MLS Regular Season | Match #15
New England Revolution at Inter Miami CF
Wednesday, July 21 | 7:30 p.m. ET
DRV PNK Stadium | Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Watch: TV38, myRITV
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), WBIX 1260 Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
Revolution Pregame Live (6:45 p.m. ET)
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New England Revolution
1st in Eastern Conference (8-3-3, 27 pts.)
Last Result | 1-0 win at Atlanta United FC
New England snapped a brief three-game winless run on Saturday evening, claiming their first-ever three points at Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a 1-0 victory over Atlanta United FC. Gustavo Bou’s team-leading seventh goal of the season was all the Revs needed on the night, as goalkeeper Brad Knighton made five saves to record the Revolution’s fourth clean sheet of the campaign.
The win was New England’s third away from home this season – tied for most in MLS – and they’ve now taken at least one point from six of their eight road games (3-2-3). Since the arrival of Bruce Arena in June 2019 the Revs have won 14 games away from home in the regular season and playoffs, most in MLS during that span.
Inter Miami CF
14th in Eastern Conference (2-7-2, 8 pts.)
Last Result | 1-0 loss at CF Montréal
The hosts should be well rested on Wednesday evening as their scheduled weekend showdown with the New York Red Bulls was postponed because of inclement weather. Inter Miami traveled to New Jersey and were prepared to battle RBNY on Saturday night, but weather forced the postponement of the match, which will be rescheduled for a date to be determined.
That means Miami haven’t played since July 3, when they suffered a 1-0 loss to CF Montréal at Red Bull Arena. It was Inter Miami’s fifth straight loss as they’ve sunk to the bottom of the Eastern Conference with just nine goals scored through 11 games. Oddly enough Phil Neville’s side has been decent on the road (2-3-1), but they’ve struggled at DRV PNK Stadium, where they’re 0-4-1 on the year.
Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton
Deputizing for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year candidate Matt Turner is a tall task, but veteran Brad Knighton stepped in admirably in Atlanta, making five saves in a shutout effort. It was Knighton’s first clean sheet since October 2018, having made just 11 league appearances in the interim.
In the midst of a six-games-in-23-days stretch it’s possible head coach Bruce Arena could opt for rotation – particularly considering the heat in a midweek trip to Miami – and if he does, Knighton could be relied upon as a vocal leader organizing from the back.
Miami forward Gonzalo Higuaín
Inter Miami’s nine goals are the fewest in MLS approaching the season’s midway point, but when they’ve been dangerous in the attacking third, Gonzalo Higuaín has been at the center of the action. The 33-year-old Argentine has factored into 67 percent of Miami’s goals, with five goals and one assist on the year.
Higuaín has shown an ability to score in just about every fashion, as he’s a threat from direct free kicks, in the air on the end of set pieces, and with both feet inside the penalty area.
Tajon Buchanan and Matt Turner will miss at least two more Revolution games as they’ve led Canada and the United States, respectively, to the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Gold Cup. Canada and the U.S. will both play in the competition’s final eight on Sunday, July 25, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, with the Americans facing Jamaica and the Canadians squaring off against Costa Rica.
Turner will be joined in U.S. camp by Henry Kessler, who will begin training with the American squad on Wednesday. This marks Kessler’s first call-up to the senior USMNT after making a trio of appearances with the Under-23s during Concacaf Olympic Qualifying in March.
Luis Caicedo will miss Wednesday’s trip to Miami as he continues to recover from a lower body injury, while head coach Bruce Arena said no decisions had been made on DeJuan Jones’ availability on Monday afternoon. Jones was forced off in the 72nd minute of last weekend’s win over Atlanta, replaced by Christian Mafla, making his second appearance in a Revolution jersey and his first since April 24.
“DeJuan Jones, I don’t have any definite diagnosis on him,” said Arena. “We think it’s very minor. We haven’t made a decision yet with our team for Wednesday.”
The hosts are also dealing with a spate of absences, including Kelvin Leerdam to international duty (Suriname), Gregore to yellow card accumulation, and the trio of Joevin Jones, Ian Fray, and Sami Guediri to injury.
Playmaking midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro’s status for Wednesday night’s game remains uncertain as Miami head coach Phil Neville confirmed the 27-year-old has been called into Mexico’s Gold Cup squad as an injury replacement, but said his availability depends on when he needs to depart for international duty.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena
“Well, I think Miami will play real hard. They are a team that needs three points. They have good players. They brought in some new players that they'll be playing in the game, and we expect them to be a handful. We know some of the results haven't gone their way as of late, so we expect to see a team that comes at us real hard and it's going to be a difficult game.”
New England Revolution midfielder Matt Polster
“For the most part, I think the mentality for this group and what’s been voiced among the players and the staff is the expectation to win and have a very high standard set for ourselves. I think we were disappointed throughout a three-game spell where we only picked up one point when we really should have done a lot better. I think that was kind of the reason we came out in Atlanta wanting three points and wanting to put ourselves back in a position of winning ways, and to set the standard where we should be.”