MLS Regular Season | Match #25
New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls
Wednesday, August 30 | 7:30 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.
TV/Streaming: Watch FREE on Apple TV
English Talent: Jenn Hildreth (Play-by-Play), Lori Lindsey (Analyst)
Spanish Talent: Tony Cherchi (Play-by-Play), Bruno Vain (Analyst)
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English); 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
Radio Talent: Brad Feldman (Play-by-Play), Charlie Davies (Analyst)
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New England Revolution
3rd in Eastern Conference (12-5-7, 43 pts.)
Last Result | 1-0 loss at CF Montréal
New England return to Gillette Stadium for the first time in MLS play since July’s 4-0 triumph over D.C. United, hoping to continue their impressive home form in 2023. The Revolution are undefeated in regular season action in Foxborough (one of only two teams to have remained unbeaten at home) and are eager to bounce back from Saturday’s narrow defeat to CF Montréal. The setback at Stade Saputo – the Revs’ first game in almost three weeks since their Leagues Cup last 16 exit to Querétaro FC – saw New England slip to third spot in the Eastern Conference standings, and the squad have sights set on quickfire victories against the New York Red Bulls and Austin FC in this week’s two-game homestand. Buoyed by their excellent 9-0-3 league record on their own turf this term, the Revolution will look to make home advantage count once again as they seek an instant response.
New York Red Bulls
11th in Eastern Conference (7-10-8, 29 pts.)
Last Result | 2-0 loss vs. Inter Miami CF
The New York Red Bulls currently sit three points below the playoff line in the Eastern Conference, standing as the division’s second-lowest scorers while boasting the third-best defense. With nine games left to play, Troy Lesesne’s side will hope to mount a push for a postseason spot but face six of those encounters on the road, having struggled away from home in 2023 with a 1-6-4 tally. They head to New England for the first time this season but faced the Revolution twice in July, edging a controversial 2-1 win in regular season play (which saw a last-gasp Andrew Farrell equalizer harshly ruled out), and a 4-2 penalty shootout in Leagues Cup action after the two sides had played out a goalless draw in regulation time. After finishing top of the East 4 group in the tournament, the Red Bulls also reached the last 16 after defeating neighbors New York City FC, but were eliminated by the Philadelphia Union on penalties. Returning to MLS action with a late 1-0 win over D.C. United, the Harrison side then suffered a 2-0 reverse against Leagues Cup winners Inter Miami CF, courtesy of goals from Diego Gómez and Lionel Messi.
As two MLS originals lock horns once again, the series edges ever closer to the 100-game mark with 96 matches contested between the two sides in all competitions. New England boast a better return with 40 victories and 21 draws, but the Red Bulls have triumphed in the last four encounters, including last April’s most recent fixture at Gillette Stadium, in which an injury-time own goal separated the sides in Foxborough. With July’s two defeats at Red Bull Arena fresh in the mind, the Revs will be keen to rekindle their form in the series, having won three games in a row against the New Jersey outfit before the last Massachusetts meeting.
Overall Record vs. New York Red Bulls: 40-35-21
Home Record vs. New York Red Bulls: 28-8-10
Last meeting at Gillette Stadium: Red Bulls 1, Revs 0 (April 2, 2022)
Last meeting at Red Bull Arena: Revs 0, Red Bulls 0 (July 22, 2023)
Revolution goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr.
Fresh from penning a new one-year contract with the club, Earl Edwards Jr. is set to challenge new recruit Tomáš Vaclík for the number one spot following Djordje Petrović’s move to Premier League giants Chelsea FC. Edwards Jr. donned the gloves for the weekend’s visit to Montréal, earning praise for a solid performance despite the defeat. An experienced shot-stopper, he has clocked more than 50 appearances across an eight-year career, and has tallied 11 appearances in all competitions since joining the Revolution in 2021, registering two clean sheets. Prior to Saturday’s fixture at Stade Saputo, the 31-year-old had last featured in the Leagues Cup Round of 32 visit of Atlas FC, producing a superb six-save display to help his side to a comeback draw, before the Revs clinched a dramatic 8-7 penalty shootout win. Ahead of new signing Vaclík’s arrival, he will hope to showcase his talents once more between the sticks on Wednesday.
New York Red Bulls defender John Tolkin
New England will be familiar with the left back after his game-winning penalty in last month’s Leagues Cup group stage clash. Tolkin stepped up to convert the decisive spot-kick in the shootout with the two sides deadlocked after 90 minutes, and followed up that feat with a two-assist performance against Atlético de San Luis, which secured top spot in East 4. The USMNT wingback (who competed alongside DeJuan Jones and former Rev Matt Turner at the Concacaf Gold Cup), twice teed up Dante Vanzeir, delivering a corner for the opener and recovering from a late penalty concession to craft the game-winning goal in stoppage time. Though Omir Fernandez and Vanzeir top the Red Bulls’ scoring charts with five goals in all competitions, Tolkin leads the assists tally with six setups from defense. Amongst the club’s highest contributors for passes, tackles and interceptions in MLS play in 2023, he has also helped his side to five clean sheets in his 18 regular season appearances and was named in the MLS All-Star roster. His match-winning 88th-minute free kick against D.C. United also earned a place in the Team of the Matchday for the third time this term.
New England Revolution
New goalkeeper Tomáš Vaclík is awaiting international clearance, while Tomás Chancalay will hope to make his home Revs debut, having been introduced from the bench for his first appearance in Saturday’s trip to Montréal. Tommy McNamara is pushing for his first minutes of 2023 after featuring for Revs II in his comeback from injury, and Christian Makoun is also back in training. Andrew Farrell, who missed the Montréal game, could return, but DeJuan Jones (leg) is listed as questionable. Elsewhere, Gustavo Bou has been ruled out for up to four weeks and defender Brandon Bye is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering an ACL injury. Dylan Borrero (ACL), Henry Kessler (hamstring) and Maciel (Achilles) remain unavailable.
