Preview | Revs lock horns with Querétaro FC for spot in Leagues Cup last eight


Leagues Cup | Round of 16
New England Revolution vs. Querétaro FC
Monday, August 7 | 8 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.

Streaming: _MLS Season Pass_ on Apple TV
National TV: FS1, UniMas

English Talent (Apple): Tony Husband (Play-by-Play), Ross Smith (Analyst) 
Spanish Talent (Apple): Raul Guzman (Play-by-Play), Mariano Trujillo (Analyst) 
Local Radio: 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)


New England Revolution
2nd in Eastern Conference (12-4-7, 43 pts.) 
Last Result | 2-2 draw vs. Atlas FC (8-7 win in penalty shootout)

New England face Liga MX opposition for the third successive game when Querétaro FC visit Gillette Stadium in the Leagues Cup knockout stages on Monday. Defeating Atlético de San Luis and Atlas FC en route to the last 16, the Revolution have bagged 11 goals in their last three home games, and are unbeaten on their own turf in MLS and Leagues Cup play in 2023. After battling back from a two-goal deficit in the Round of 32 against Atlas, thanks to a Gustavo Bou brace, the Revs earned a dramatic 8-7 triumph in the penalty shootout in the club’s 1,000th competitive game, with record appearance-maker Andrew Farrell netting the decisive spot-kick. Across all competitions this season, the team has recorded an impressive 11-1-4 record in Foxborough, and will look to make home advantage count once again with a place in the quarterfinals up for grabs.

Querétaro FC
13th in Liga MX’s Apertura Tournament (1-1-0, 3 pts.)
Last Result | 1-0 win vs. Pumas UNAM

Querétaro reached the Leagues Cup Round of 16 with successive shutout wins over fellow Liga MX sides Club Tijuana and Pumas UNAM. After suffering a heavy 5-1 defeat in their opening group stage match at the Philadelphia Union, Los Gallos Blancos bounced back to narrowly defeat their domestic rivals with a pair of 1-0 wins to secure progression. The triumph over Tijuana claimed second spot in the East 1 group, before Ángel Sepúlveda’s solitary strike earned victory in the first knockout stage, with Fernando Tapia also saving a late Pumas penalty. Querétaro entered Leagues Cup action having only played two games of their Apertura 2023/24 campaign – a 2-0 opening day win over Santos Laguna, and 4-1 defeat to the Revolution’s group stage opponents Atlético de San Luis – with their home opener against Club América postponed.


This fixture marks the first competitive meeting between the two sides, and New England will take confidence from a fine record against Mexican opposition, especially on home soil. On the back of Thursday’s Round of 32 clash against Atlas, the Revolution have recorded a 9-2-2 mark against Liga MX sides in official competition, courtesy of a 7-1-1 tally in SuperLiga action, a victory in the Concacaf Champions Cup, and this year’s Leagues Cup encounters. At home, the Revs are unbeaten in all bar one matchup versus Mexican teams, notching nine wins and two draws in Foxborough.

Overall Record vs. Liga MX: 9-2-2
Home Record vs. Liga MX: 9-1-2


Revolution defender DeJuan Jones
In the absence of the injured Brandon Bye, defender Jones is set to play a crucial role in the Revolution backline with his versatility a key quality. Naturally right-footed, he switched to right back in Thursday night’s win over Atlas following Bye’s departure, playing his part in the superb comeback before confidently dispatching his penalty in the shootout triumph. Also contributing at the sharp end of the pitch in the group stage with the cross that forced Julio Dominguez’s own goal against Atlético de San Luis, Jones has impressed since returning from Concacaf Gold Cup duty with the United States Men’s National Team (where he notched two assists in four matches), earning praise from his peers and coaches for his rapid development and maturity. With Ryan Spaulding expected to come in at left back on Monday, Jones will likely move across the line once again and will look to produce another solid display, as the Revs look to keep the Querétaro attack at bay.

