20210925_ORL_VS_Preview

MLS Regular Season | Match #28
New England Revolution vs. Orlando City SC
Saturday, September 25 | 7 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.

Watch: TV38, myRITV
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), WBIX 1260 Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
Revolution Pregame Live (6 p.m. ET)
- Facebook, YouTube, revolutionsoccer.net

CURRENT FORM

New England Revolution
1st in Eastern Conference (18-4-5, 59 pts.)
Last Result | 3-2 win at Chicago Fire FC

New England clinched a playoff spot in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night at Soldier Field, getting a stoppage-time winner from Carles Gil in a 3-2 victory over Chicago Fire FC. Henry Kessler and Teal Bunbury also scored for the Revs, who improved to 11-1-2 in their last 14 games despite making a season-high nine changes to the starting XI for the midweek road trip.

With their postseason participation secured for a third straight year, the Revs now turn their attention to solidifying their place atop the standings as they hone in on homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. Three more points on Wednesday night helped the Revs maintain their 15-point lead in the East and stretched their lead to 13 points in the Supporters’ Shield race.

Orlando City SC
4th in Eastern Conference (10-7-8, 38 pts.)
Last Result | 3-1 loss at Philadelphia Union

Orlando suffered a third straight loss – all by multiple goals – as they dropped a 3-1 result at the Philadelphia Union last weekend at Subaru Park. It’s the first time the Lions have lost three straight under the guidance of head coach Óscar Pareja, who took over prior to the 2020 campaign.

The current run leaves Orlando in a somewhat precarious position in a crowded Eastern Conference. Although they trail second-place Nashville SC by six points, they’re also just four points above the playoff line, leaving them with everything to play for through their final nine games of the regular season.

KEY PLAYERS

Revolution midfielder Carles Gil
New England’s midfield maestro may well have locked up the MLS MVP award on Wednesday night, entering as a halftime substitute before turning the game on its head and securing three points with a dramatic winner. Gil has been electric since returning from a six-game injury absence, racking up 19 key passes in his last 180 minutes.

The Revolution captain will be eager to bolster those statistics against an Orlando side he has feasted on in the past, and which has conceded 10 goals in the past three games. In his three career appearances against the Lions, Gil has racked up two goals and four assists, including one goal and one assist in last year’s 3-1 playoff victory at Exploria Stadium.

Orlando City midfielder Júnior Urso
Orlando have been plagued by injuries through much of the season, with key pieces like Nani, Daryl Dike, Sebas Méndez, and Alexandre Pato all missing significant time. One of the club’s constants has been stalwart midfielder Júnior Urso, who has started a team-high 21 games and racked up almost 1,800 minutes.

Urso could play a role in trying to limit Gil’s influence on Saturday, and the 32-year-old Brazilian also occasionally pops up on the scoresheet, with three goals this season and Orlando’s only goal in last year’s playoff meeting with the Revolution.

STATUS REPORT

Revolution
A hectic stretch rolls on this Saturday night, but the Revs were able to rest several key pieces for the midweek trip to Chicago, making nine changes as only Matt Turner and Henry Kessler started both matches against the Crew and Fire. Carles Gil, Gustavo Bou, Tajon Buchanan, Brandon Bye, and DeJuan Jones played limited minutes in substitute roles, while Andrew Farrell, Tommy McNamara, Matt Polster, and Adam Buksa didn’t feature.

Emmanuel Boateng is once again listed as questionable having missed the last two games through injury, while Bou, Gil, Jon Bell, Edward Kizza and Maciel are listed as questionable, as well.

Orlando City
Antônio Carlos has been a consistent presence on Orlando City’s backline this season – starting 21 of the club’s 25 games – but the 28-year-old Brazilian will be suspended for Saturday night’s match after he was sent off in last weekend’s loss to Philadelphia.

Joey DeZart, Alexandre Pato, and Mason Stajduhar will also be unavailable because of injuries, while Sebas Méndez, Chris Mueller, and Uri Rosell are all listed as questionable. Méndez has been limited to just nine appearances this season and hasn’t played since July 17, but is expected to be available on Saturday.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“I think, in any sport, if you're too dependent on one person, that could be a negative for your team. We go into games believing that we can get goals from a lot of different players and from a lot of different positions and in a lot of different ways. So, I think that's a real positive. And having said that, I think we've scored 51 goals this year and Adam [Buksa] and Gustavo [Bou] have something like 24 of them. I'm not exactly sure the number there, so there's a lot of goals out there that other players have scored. In my opinion, that's a real positive.”

New England Revolution defender Andrew Farrell
“I think we want to win the East. I think that's something that we want to do. I think we want to have home games and have that first round bye. And yeah, I think we're just trying to do the best we can. Obviously, as the season goes and the games get less and less, I think we'll see what that looks like, but at the time we're just trying to focus in obviously on winning the next game against Orlando, a really good team. But obviously, winning the East is a big, big goal for us.”