Preview | Revs head north of the border for early-season rematch with Toronto FC


MLS Regular Season | Match #8
New England Revolution at Toronto FC
Saturday, April 20 | 7:30 p.m. ET
BMO Field | Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Watch: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
English Talent: Callum Williams (play-by-play), Calen Carr (analyst)
Spanish Talent: Moises Linares (play-by-play), Pablo Marino (analyst)

Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2 (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
English Talent: Brad Feldman (play-by-play), Charlie Davies (analyst)


New England Revolution
15th in Eastern Conference (1-5-1, 4 pts.)
Last Result | 2-0 loss at New York City FC

The Revs have shifted all their focus to league play following their exit from Concacaf Champions Cup at the quarterfinal stage, easing some of the fixture congestion that has contributed to a difficult start to the season. After playing 13 games in 53 days to begin the year (an average of one game every four days), the Revs will now play just six games in a six-week span, avoiding midweek action until late May.

They do have some ground to make up in MLS, dropping last weekend’s visit to New York City FC, 2-0, to stand at 1-5-1 through the season’s first seven games. Goalkeeper Henrich Ravas was a standout performer at Yankee Stadium with a four-save effort, but the Revs will be focusing on the attacking end of the field after being shut out for the second time in league play, yet to score more than a single goal in any MLS contest.

Toronto FC
9th in Eastern Conference (3-4-1, 10 pts.)
Last Result | 3-2 loss at Charlotte FC

It’s been a rollercoaster start to the season for Toronto FC, as the Canadian side has already experienced the epic highs and lows of an MLS campaign. TFC began the year with one of the league’s stingiest defenses, going 3-1-1 through their first five games while keeping four clean sheets in the process, including in a 1-0 win over the Revolution at Gillette Stadium on March 3. They’ve since trailed off, however, conceding 10 goals in their last three games, all losses, to drop to ninth in the Eastern Conference.

Once a fortress, BMO Field has been far from impenetrable in recent years, with TFC going just 17-21-16 at home since the start of the 2021 season. The Revs have had plenty of recent success there, as well, going 2-0-1 on their last three visits to Toronto, including a 2-0 win last May.


Revolution forward Tomás Chancalay
With a league-low five goals scored through their first seven games, the Revs will be hoping for more contributions from their top-end attacking talent, including winger Tomás Chancalay. The 25-year-old Argentine scored four goals in Concacaf Champions Cup and ranks third in MLS with 33 shots this season, but he’s yet to find the back of the net in league play to build upon his six goals in 11 appearances last year.

It’s not to say that Chancalay hasn’t been close, striking the woodwork against both Atlanta and Cincinnati, and seeing a powerful late header pushed away by goalkeeper Matt Freese last weekend at Yankee Stadium. If the DP attacker can get off the mark Saturday night at BMO Field, it’ll go a long way for the visiting Revs.

Toronto FC forward Prince Owusu
It was goalkeeper Sean Johnson who was the key figure in Toronto’s 1-0 win over the Revs in early March, making several big saves to keep New England off the board. The 16-year MLS veteran then missed a string of games through injury, however, and has conceded seven goals in two games since returning.

That has turned some of the attention to the attacking end of the field, where 27-year-old forward Prince Owusu has emerged as a significant threat. Owusu arrived in Toronto last August and played just 257 minutes through the end of the season, but he has shown flashes through eight appearances (four starts) this year. The German striker has bagged three goals in total – all as a sub – including both in last weekend’s 3-2 loss to Charlotte FC.


