20220515_ATL_Preview

MLS Regular Season | Match #11
New England Revolution at Atlanta United FC
Sunday, May 15 | 1:30 p.m. ET
Mercedes-Benz Stadium | Atlanta, Ga.

Watch: ESPN (English), ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)

CURRENT FORM

New England Revolution
11th in Eastern Conference (3-5-2, 11 pts.)
Last Result (MLS) | 2-2 draw vs. Columbus Crew
Last Result (U.S. Open Cup) | 5-1 win vs. FC Cincinnati

New England closed out a stretch of three straight home games with an emphatic 5-1 win over FC Cincinnati on Wednesday night, advancing to the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 in the process. Carles Gil registered the first Open Cup hat trick in Revolution history and Adam Buksa bagged a brace as the Revs improved to 3-0-1 in their last four games at Gillette Stadium in all competitions.

Now the Revolution’s task is to carry that form onto the road, where they remain in search of their first win in 2022. After putting together the best road record in club history last year – going 10-3-4 on their travels – the Revs have found it tougher going this season, with a record of 0-4-1 in five road games in all competitions.

Atlanta United FC
7th in Eastern Conference (4-4-2, 14 pts.)
Last Result (MLS) | 4-1 win vs. Chicago Fire FC
Last Result (U.S. Open Cup) | 3-2 loss at Nashville SC (AET)

The Five Stripes also saw midweek Open Cup action, suffering a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Nashville SC in a match that went to extra time. Atlanta had a 2-0 halftime lead but conceded twice after the break – including a dramatic equalizer in the second minute of stoppage time – before conceding again early in extra time.

Gonzalo Pineda’s side have been very good at home, however, going 3-0-2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this season to extend their home unbeaten run to 12 games dating back to last year. Their most recent result in that stretch was a comfortable 4-1 win over Chicago Fire FC last weekend, a victory that snapped a four-game winless run (0-3-1) for Atlanta in the league.

KEY PLAYERS

Revolution forward Adam Buksa
With goals in five straight games in all competitions – and six total during that stretch – Adam Buksa is undoubtedly one of the most in-form strikers in MLS. Five of those goals have been headers, but the 6-foot-3 Poland international also showed his striking ability with a long-range rocket to cap the scoring in the Revolution’s 5-1 win over FC Cincinnati on Wednesday night.

Currently tied with Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez for the most goals (22) scored from open play since 2020, Buksa was also a factor in New England’s 1-0 win over Atlanta in last year’s visit to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, providing the assist on Gustavo Bou’s game-winning goal.

Atlanta forward Ronaldo Cisneros
Sunday’s hosts boast an in-form forward of their own in Mexican striker Ronaldo Cisneros, who has totaled four goals in Atlanta’s last three league games, highlighted by a first-half hat trick in their 4-1 win over Chicago last weekend. Cisneros, on loan from Chivas Guadalajara, debuted for Atlanta just one month ago but has made an immediate impact in the Peach State.

With fellow forward – and 2018 MLS MVP – Josef Martinez currently sidelined by a knee injury, Cisneros’ role in Atlanta’s attack is even more pronounced, as the 25-year-old striker leads the Five Stripes in scoring despite having featured in only half of their games.

STATUS REPORT

Revolution
Bruce Arena opted to use a largely first-choice group for Wednesday night’s Open Cup win over Cincinnati, but the Revolution benefitted from a large second-half lead as Carles Gil, Adam Buksa, Tommy McNamara, Henry Kessler, and DeJuan Jones all came off just past the hour mark. That, combined with an extra day of rest ahead of Sunday’s game, means the Revs should be somewhat fresh for their visit to Atlanta.

In terms of injuries, both Gustavo Bou (upper leg) and Jon Bell (upper leg) remain questionable ahead of the weekend. Bou hasn’t featured since March 16, while Bell’s last appearance was a few days later on March 19.

Atlanta
Perhaps no team has been hit harder by injury than Atlanta, who have lost four starters to long-term injuries through the early part of the season. Stalwart center back Miles Robinson was the latest to be bitten by the injury bug, suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon in last weekend’s win over Chicago. Robinson joins Brad Guzan (Achilles), Ozzie Alonso (ACL), and Josef Martinez (knee) on Atlanta’s lengthy injured list.

Backup goalkeeper Dylan Castanheira (Achilles) and Homegrown forward Machop Chol (leg) are also both out, while Andrew Gutman (upper body), George Campbell (adductor), and Caleb Wiley (lower body) are all listed as questionable.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“Well, obviously (Buksa’s) dangerous in front of the goal. I’m sure he leads the league in goals with his head. It's another option in the attack, we can play on the ground, we can play in the air when we're under pressure from our defensive end of the field. We can utilize Adam as a target player both with his feet and in the air, so that’s a real positive.”

New England Revolution defender Andrew Farrell
“I think the last three games, getting a win, a draw, and a win when we possibly could’ve gotten three wins across all competitions, it’s important to get the guys confidence. But momentum is huge in this league, and so when things aren't going your way it just makes everybody's confidence kind of go down a little bit and individual mistakes here and there just keep on happening. It just kind of piles on. And when you get on a good run of games, like the last couple games we've had, momentum kind of starts changing and going in your favor. So, we're hoping to build on that going against Atlanta.”