20220521_CIN_Preview

MLS Regular Season | Match #12
New England Revolution at FC Cincinnati
Saturday, May 21 | 6 p.m. ET
TQL Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio

Watch: WSBK-TV38, myRITV (Rhode Island)
- Talent: Brad Feldman (play-by-play), Charlie Davies (analyst)
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)

CURRENT FORM

New England Revolution
11th in Eastern Conference (3-5-3, 12 pts.)
Last Result | 2-2 draw at Atlanta United FC

Adam Buksa scored either side of halftime to guide the Revs to a 2-2 draw at Atlanta United FC last Sunday afternoon, landing on the MLS Team of the Week in the process. The result was another step in the right direction for the Revs, who picked up their first road point since the season opener in Portland and improved to 3-1-2 in their last six games in all competitions.

Still in search of that elusive first road win of 2022, now the Revs head to Cincinnati, where they’ve had success in the past. Both of New England’s previous visits to Cincinnati have resulted in shutout victories, as they claimed a 2-0 win in 2019 and a 1-0 triumph in last year’s first-ever visit to TQL Stadium.

FC Cincinnati
6th in Eastern Conference (6-5-1, 19 pts.)
Last Result | 2-1 win at Chicago Fire FC

First-year head coach Pat Noonan has worked some early magic with FC Cincinnati, which has already racked up more league wins this year (6) than they did in the entirety of last season (4). In fact, four of Cincinnati’s wins have come during their current four-game winning streak, as they’ve claimed 12 points from 12 with victories over Toronto FC (x2), Minnesota United, and Chicago Fire FC.

There was, however, an Open Cup loss in the midst of that league winning streak, as the Revs rolled to a 5-1 victory over FC Cincinnati less than two weeks ago at Gillette Stadium. Noonan utilized a heavily rotated group for that midweek encounter, and FCC’s starting XI is likely to look significantly different on Saturday evening.

KEY PLAYERS

Revolution forward Adam Buksa
On current form it’s impossible not to list New England’s key player as Adam Buksa, who has scored in six straight games in all competitions, totaling eight goals during that stretch. Five of those goals have been via header, while three others came off his left foot, including one from outside the penalty area.

Buksa also has a history against FC Cincinnati, totaling five goals and one assist in three appearances in all competitions. That includes a pair of braces – in the two most recent meetings – and the game winner in the Revolution’s only previous visit to TQL Stadium last May.

Cincinnati midfielder Luciano Acosta
Several players have emerged as key contributors for this year’s FC Cincinnati squad – forward Brandon Vázquez and his six goals deserve particular recognition – but diminutive midfielder Luciano Acosta remains the driving force in the Orange and Blue attack. Acosta has started all 12 of Cincinnati’s games this season and has factored into 50 percent of their 16 goals with five goals and three assists.

The Argentine attacker has been particularly lethal in recent weeks, totaling four goals and one assist in Cincinnati’s last five league games, factoring into a goal in all five matches.

STATUS REPORT

Revolution
There will be at least one change to the Revolution’s starting XI on Saturday evening as midfielder Matt Polster will serve a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation. Polster has started 10 games this season, racking up one goal and two assists from a deep-lying midfield position.

Jozy Altidore, meanwhile, is a question mark as the veteran forward is listed as questionable after missing last weekend’s trip to Atlanta with a lower leg injury.

It remains to be seen whether Gustavo Bou (out since mid-March) or Dylan Borrero (arrived late last week) will feature in the squad on Saturday, as Bruce Arena said a decision on both wouldn’t be made until after Friday’s training session in Foxborough.

“They’ve looked good in practice,” Arena said of the duo. “It’s nice to have Gustavo back on the field. It’s still early for him. He’s been a way a long time, so his ability to play extended minutes is obviously limited, as it is with Dylan.”

Cincinnati
The hosts list five players as out for Saturday's visit from the Revolution: Isaac Atanga (leg), Allan Cruz (leg), Calvin Harris (leg), Alec Kann (lower body), and Ronald Matarrita (ankle surgery). Former NYCFC defender Matarrita had one goal and two assists in his last MLS appearance back on March 19, while Harris had one goal and one assist in his last two appearances earlier this month.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“It will be very different. [FC Cincinnati] will have, I would think, eight new players on the field from the team we saw a couple weeks ago.”

New England Revolution midfielder Sebastian Lletget
“Yeah, there's definitely been little spurts and little spells where you can just see what this team can be and where we can take it. And so, it's just been a little inconsistent and we take accountability for that. We really have been trying to work on things that we know we need to get better at. But there are positives, and you just can't lose sight of that. Even though it's so easy to get emotional and just look at the results and base all our work on that, but we do have to take a step back and look at the good things that we've done. So, it's not all bad, and there's a long way to go and I think it will only get better. I truly feel that.”