20210918_CLB_VS_Preview

MLS Regular Season | Match #26
New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew
Saturday, September 18 | 7 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.

Watch: TV38, myRITV
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), WBIX 1260 Nossa Radio (Portuguese), SiriusXM FC (Channel 157)
Revolution Kickoff (6:30 p.m. ET)
- Pregame coverage on TV38

CURRENT FORM

New England Revolution
1st in Eastern Conference (17-4-4, 55 pts.)
Last Result | 2-1 win vs. New York City FC

Carles Gil and Tajon Buchanan came off the bench to combine on the game-winning goal as the Revs secured a 2-1 victory over New York City FC last weekend at Gillette Stadium. It was New England’s 17th win of the season – matching a club record previously set in both 2005 and 2014 – and the fourth time this year they’ve come from behind to claim three points.

Emmanuel Boateng also scored – the 27-year-old winger now has two goals and two assists in his last four appearances – as the Revs improved to 10-1-1 in their last 12 games and maintained both a nine-point lead in the Supporters’ Shield standings and a 14-point advantage in the Eastern Conference.

Columbus Crew
10th in Eastern Conference (8-11-6, 30 pts.)
Last Result | 2-1 win vs. New York Red Bulls

It’s been a difficult summer for the defending MLS Cup champions, who were 1-8-0 in their previous nine games before an important Tuesday night win over the New York Red Bulls. The Crew trailed into the late stages but pulled out a vital victory courtesy of goals from Darlington Nagbe (74th minute) and Miguel Berry (88th minute).

The midweek win pushed the Crew to within three points of the playoff places in the Eastern Conference, but they’ll have ground to make up as the eight teams directly in front of them all hold games in hand. Columbus have also struggled away from home, going 2-8-3 overall with five straight losses on the road.

KEY PLAYERS

Revolution midfielder Tajon Buchanan
Few players in MLS are currently hotter than Tajon Buchanan, who has starred for both club and country throughout the summer. The 22-year-old has scored in four straight MLS appearances to bring his totals for the year up to seven goals and four assists, making him a threat worth watching for any opponent.

Columbus will be keenly aware of that threat, as Buchanan registered one goal and one assist when the Revs and Crew played to a 2-2 draw on July 3 in the first-ever game at Lower.com Field.

Crew forward Miguel Berry
Columbus have largely struggled for goals this season, shut out 10 times in their 25 matches while scoring a total of 29 goals, tied for 16th-most in MLS. But in recent matches Miguel Berry has emerged as an answer to that issue, scoring four goals in his last four appearances, including the game winner against RBNY on Tuesday night.

Berry spent the bulk of his rookie year – and parts of this season – on loan with USL Championship side San Diego Loyal SC, and didn’t make his MLS debut until May of the current campaign. To date he has still made just nine MLS appearances (four starts), totaling five goals in 330 minutes.

STATUS REPORT

Revolution
Tajon Buchanan, Adam Buksa, and Matt Turner all returned from international duty to play roles in last weekend’s win over NYCFC, while Carles Gil went 45 minutes – and earned an MLS Team of the Week nod – as he continues to build his fitness following a month-long injury absence.

Gustavo Bou, meanwhile, should be back in the mix on Saturday after missing the past two games with a calf strain, as head coach Bruce Arena declared Bou “100 percent” and “ready to go” during a Thursday afternoon interview with Zolak & Bertrand on 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Officially the Revs list Bou, Gil, Jon Bell, Emmanuel Boateng, Edward Kizza, and Maciel as questionable.

Crew
Columbus will be without several key pieces for Saturday night’s visit to Foxborough, with six players listed as out ahead of the weekend: Artur, Waylon Francis, Perry Kitchen, Kevin Molino, Aidan Morris, and Pedro Santos.

Milton Valenzuela and Lucas Zelarayán, meanwhile, are both listed as questionable, although Zelarayán (seven goals, four assists) has gone the full 90 minutes in each of the Crew’s last five games.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“I think this team is unique to the teams I had in D.C. and L.A. A different mix of players, different backgrounds, different understandings of the game. We've built this team a little differently and we've done a lot of developing our players over the last two years that have gotten us to this point. But, we're certainly not a championship team at this point. We have a lot of the regular season remaining. I know there are all possibilities of what we could achieve, but we haven't achieved that yet. So, as a team, we haven't paid any attention to those matters at this point in time.”

New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner
“The challenges that they pose are that they're an experienced team. They have a lot of the same guys that were on that [MLS Cup] championship winning team last year on the roster again. So, if they find their footing, they just got a big morale boost with the late win at home the other night, so they're going to come in with a lot of energy, a lot of desperation, and we're going to have to put our foot down as the team at home and hopefully do what we've done all year at Gillette.”

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