson improving on his 85.3 saves percentage (1st) and 0.71 GAA (2nd), both ranking among the top MLS NEXT Pro goalkeepers (min. 400 minutes).
· Defender Sean O’Hearn reaching 2,500 minutes played with at least a 29-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.