Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League | Quarterfinals (Leg 1)
New England Revolution (MLS) vs. Pumas UNAM (Liga MX)
Wednesday, March 9 | 8 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.
Watch: FOX Sports 2 (English), TUDN (Spanish)
Listen: 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
Revolution Pregame Live (7:15 p.m. ET)
- Pregame coverage streaming on YouTube and Facebook
New England Revolution
T-3rd in MLS Eastern Conference (1-0-1, 4 pts.)
Last Result | 1-0 win vs. FC Dallas
The Revs claimed their spot in this year’s Concacaf Champions League by winning last year’s Supporters’ Shield, then advanced to the quarterfinals without kicking a ball when Haitian side Cavaly AS had to withdraw from the competition because of difficulties obtaining the necessary visas to travel. Finally set to take the field on Wednesday night against Pumas, this marks the Revolution’s return to continental competition for the first time since 2010 (SuperLiga) and their second-ever appearance in the Concacaf Champions League (2008).
It's been a strong start to the MLS season for the Revs, who’ve claimed four points from their first two matches. They opened the season with a 2-2 draw in Portland against the defending Western Conference champion Timbers, then returned home to claim a hard-fought, 1-0 win over FC Dallas on the strength of reigning MLS MVP Carles Gil’s first-half penalty.
T-8th in Liga MX Clausura (3-3-2, 11 pts.)
Last Result | 3-2 loss at Santos Laguna
Making their fifth appearance in the Concacaf Champions League – boasting semifinal appearances in the 2009-10 and 2011-12 tournaments – Pumas claimed their place in this year’s competition by finishing as runners up in the Torneo Guardianes 2020. They advanced to the quarterfinals with a convincing 6-3 aggregate win over Costa Rican giants Saprissa, claiming a 2-2 draw on the road before a 4-1 win in the second leg at home.
Already eight games into the 2021-22 Clausura campaign, Pumas are currently eighth in the 18-team table with three wins, three losses, and two draws, including one loss and two draws in their last three games.
Revolution defender Omar Gonzalez
Veteran center back Omar Gonzalez is likely to play a critical role on Wednesday night for multiple reasons. The 33-year-old defender came off the bench in the Revolution’s 1-0 win over FC Dallas this past weekend to replace the injured Henry Kessler, who appears set to miss the first leg against Pumas. That means it’s likely Gonzalez will once again partner Andrew Farrell in the middle of New England’s backline.
Gonzalez also provides the Revolution a vital dose of experience in these types of competitions, having spent four seasons playing in Liga MX with Pachuca and Atlas. That spell included multiple appearances in the Concacaf Champions League, including a title with Pachuca in 2017.
Pumas forward Juan Ignacio Dinenno
Wednesday’s visitors will boast several attacking threats in this series – their 13 goals through eight games are currently sixth-most in Liga MX – but one player currently in form is forward Juan Ignacio Dinenno. The 27-year-old Argentine had three goals in the Round of 16 win over Saprissa, scoring once in the first leg and twice in the second, including the goal to break a 3-3 aggregate tie in the late stages.
Dinenno came through the youth system at Racing Club and spent the early part of his professional career there – his time crossing over with Revolution forward and fellow Argentine Gustavo Bou – and then joined Pumas in 2020, scoring 28 goals in 71 appearances with the Mexican side.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“Well, the timing is poor for MLS clubs. I recall when we won it with D.C. United, we were playing in the summer months, which was obviously to our advantage. This is not. But having said that, I think MLS teams have done well to date. For our team, this is certainly a challenge. We aren’t a team with a lot of experience with games at the international level. So, this will be a real challenge. The different style of opponent, different officiating, things that we're not used to, it'll be interesting to see how our players are able to adjust and try to be successful tomorrow.”
New England Revolution defender Omar Gonzalez
“What I can tell them is that in these two games you have to raise the level of play a little more, be a little more focused, play with a slightly quicker pace, read the game a little quicker, be more intense. I know from my experience that in these games a lot of strange things happen. You have to be intense and stick to your plan. We need to be ready to play at home and on the road. We have to be ready to do what we need to do here at home.”