Querétaro FC forward Ángel Sepúlveda
The veteran forward boasts a wealth of experience and quality, having plied his trade for a host of Liga MX clubs throughout his 13-year senior career. Rejoining Querétaro in January 2022 for his third spell at the club (after a three-year stint between 2014 and 2017, and a one-year stay in 2020/21), he has tallied 38 goals and 23 assists in almost 200 appearances for Los Gallos Blancos in all competitions. Playing in almost every game last season, the 32-year-old has started the 2023/24 campaign brightly with two goals and one set-up in their five games. Two goal involvements in his last two saw the striker follow up a cross for Emanuel Gularte (for the match-winning goal against Tijuana) with the game-winning strike against Pumas, as Sepúlveda unleashed a sensational half-volley into the top corner to send his side through to the last 16 – an effort which was unsurprisingly voted the Goal of the Matchday.


New England Revolution
Defender Brandon Bye has unfortunately been ruled out for the remainder of the season after suffering an ACL injury in the Round of 32 win over Atlas. Having also been forced off through injury in the same game, captain Carles Gil is also a doubt for Monday’s last 16 encounter, while Bobby Wood is questionable with the forward absent for Thursday’s shootout win with a leg injury. In brighter news, Tommy McNamara is pushing for his first minutes of 2023 after featuring for New England Revolution II, and new recruit Tomás Chancalay has now joined up with the squad. Elsewhere, Christian Makoun has been sidelined for the last nine games, and Dylan Borrero (ACL), Henry Kessler (hamstring) and Maciel (Achilles) remain unavailable.

Querétaro FC
Founded in 1950, the Liga MX side have sights set on an improved 2023/24 campaign, having finished bottom of the 2022 Apertura table, and failing to qualify for the 2023 Clausura playoffs as the last-placed team in the coefficient standings. Led by former player Mauro Gerk, the club have undergone a squad overhaul in the offseason. New recruits include Thursday’s penalty save hero Fernando Tapia, as well as winger Federico Lértora, who made an instant impact with a goal and assist in his first two games. Meanwhile, 2013 MLS All-Star and Golden Boot winner Camilo Sanvezzo – in his second stint with the club after starring in their Apertura 2016 Copa MX success – also already has a goal to his name in 2023. At the time of writing, team news for Querétaro was not yet available.


New England Revolution assistant coach Richie Williams on how the penalty shootout win over Atlas FC has galvanized the team:
“I think they showed a great mentality, especially going down 2-0.  Maybe the mentality wasn’t right from the beginning – we didn’t come out very well the first 20 minutes or so, 25 minutes – but they hung in there. That says a lot about the group. They knew that we were at home, and that we could still get at least two goals back, and potentially a third to win the game. So, they kept at it. They were doing what we asked them. They were playing hard. 

“We made a couple of tweaks in the formation and brought Gustavo more inside next to Giacomo [Vrioni], which he ended up scoring a goal and getting the penalty. He looked much better in there. I just think it’s great. The players that came off the bench did a great job for us, so, the whole group – and you could just see at the end of the game, the reserves were standing and cheering on our team in the penalties. It was great by the team and again, we need that next game. We’re playing very good teams and very good competition, and it’s never easy.”

On Querétaro FC, their threats and the lessons learned facing Liga MX opposition:
“They play a 4-4-2 with two forwards. They won their games 1-0, so I wouldn’t say they’re creating a lot, but they’re taking their opportunities, and they play very well defensively. They’re tough to break down, as you see, and they have a good goalkeeper. Again, it’s another opponent that’s not going to be easy to play against, just like Atlas was. So, we have to be ready. We feel like we’ve prepared the team to be ready to go, and we’re looking forward to the game.

“Atlas was a very organized team, very good defensively too. It wasn’t easy to break them down. We just went through a game like that, so I think we’ve had some practice from the last game. Again, if they are going to sit in and try to counterattack into their two forwards, not only do we have to in the attack spread them out and move the ball and get good spacing and positioning, we have to be aware of their two forwards up front. That hurt us early in the game against Atlas where they were able to play into their forward and get chances, and can actually score goals. So, we have to make sure we’re there in terms of their counterattack.”