New York Red Bulls
Serge Ngoma (hamstring), Lewis Morgan (hip), Steven Sserwadda (knee) and Dylan Nealis (hip) remain long-term absentees for New York. Morgan had come off the bench to take a penalty in the Leagues Cup shootout against the Philadelphia Union but has not featured since, and is listed as unavailable due to injury. Meanwhile, Dante Vanzeir (thigh) missed the weekend’s defeat to Inter Miami and is also a doubt, alongside Elias Manoel (foot). Kyle Duncan could return after serving a suspension for yellow card accumulation.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Revolution assistant coach Richie Williams on a quick turnaround from the CF Montréal game:
“We were disappointed after the game. We thought we did well enough to at least get a point. We weren’t able to pull that off, so you’ve got to try to keep the players’ heads up, try to stay positive. They’re never happy after a loss but we’re professionals. They know they sometimes have three games in a week, and they have to take care of themselves. Players have to be ready. We have a deep squad, and we have players that are ready to go and come off the bench. Whatever changes we make, we’ll see about that and whatever team we put out there will be ready to go and compete. We had a good day of regen [Sunday] for them, a good session today [Monday], and hopefully, we’ll be ready to go against Red Bulls on Wednesday night.”
On goalkeepers Earl Edwards Jr. and Tomáš Vaclík:
“I thought Earl had a good outing in Montréal. He did a job for us. That’s important, that’s why you have the depth you have in your team, so we expect him to continue that into the next couple of games.
“I know that Tomáš is an experienced goalkeeper. He's played in the Czech Republic, he's played against big teams around Europe and around the world, and he has a ton of experience, which is great. We’re looking forward to getting to meet him and getting him integrated with our team as soon as possible.”
On lessons to take into the New York Red Bulls game:
“We're trying every game to come out and have strong performance – come out and try to do our best – and we’ve just got to work on the other night. We didn't attack as well as we could in the final third – entries into the final third weren't great – and then just getting players forward, so that’s something we need to work on. But everything's continually working on our game, and whatever happens against Red Bulls, we just want to go and compete, play well and at the end of the day, have the three points.”
Revolution goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. on his new contract and stepping up following Djordje Petrović’s departure:
“I miss the guy, I wish him all the best but it was time for a new chapter. It’s definitely different not having him here, but in terms of me personally, I’m just preparing for games. I try to keep things consistent and other than being the starting guy and getting those reps in that manner, nothing else has changed. My approach has been the same. I control what I can control, and having that security is always nice. I’m happy to be with this club for at least another year. I like what we’re building, and I hope to keep going. I’ve been in this league for a long time, so to get a real chance and get to run of games is something I've always been ready for and look forward to, so I'm excited.”
On a quickfire two-game homestand and how the team is equipped to face challenges:
“We all love the job that we have, so playing games is always fun. It's a little difficult for guys to get their bodies turned around in a tighter window. Getting through the schedule and MLS schedule can be difficult at times, but it comes with the territory and we’re still trying to get results.
“I'd say [this team is] extremely well-equipped. I think we've been a team in terms of our leadership. We've always been put in circumstances where we have to figure out things on our own and adapt as players, and I think that's something that has prepared us for all the stuff we've been facing. It's something that we're equipped to handle. I know there are a lot of things going on, and there's a lot of noise, but I think within the locker room, we're together, we're positive, and we still feel like we're in a very good spot in the season, and want to close out strong and hopefully, make a run in the playoffs.”
On returning to league play at Gillette Stadium:
“It’s definitely something we look forward to. Leagues Cup was a few weeks ago and to get back on track with the MLS schedule was nice. We’re looking forward to the fans coming out to enjoy a midweek game and hopefully, we’ll get a result.”
Revolution defender Omar Gonzalez on the lessons learned from the Montréal defeat:
“I think the lessons that can be learned from Saturday are that we had a good performance defensively, and that we just lacked a little bit going forward. Now that we’re going to be at home, we need to be a little bit more aggressive going forward, get numbers up higher when we can and push for the three points.”
On the challenges of facing the Red Bulls:
“When you face Red Bulls, it’s always going to be a tough match-up. You know they’re going to give 110%. They high press, they back press, they work together, and when you face a team like that that’s cohesive, it’s going to be a tough day, no matter what. That’s why they’ve been very hard to play against and at times, they’ve been lucky – the fact that Farrell had a goal taken away was one of them; last year was an own goal that happened where it hit off Farrell [and Matt Polster], so it’s little things like that. The margin for error is so small and you just have to be good on the night – the whole 90 minutes plus. There’s a lot of extra-time these days so for 97 minutes or so, you’ve got to be all in.
“At this point of the season, everyone's going for it – whether you're fighting to get into the playoffs, or you're fighting to be at the top of the table to have homefield advantage, or even not to play in those play-in games, every single game matters. Every single game is important, and no matter who you face, you have to be ready.”
On returning to Gillette Stadium and the benefits of a quick turnaround:
“The good thing about it is that we can forget about the loss and move on to the next game. That’s the good thing when you have so many consecutive games in a short amount of time – you don’t have too much time to dwell on what happened. Last game, you could see that it’s been a while since we played a game. Now that one’s out of the way, maybe we can go back to looking like our normal selves and looking like the threat I know we are, and we can have a good game. You take the key points you need to focus on, carry those with you to the next game, and hopefully have a much better game.”