20220211_Preview_Toronto

MLS Regular Season | Match #25
New England Revolution at Toronto FC
Wednesday, August 17 | 7:30 p.m. ET
BMO Field | Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Watch: TV38, myRITV (Rhode Island), Cozi TV (Western Mass.)
- Talent: Brad Feldman (play-by-play), Charlie Davies (analyst)
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)

CURRENT FORM

New England Revolution
8th in Eastern Conference (8-7-9, 33 pts.)
Last Result | 1-0 win vs. D.C. United

Carles Gil’s fifth goal and Djordje Petrović’s fifth clean sheet were enough to lift the Revs to a 1-0 win over D.C. United on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, as the Revs have registered their first back-to-back league victories of the season. New England’s recent success has been founded on defensive resolve with the Revolution’s current 371-minute shutout streak – spanning more than four games – the longest active streak in MLS and just 49 minutes shy of the club record set in 2013.

Tied for the final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with 10 games remaining, the Revs will now begin a critical two-game trip to Canada. After their visit to BMO Field on Wednesday night they’ll head straight to Montreal for a weekend meeting with CF Montreal, currently second place in the East.

Toronto FC
12th in Eastern Conference (8-12-5, 29 pts.)
Last Result | 3-1 win vs. Portland Timbers

Once rooted to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, Toronto FC have looked a completely different side in recent weeks, buoyed by the arrivals of DP attackers Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi. With this past weekend’s 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers, TFC are now 3-0-1 since that duo debuted in late July, scoring 11 goals in those four games for an average of 2.75 goals per game. In fact, they’ve scored at least three goals in each game except for their 0-0 draw with the Revs on July 30 at Gillette Stadium.

Playoffs are still a very real possibility for Bob Bradley’s group, as TFC enter the week just four points back of both the Revs and the final postseason place in the East. Six of Toronto’s remaining nine games are against Eastern Conference opponents either tied or within four points of them in the standings.

KEY PLAYERS

Revolution goalkeeper Djordje Petrović
Recent defensive performances have been largely team efforts, but there’s little question that goalkeeper Djordje Petrović has been the key figure in the Revolution’s 371-minute shutout streak. The 22-year-old Serbian has registered five shutouts in his first 11 MLS appearances and has made several highlight-reel saves along the way, drawing comparisons to the man he replaced in New England, Matt Turner.

Petrović may well need to be at his best again on Wednesday night at BMO Field against a TFC side that now appears to be an offensive juggernaut. The Revs will be confident they can contain the hosts, however, having done so in that recent 0-0 draw, which featured Petrović saving a late penalty from Insigne.

Toronto FC forward Federico Bernardeschi
Lorenzo Insigne has garnered much of the attention among TFC’s new arrivals, and for good reason as the 31-year-old has racked up 54 appearances with the Italy National Team alongside a sterling decade-long run with Napoli. But just as noteworthy has been the arrival of Federico Bernardeschi, who at 28 years old has 39 appearances for Italy and recently left famed Serie A side Juventus.

Bernardeschi has made a quick adjustment to life in MLS, racking up three goals and three assists in his first five appearances in all competitions. He has two goals and one assist in a pair of appearances at BMO Field, while he also rattled a long-distance shot off the post in TFC’s visit to Gillette Stadium two weeks ago.

STATUS REPORT

Revolution
The Revs have been consistently shorthanded in recent weeks and that’ll be the case once again on Wednesday night, with Henry Kessler (health and safety protocols) joining newcomer Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (leg) and rookie goalkeeper Jacob Jackson (ACL surgery) on the list of players out for the trip to Toronto.

Four others are listed as questionable, including Dylan Borrero (leg) and Gustavo Bou (leg), both of whom have missed the last four games. Giacomo Vrioni (leg) and Maciel (leg) are also listed as questionable, though Jon Bell has been removed from the availability report after appearing on the bench for Saturday’s win over D.C.

Asked about the potential availability of players who’ve recently missed time, sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena said the Revs wouldn’t have a clear picture until Tuesday’s training session.

“Really nothing to update because we really didn’t do anything the last two days,” Arena said. “(Tuesday) we’ll pick it up a little bit and test some of those players that have been out.”

Toronto FC
Lynchpin midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye is questionable for Wednesday night’s game as he recovers from the lower body injury that has kept him sidelined for Toronto’s past three matches. Meanwhile, two players – midfielder Noble Okello and goalkeeper Quentin Westberg – are listed as out.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“Everyone’s contributing. Certainly, Djordje [Petroviċ’s] shot blocking has been excellent. I think the entire group is defending as a unit, midfield players are getting into better positions defensively, the backline is more coordinated and doing a good job communicating with the players around them, so it’s been a total team effort with a goalkeeper making some key saves in games that give us an advantage.”

New England Revolution midfielder Damian Rivera
“I think coming off four clean sheets in the past four games is good for us. I think in these last games of the season, we want to continue to push and continue to be a good team defensively, and obviously offensively. I think if we continue to do that, we’ll be in a good place at the end of the regular season.”