MLS Regular Season | Match #29
New England Revolution vs. New York City FC
Sunday, September 4 | 8 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.
Watch: TV38, myRITV (Rhode Island)
- Talent: Brad Feldman (play-by-play), Charlie Davies (analyst), Tamara Brown (sideline)
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
New England Revolution
9th in Eastern Conference (8-9-11, 35 pts.)
Last Result | 0-0 draw vs. Chicago Fire FC
Djordje Petrović made his league-leading third penalty save to record his sixth clean sheet in just his 15th MLS appearance, but the Revs couldn’t break down a resolute Chicago Fire FC as the teams played to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium. The result did inch the Revs closer to the playoff places in the Eastern Conference, as they’re now one point back of the postseason line with six games remaining.
Gustavo Bou’s return from injury has been a boost for the Revolution – he’s now played 135 minutes this week after missing the previous six games – and they’ll need his goals in the month of September as the Revs have now been shut out in four of their last eight games, scoring multiple goals just twice during that stretch.
New York City FC
4th in Eastern Conference (13-9-6, 45 pts.)
Last Result | 2-1 loss vs. D.C. United
The defending champs stumbled through the month of August with just one win and five losses in six contests, falling to fourth place in the Eastern Conference and with fifth-place Orlando City SC just three points back. NYCFC have been particularly vulnerable defensively, conceding 13 goals through those six games while suffering losses to 12th-place Charlotte FC and 14th-place D.C. United.
New York City FC’s attack has also taken a hit since the departure of Valentín Castellanos, who was the team’s leading scorer with 13 goals prior to his loan move to Girona in La Liga. NYCFC still boast the fourth-highest scoring attack in MLS with 50 goals, but they’ve scored just nine goals in seven games since Castellanos’ last match in mid-July.
Revolution forward Gustavo Bou
The Revs have been without several of their top attacking weapons for much of the summer, with Gustavo Bou chief amongst those absences. The Argentine forward had been red hot prior to his injury, scoring seven goals in an eight-game stretch from late May to mid-July, including both goals in the Revs’ 4-2 loss to NYCFC on July 9.
Bou hasn’t hit the back of the net in two games since returning, but his presence in the attack has been much needed for a team still waiting on the returns of Dylan Borrero, Giacomo Vrioni, and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi.
“Gustavo is being a warrior. He’s battling through it,” said Bruce Arena. “He played 90 minutes (against Chicago) and I’m sure he’s going to feel it over the next couple days. But he’s just missed too much training over the last month or so.”
NYCFC forward Talles Magno
Still just 20 years old, Brazilian striker Talles Magno has been a regular contributor for NYCFC this season, racking up six goals and eight assists while appearing in all 28 league games with 27 starts. He’s been held off the scoresheet in his last four appearances, but he did score from the penalty spot – after drawing the foul himself – when NYCFC beat the Revs 4-2 in mid-July.
Magno is one of several players attempting to account for the loss of Valentín Castellanos, and with the young forward ranking third on the team in goals and second in assists, his presence in the attacking third will continue to be vital for NYCFC through the season’s final six games.
While the past two games have featured the return of Gustavo Bou – first as a substitute, then as a starter – the Revs are still dealing with a series of injuries ahead of Sunday’s visit from NYCFC. Recent arrival Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (leg) and rookie goalkeeper Jacob Jackson (ACL surgery) both remain out, while Arena said he had no updates on the questionable trio of Dylan Borrero (leg), Wilfrid Kaptoum (leg), and Giacomo Vrioni (leg).
Interim head coach Nick Cushing confirmed on Friday that veteran defender Anton Tinnerholm – who has been limited to under 500 minutes this season after returning from an Achilles injury suffered late last year – will be unavailable for Sunday’s visit to Gillette Stadium.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“Like any other game, we’re going to approach it to obviously try and win. We’re in a battle for the playoffs with, what I would estimate, eight teams at this point. Everyone has challenges, but the bottom line is we need to get three points.”
New England Revolution defender Brandon Bye
“It’s an opportunity. Thanks for wording it like that. Everybody is so negative. I’ve heard a lot of negative things in the media and whatever. But at the end of the day, it’s six games left to make something happen. We’re one point out with six games left and it will be a fun run.”