MLS Regular Season | Match #25
New England Revolution vs. New York City FC
Saturday, September 11 | 7 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.
Watch: TV38, myRITV, CoziTV
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), WBIX 1260 Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
Revolution Pregame Live (6 p.m. ET)
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New England Revolution
1st in Eastern Conference (16-4-4, 52 pts.)
Last Result | 1-0 win at Philadelphia Union
The Revs returned to their winning ways last weekend in Philadelphia, grinding out a 1-0 victory over the Union despite playing the final 30+ minutes with 10 men. Matt Polster scored the game’s only goal and Brad Knighton made eight saves to win his fifth straight start, both earning MLS Team of the Week honors and pushing the Revolution to within one win of their club record for victories in a single season (17; 2005 and 2014).
Now 9-1-1 in the last two months, the Revs have pushed their lead in the Supporters’ Shield race to 10 points with 10 games remaining, while their lead in the Eastern Conference remains 14 points over both Orlando City SC and Nashville SC.
New York City FC
4th in Eastern Conference (10-7-4, 34 pts.)
Last Result | 3-1 loss at Nashville SC
NYCFC had been rolling along before hitting a speedbump last weekend in Nashville, suffering a 3-1 loss at Nissan Stadium. Both teams played with 10 men for the entirety of the second half after NYCFC playmaker Maxi Moralez and Nashville captain Dax McCarty were sent off following a scuffle in the 43rd minute, although the visitors did already trail 2-0 before the red cards.
Despite the loss NYCFC are 5-2-2 in their last nine games as they’ve climbed the Eastern Conference standings, although they are 0-4-2 on their last six road trips ahead of Saturday’s visit to Gillette Stadium.
Revolution midfielder Matt Polster
It was a man of the match performance from Matt Polster last weekend at Subaru Park, and not just because he scored the game-winning goal. Polster had the Revolution’s best passing percentage among starters (22-of-26, 85 percent) and won four of his five duels while covering extra ground with the Revs playing down a man.
Polster’s absence was felt when the Revs visited NYCFC two weeks ago at Yankee Stadium, as he was limited to just 33 minutes off the bench while returning from injury. Entering with New England already trailing 2-0, Polster helped settle things down in midfield and provided a boost in possession, something he could be counted on to do from the start on Saturday night.
NYCFC forward Valentín Castellanos
Valentín Castellanos was highlighted as New York City FC’s key player in the most recent meeting between these sides two weeks ago, and the Argentine forward proved worthy of that designation by scoring both goals in NYCFC’s 2-0 victory. As such, he’ll be a key figure once again in Saturday’s rematch.
Castellanos could make a claim as Major League Soccer’s hottest striker at the moment, registering seven goals and three assists in his last eight appearances, including a pair of braces in the last four games. Even without primary playmaker Maxi Moralez (suspended) on Saturday, Castellanos remains a significant threat.
Adam Buksa (Poland), Tajon Buchanan (Canada), and Matt Turner (United States) wrapped up international duty on Wednesday night, all three having appeared in a trio of World Cup Qualifiers in the past week. They’ll return to New England in time for Saturday night’s showdown with NYCFC, but with all three slated for international travel on Thursday, it remains to be seen to what extent they’ll be available.
Arnór Traustason will be unavailable while serving a one-game suspension following his sending off in Philadelphia, but the Revs could receive a boost with the return of Gustavo Bou, who missed that trip to Subaru Park with a minor injury. Carles Gil, meanwhile, returned from a six-game absence with a 24-minute appearance off the bench in last weekend’s 1-0 victory.
The visitors will be in a similar situation with regards to international duty, with James Sands (United States), Alex Callens (Peru), Maxime Chanot (Luxembourg) and Gudi Thórarinsson (Iceland) all finishing up with their national teams at various stages midweek before returning to the United States.
Maxi Moralez – who assisted both goals in NYCFC’s 2-0 win over the Revs on August 28 – will be suspended after the playmaker was sent off last weekend in Nashville, while Héber remains unavailable as he returns from major knee surgery.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New England Revolution defender DeJuan Jones
“It’s a great opportunity. You never like to lose, and then to get a chance to play them again just a couple weeks later, it’s a great opportunity for us. They’re one of the teams that is closer to us on the table, so it’s an important game not only for the whole standings, but for the Eastern Conference, so we’re looking forward to a good game Saturday.”
New England Revolution defender Henry Kessler
“It’s a gritty group, tough group, guys that have a lot of fight in them. One of our slogans is ‘Bring the Fight,’ make sure we do that every week, week-in, week-out, so yeah, for sure it’s a characteristic of the team.”