20220612_SKC_Preview

MLS Regular Season | Match #14
New England Revolution at Sporting Kansas City
Sunday, June 12 | 3 p.m. ET
Children’s Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kan.

Watch: ABC (English), ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
- Talent: Jon Champion (play-by-play), Taylor Twellman (analyst)
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
- Talent: Brad Feldman (play-by-play), Charlie Davies (analyst)

CURRENT FORM

New England Revolution
11th in Eastern Conference (4-5-4, 16 pts.)
Last Result | 1-1 draw vs. Philadelphia Union

Gustavo Bou made his first start since mid-March and scored his first goal of the 2022 campaign as the Revs played to a 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union in the final match before the international break. That result stretched the Revolution’s unbeaten run to five games (2-0-3), although it’s been a somewhat frustrating run as they’ve let leads slip away in all three of those draws.

Coming out of the break the Revs head back on the road for one of eight games against Western Conference opposition this year, as they’ll visit Sporting Kansas City for the first time since April 2019. The Revs are 1-1-1 against the West so far this year, as they opened the season with a trio of interconference games.

Sporting Kansas City
14th in Western Conference (3-8-4, 13 pts.)
Last Result | 1-0 loss vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC

For the past decade Sporting Kansas City has been one of Major League Soccer’s most consistent sides, and that was the case once again last year as they finished fourth in the Supporters’ Shield race with the league’s second-best attack, trailing only the league-best Revolution. They’ve struggled to begin the 2022 campaign, however, as they currently sit at the foot of the Western Conference table and 27th in the overall standings.

Sporting’s 26 goals against are third-most in MLS, although that number is somewhat skewed by a 7-2 loss to the Portland Timbers last month. They’ve stumbled to a record of 0-6-2 on the road, but they’ve been markedly better at Sunday’s venue, Children’s Mercy Park, where they’re 3-2-2 on the year with three shutouts.

KEY PLAYERS

Revolution forward Gustavo Bou
Adam Buksa’s departure for RC Lens will shine a spotlight on Gustavo Bou, who was active with six shots (including three on target) and a goal in the Revolution’s recent 1-1 draw with Philadelphia. Sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena said postgame that Bou still needs to regain his sharpness after a two-month injury absence, and “he had some pretty good chances that maybe three games from now, he’ll put them in the back of the net.”

Buksa led the Revs with 16 goals last year and had scored in seven straight games prior to his transfer, but Bou was hot on his heels with 15 goals in 2021 and New England would undoubtedly benefit from a return to that kind of form from the Argentine forward.

Sporting KC forward Johnny Russell
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Sporting KC’s early struggles has been their lack of goals, as the group that scored 58 goals last year – second-most in MLS – has managed just 13 goals through their first 15 games, tied for fewest in the league. Still, forward Johnny Russell is the danger man for SKC, and he’ll be eager to get the hosts back on track Sunday afternoon.

Russell had a career-best year with 15 goals and eight assists last season, and he’s tacked on six more goals in 16 appearances in all competitions in 2022. Three of those goals have come in his last three appearances, including a brace in a 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo in a U.S. Open Cup match on May 25.

STATUS REPORT

Revolution
Sunday will likely see an MLS debut for 22-year-old goalkeeper Djordje Petrović, in line to start with Matt Turner currently away on international duty with the U.S. Men’s National Team. Petrović has made two appearances with the Revs in the U.S. Open Cup, conceding just two goals in 210 minutes of action.

The only player listed on the Revolution’s availability report with an injury is center back Henry Kessler, who has missed the last two league games with a leg injury that still has him listed as questionable.

Sporting KC
Injuries and international duty will leave the hosts somewhat shorthanded on Sunday afternoon, with Dániel Sallói – who finished fourth in last year’s MLS MVP voting with 16 goals and eight assists – the most notable absence as he’s currently with the Hungary National Team. Marinos Tzionis is also on international duty with Cyprus, while Alan Pulido (knee surgery), Gadi Kinda (knee surgery), and Ozzie Cisneros (hamstring) are all currently sidelined by injuries.

Jake Davis (adductor) and Nikola Vujnovic (calf), meanwhile, are both listed as questionable.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“Well, I don't know how valuable it’s going to be. I guess we’re going to find out this week because we have three games in eight days. Generally, you don't want a long layoff and we didn't get one, so we had four days and then we got back to business and hopefully with a little bit of time off and a little bit more preparation, we can be successful over the next three games, but you never know what time off means. Last year for the league playoffs, we had three weeks off, which was, I thought, hurtful. It didn't help us in our preparation in the playoffs, but this time around, just having a little bit of a break I think should be positive in the end.”

New England Revolution goalkeeper Djordje Petrović
“I'm really thrilled with the league from the first day I arrived here, and with everything with the organization and the club. And people told me that this is how the league is, but I didn't believe them. I didn't expect this. And I really like everything, and I'm thrilled with everything. Everything is excellent and at the top level.”