20220709_NYC_Preview

MLS Regular Season | Match #19
New England Revolution at New York City FC
Saturday, July 9 | 1 p.m. ET
Yankee Stadium | The Bronx, N.Y.

Watch: Univision (Spanish), Twitter (English)
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
- Talent: Brad Feldman (play-by-play), Charlie Davies (analyst)

CURRENT FORM

New England Revolution
7th in Eastern Conference (6-5-7, 25 pts.)
Last Result | 2-2 draw vs. FC Cincinnati

A stunner from Dylan Borrero and a fourth goal in six games from Gustavo Bou helped the Revs to a 2-2 draw with visiting FC Cincinnati last Sunday night at Gillette Stadium. The result stretched New England’s unbeaten run to 10 games – the longest in MLS this season – but they were once again left frustrated as they saw a pair of leads slip away against FCC. Of their six draws during the current unbeaten run, the Revs have held leads in five.

Still the Revs will have a chance to match the longest unbeaten run in club history on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, as they’ll aim to make it 11 straight without a loss. Twice before the Revs have gone unbeaten in 11 – first in 2005, and again in 2019, shortly after Bruce Arena took over as head coach.

New York City FC
4th in Eastern Conference (8-4-5, 29 pts.)
Last Result | 2-2 draw vs. Atlanta United FC

The defending MLS Cup champions were the hottest team in MLS heading into the international break in June, going 7-0-1 during an eight-game stretch in which they outscored opponents 20-4. But since the departure of head coach Ronny Deila for Standard Liege they’ve gone winless in four league games (0-1-3), including a 2-2 draw with Atlanta United FC this past Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

In fact NYCFC have dropped points in back-to-back games in the Bronx, an unusual trend for a team that is 6-1-3 on home soil this year and had kept four straight clean sheets at Yankee Stadium prior to recent results.

KEY PLAYERS

Revolution defender Henry Kessler
Offense hasn’t been an issue for the Revs this year as they’ve put up 29 goals – tied for fifth-most in Major League Soccer – while being shut out just twice in 18 games. They haven’t been quite as tight defensively, however, conceding 28 goals while keeping just three clean sheets of their own.

The return of center back Henry Kessler could be a key piece to getting things secure defensively, as the third-year defender has managed just eight games this season because of injury. Kessler was back in the XI on Sunday night against Cincinnati and played 45 minutes before being taken off with a planned substitution, and he could be in line for a longer runout on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

NYCFC forward Valentín Castellanos
The more things change, the more they stay the same. After winning the MLS Golden Boot last year as the league’s leading scorer with 19 goals and eight assists, Valentín Castellanos is once again among the league’s top attacking players with 10 goals and one assist through 14 appearances in 2022, tied with FC Dallas forward Jesús Ferreira and Austin FC forward Sebastián Driussi for the league lead.

Castellanos scored both goals in NYCFC’s 2-2 draw with Atlanta last weekend and has three goals in his last two appearances, and he’s also been something of a Revs killer. The 23-year-old Argentine scored against New England in the playoffs last year, and also bagged both goals in NYCFC’s 2-0 win over the Revs last August.

STATUS REPORT

Revolution
The Revs have been getting progressively healthier in recent weeks, and they’ll head to Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon with zero players listed on the availability report. Brandon Bye, Henry Kessler, and Sebastian Lletget all returned to the starting XI last week after recovering from injuries, while Matt Polster has also been removed from the availability report after missing the last three games while in head injury protocol.

Tommy McNamara, meanwhile, will be available for selection against his former team after serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation last weekend.

NYCFC
Like their opponents, NYCFC doesn’t list any players on their availability report ahead of the weekend.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“(Giacomo Vrioni) will be available once he gets his visa, and you never know how long that takes. We think it might take two weeks from last week when we signed him, so he could be here probably mid-July, maybe a couple of days after. That said, maybe a couple of days before that. It just depends on the visa process.”

New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil
“I think we are in a good moment like you said with 10 games without a loss. Obviously, we want to have more wins than what we have. But, yeah, we are in a good moment. And now we go to New York, a very good team, one of the best teams, of course, in the league. [It will be] a really difficult game, but for sure we will have our chances to get the three points.”