Revolution head coach Caleb Porter on preparing for a second meeting with Toronto FC:
“It has been a good week. We've had four days, which is good. We had two hard days, Tuesday and Wednesday, a little lighter day today, and then tomorrow we'll kind of set the lineup and finalize the details of our plan. I thought guys showed passion this week, which was good, and a lot of intensity. I saw some leaders emerge this week, which is really good. Going back, I didn't like the way we played versus New York [City FC]. Overall, that's not how we want to play. It was too direct. We can't now go back and overplay out of the back, but we do need to play soccer a bit more than we did in that game. Now that we have seven weeks in a row where we can essentially have four or five days of training, we need to continue to evolve in the way that we want to play. We will continue to evolve, for sure, in personnel. We are hoping to make some moves in this window and in the next window. Whether that happens, just depends on getting the deals done and all that, but Curt [Onalfo], Remy [Roy] and Chris [Tierney] are working very hard and adding a few pieces will help us evolve for sure. But, I'm seeing a lot of good things in the core group, this week especially, and that leaves me optimistic for this weekend. We’ve got to continue, even as we evolve in the way we play and in personnel, to get results. So, can we play a little more like we want to play in this game and get back to that? And can we build off some of the leadership quality that I saw this week, the passion, the intensity, and go on the road and get a result?”

Porter on the difficulties of winning on the road:
“It's always difficult to win on the road in MLS, probably one of the most difficult leagues in the world because of the travel and all the different elements that our country has. But in some ways, when your back’s against the wall, the best way to go and get a result is on the road and to silence a stadium. You're the underdog, and again, I go back to, I want to see what these guys are made of. We're all not happy with where it's at. We don't feel good, none of us. If you feel good right now in your life, then something's wrong. But I'm unwavering. I'm unwavering right now and I want other guys that are unwavering. And you do find out what you're made of, you find out what your team's made of, in these situations. I told them in these moments of adversity, you have to do three things. The first one is to embrace the suck, because it sucks right now, but you’ve got to embrace that adversity. The second thing is, you have to have faith in the future, optimism that it's going to turn. And the third thing, and most important, is you’ve got to take action and do something about it. So, I'm looking for us to take action in this game this weekend, and I want to see a group of guys that are doing something about it.”

Porter on taking advantage of a shorthanded TFC backline:
“It’s never easy. It would be a trap to think that all of a sudden, we can easily find goals. No, we have to earn the goals, we have to earn the points, we have to earn the win, and there’s never an easy game in any league. Sometimes, when a team has given up a lot of goals, it’s harder, because John [Herdman] is a good coach and he’s working on that and he will have them organized. So, we just need to continue to evolve. We need to get results for sure, but we need to evolve. Actually, I’m really focused on seeing more action in this game, more passion, more intensity, and us to look more like the team I want us to even though we need some pieces. Early in the year, we were playing more the way I want to play and we were on the cusp of breaking through. I think the last game [at New York City FC] was a step in the wrong direction the way we played.”

Revolution midfielder Matt Polster on utilizing a full week of training:
“I think it's just getting used to each other still as a team and playing at an intensity and how the staff wants us to play. I wouldn't say we did many tactical things, but we worked really, really hard in the intensity and transitional games where I think we can be very good in, but we haven't been great. And we've also worked on the defending side as well. We haven't kept enough clean sheets, so we've worked on both aspects of our game. We need to improve as a group, but I think the staff and the organization has given us everything we need and it comes down to us players to execute.”

Polster on the vibe in the locker room:
“I think we have a lot of veteran players within this group that have been in difficult times on other teams are on this team specifically. It hasn't been all rainbows and sunshine while I've been here. There's been ups and downs, and we've come through it as a team. I know other players within other clubs have been through the same. We have players within this group that can lead this team and get us out of this rut, but it takes everybody. It's not just going to be the leaders; it's going to be everybody within the group and the organization to do more than we ever have to get where we want to go. When you're in a position you are in, which we are, you have to do that much more to win games and stay consistent.”

Polster on his message to the fans:
“Stay with us. I think it's a process, and for us players we're doing everything we can each game to give those fans the enjoyment they deserve. We haven't been there yet as a group, but again, the staff and the organization, they have given us everything we need. It really comes down to us players to produce on the weekend and that's the message. I can say keep coming to the games, keep giving us confidence, and we will come through, I truly believe that. We have the group of guys that can get it done.”