On the key to an improved start to the game:
“This could sound like an excuse, but we did have a tough week and maybe it was on some of the guys’ minds early in the game and you give up one, you give up two. So, it’s tough to put a finger on exactly was the slow start. I do believe that we did press and we did step high on them, on Atlas, and they were able to play directly forward. On the first goal, we missed an easy tackle and the guy scores a very good shot. On the second goal, we had plenty of players defending and we just weren’t able to handle [Jordy] Caicedo up front. We just have to make sure if we’re going to be aggressive, that we are still secure and have a defensive mentality that we can’t get caught numbers down or even numbers and giving up an early goal. I think that’s the mentality we have to have – we’ve just got to be more competitive. We’re at home, we’ve got to put them under pressure. They’re not used to playing here, they don’t play on field turf a lot. We’re at home so we have to make sure we’re ready. That’s my job and the coaching staff’s job to get them gong.”

New England Revolution defender Andrew Farrell on the emotions after the win over Atlas FC:
“Obviously, we didn't start how we wanted to, and for the first 25 minutes, we were just kind of under it – we weren’t playing how we wanted to play. Being able to come back from two goals and looking for the third goal at the end of the game, it gives a lot of confidence going into it, and with the emotion of winning a PK, winning at home after being down, it was such an important win for us to move on. It definitely helps out with our confidence and the energy, and the momentum carried into the next game.

“Finding different ways to win games and advance is important, especially in knockout rounds, because especially in knockout round type games but also against teams that you haven't played against, you haven’t seen, it’s a different look. In these tournaments, it's 90 minutes and then you get to go to PKs so anything can happen – you can get a red card, or you can you know go down 2-0 and then have to come back. I think it's given us that resilience, but I think that the team's had it this year. We've had so many injuries and different things going on, and the guys just keep on going – the next guy steps up and we are able to turn out results. We're looking forward to doing that on Monday.”

On MLS teams proving themselves against Liga MX teams and how their styles differ:
“It's an important thing. The comparisons between the two leagues have been happening for a long time. Some teams played against them in last year's situation [in the Concacaf Champions Cup], but now we've been able to have all the MLS teams in there with all the Liga MX teams. It’s pride in the league and you want to do well. Obviously, you want advance and keep on moving, and get closer to winning a trophy – but I think it means a little bit extra when you're playing against opponents that you've never played against before, and teams that are in a really good league.

“Most of all, so far with the teams that we've played, I think they're all very technical. All the players on each team are very technical, they know how to play with each other, and they play well. There's never a team that's ever out of it. I think especially with this next team that we're playing against on Monday, it's a team that's resilient and even though in their last game they played a tough Pumas UNAM side, they stayed with it, they got their goal, and then they were able to see the game out. We understand how going down against a team like that is going to be tough, and they're going to fight to the end. And I think that's something that we've also done, so it'll be a good matchup. We respect the team that's coming in, but we're excited for the challenge and opportunity. I think it's going to be a great game for our fans and for the league, and obviously we want to represent the MLS in a good way. So, we're going to hopefully try to take on another Liga MX team.”

New England Revolution midfielder Matt Polster on Thursday’s win over Atlas FC:
“I think when you look at some external things that happened, we try not to let it affect us internally and I don't think it did. We just started really slow in the game, but obviously with the group we have, the players, and the commitment levels, we're a resilient group. So, we're never out of it, we're always going to fight until the last minute, and we did so.”

On the strong leadership within the group:
“I think that's always been the case. Carles [Gil] was super adamant about us at halftime [against Atlas] pushing the game and pushing the tempo, and I thought we did that in the second half. Farrell stepping up in the penalty shootout like that just shows leadership, and guys are stepping up in certain moments to get the job done, and that's what we've done this year so far.”

On the Leagues Cup tournament and facing different opponents:
“From the start, we wanted to do really well in the tournament, and then you get through the group and now it's just a one-off game. So, you have to take it in your stride and know that each moment is important. You can't make mistakes like you did in the past and we have to learn from what we did against Atlas and now bring that into the game against Querétaro. My Spanish isn't great, but we're working on it – I’ve got Carles and Nacho [Gil] helping me!

“It's fun to play somebody different, somebody that you don't see every week. It just gives you a different look of the game – how they prepare, and how they want to try and beat us and how we're trying to beat them. It's a really fun tournament. We've enjoyed it so far, and we want to continue to go as far as we can.”