20220430_MIA_Preview

MLS Regular Season | Match #9
New England Revolution vs. Inter Miami CF
Saturday, April 30 | 7:30 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.

Watch: WBZ CBS Boston, myRITV (Rhode Island)
- “Revolution Kickoff” pregame coverage beginning at 7 p.m. on WBZ
- Talent: Brad Feldman (play-by-play), Charlie Davies (analyst), Naoko Funayama (sideline)
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)

CURRENT FORM

New England Revolution
13th in Eastern Conference (2-5-1, 7 pts.)
Last Result | 3-2 loss at D.C. United

Brandon Bye gave the Revs an early lead with his second goal of the season, Adam Buksa found the back of the net for a second straight game, and Carles Gil assisted both goals, but it wasn’t enough as New England suffered yet another 3-2 loss at the hands of D.C. United last weekend at Audi Field. It was the Revolution’s sixth loss in their last seven games in all competitions, and their third by a 3-2 scoreline during that stretch.

The next two weeks will present a big opportunity for the Revs to get themselves on track, as they’ll play back-to-back league games at Gillette Stadium against Inter Miami CF (April 30) and the Columbus Crew (May 7), before hosting FC Cincinnati in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 on May 11.

Inter Miami CF
9th in Eastern Conference (3-4-1, 10 pts.)
Last Result | 2-1 win vs. Atlanta United FC

Miami’s 2022 season got off to a rough start with just one point from their first five games (0-4-1), but they’ve since been rejuvenated with a string of four straight wins in all competitions, including three in league play. After dropping their first two road games by a combined score of 8-2, they responded with a 1-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC on their latest travels.

The current stretch was sparked by a 3-2 win over the Revolution just three weeks ago at DRV PNK Stadium, where Revolution Academy product Justin Rennicks scored his first MLS goal in the early stages before the hosts responded with a hat trick from Ecuadoran forward Leonardo Campana.

KEY PLAYERS

Revolution center back Henry Kessler
New England have struggled defensively through the early part of the season, conceding 17 goals in their last seven games in all competitions. Injuries haven’t helped in that department, as defenders Andrew Farrell, Henry Kessler, Jon Bell, Brandon Bye, and Ryan Spaulding have all missed time through the first eight games, while 2021 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Matt Turner has yet to see action.

Kessler has been the most afflicted amongst the defenders, limited to just three starts thus far because of a combination of injury and illness, but the third-year center back did return with a substitute appearance last weekend in D.C. and helped the Revs limit the opposition to just a single (off target) shot in the second half.

Inter Miami forward Leonardo Campana
There’s no doubt that Leonardo Campana has been the offensive catalyst for Inter Miami’s recent resurgence, as the 21-year-old forward – on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers – has registered five goals and two assists in the last four games in all competitions, either scoring or assisting on each of Miami’s seven goals during that span.

Campana began this torrid stretch with Inter Miami’s first-ever hat trick, scoring all three goals in the 3-2 win over New England on April 9. In last weekend’s 2-1 win over Atlanta United, Campana scored the equalizer before providing the assist on Bryce Duke’s game winner.

STATUS REPORT

Revolution
New England once again lists five players as questionable for Saturday night – Jon Bell, Gustavo Bou, Maciel, Ryan Spaulding, and Matt Turner – but there is good news for all five as Bruce Arena noted during his weekly interview with Zolak & Bertrand (98.5 The Sports Hub) that the full squad has returned to training.

“That’s a starting point,” Arena said of having a healthy roster. “We’ve had games this year where we weren’t able to dress nine reserves, which is permitted, so now that we have a full roster, it’s going to give us more competition in training, guys can push each other. It’s going to make the job for the coaches in some ways easier, in some ways harder, because of the selection issues, but I think it’s a real positive that we have a team that’s now healthy.”

Most notably both Bou and Turner are back in the mix after missing extensive time, Bou last playing on March 16 against Pumas UNAM in the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, and Turner yet to make his 2022 debut.

Inter Miami
Gonzalo Higuaín was the driving force behind Miami’s attack last season, racking up 12 goals and nine assists in 30 appearances, but the 34-year-old striker has missed time through injury in recent weeks. After missing a pair of wins over New England and Seattle, Higuaín returned with a brief substitute appearance in last weekend’s victory over Atlanta, but appeared to suffer another injury in the closing stages and his status for Saturday night’s visit to Gillette Stadium is a question mark.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“The last couple of games we played against (Inter Miami), last game of the regular season in 2021 and three weeks ago, four weeks ago, whenever it was, we had some good control of the game and in Miami, we scored the first goal. We played well for 25 minutes or so, very similar to the game in D.C. last week, and we then made a few mistakes and it cost us dearly. So back again to your question, to turn things around, we've got to be a smarter team, we’ve got to cut down on some of these crucial errors we've made, and we’ve got to continue to score goals and put the other team under pressure.”

New England Revolution defender Brandon Bye
“It still is a tight locker room – nothing has changed there. You ride the waves of this league. This happens to teams, you hit stretches of games where the results don’t go your way. But you have to stay together, stay as a team, and turn things around. We’re hoping to do that on Saturday.”