20220507_CLB_Preview

MLS Regular Season | Match #10
New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew
Saturday, May 7 | 7:30 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.

Watch: TV38, myRITV (Rhode Island), Cozi TV (Western Mass.)
- “Revolution Kickoff” pregame coverage beginning at 7 p.m. on TV38
- Talent: Brad Feldman (play-by-play), Charlie Davies (analyst), Naoko Funayama (sideline)
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)

CURRENT FORM

New England Revolution
10th in Eastern Conference (3-5-1, 10 pts.)
Last Result | 2-0 win vs. Inter Miami CF

Damian Rivera scored his first MLS goal in the first minute of his first start, Adam Buksa scored for a third straight game, and Matt Turner marked his 2022 debut with a three-save shutout as the Revs claimed a 2-0 win over Inter Miami CF last weekend at Gillette Stadium. It was the Revolution’s second straight victory at home as they climbed to 10th in the crowded Eastern Conference table, just three points back of fifth but also just one point ahead of 14th-place D.C. United.

Momentum could be building for the Revs as they’ll play two more home games in a five-day span, first hosting the Columbus Crew in a league match on Saturday night before welcoming FC Cincinnati to Foxborough for a U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 showdown next Wednesday evening.

Columbus Crew
7th in Eastern Conference (3-3-3, 12 pts.)
Last Result | 3-0 win vs. D.C. United

Columbus snapped a five-game winless run (0-3-2) in emphatic fashion last weekend, rolling to a comfortable 3-0 victory over D.C. United at Lower.com Field. Three different players scored for the Crew – Pedro Santos, Derrick Etienne, and Darlington Nagbe – to end a string of four straight shutouts in league play.

While all three of the Crew’s victories have been at home, they’ve been no slouch on the road, picking up draws on three of their four road trips this season. Caleb Porter is building towards a bounce-back year for Columbus, which missed the playoffs in 2021 after winning MLS Cup in 2020.

KEY PLAYERS

Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner
The reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year made his 2022 debut last weekend and provided an immediate boost, guiding the Revs to their first clean sheet since March 9. Turner needed to make just three comfortable saves in the shutout, but his leadership and organizational abilities also played key roles in the Revs’ defensive effort.

While his time in New England is limited – he’ll be joining Arsenal in the English Premier League next month – Turner has a massive part to play at the moment, including providing guidance to recent arrival Djordje Petrović, presumed to take over as the starting goalkeeper upon Turner’s departure.

Crew midfielder Lucas Zelarayán
A legitimate MVP contender, Lucas Zelarayán has already registered four goals and two assists in just 642 minutes this season, following up a 12-goal, seven-assist year in 2021. The Argentine attacker is also an elite chance creator, currently third in MLS in chances created (29) behind only Luciano Acosta (37) and Carles Gil (35).

Zelarayán did miss a match recently through injury and was only fit enough to feature as a substitute in last weekend’s win over D.C. United, but after playing 19 minutes off the bench, he could be ready to return to a starting role on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

STATUS REPORT

Revolution
Matt Turner’s 2022 debut wasn’t the only boost New England’s defense received last weekend, as center back Henry Kessler also returned to the starting XI after missing time recently because of illness. With both Turner and Kessler back in the squad, the Revs were able to use their first choice back five for the first time this season, keeping a clean sheet and limiting Inter Miami to just three shots on target.

Gustavo Bou, meanwhile, is “not likely” to be available on Saturday night, as sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena said the Argentine forward is likely still a week away from returning. Bou last featured in the second leg of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League meeting with Pumas on March 16.

Crew
Midfield maestro Lucas Zelarayán does not appear on Columbus’ availability report after returning with a substitute appearance in last weekend’s win over D.C. United, but fellow midfielder Kevin Molino remains sidelined as he recovers from ACL reconstruction surgery.

Two players are listed as questionable ahead of the weekend: defender Milos Degenek, who has started eight games in his first season with Columbus, and defender Steven Moreira, who has started all nine games.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“I think it’s still early. I think we need to get to the midway point in the season, see where we are. It’s early for everybody. I think you can see in the league, it’s pretty tight from top to bottom. A few teams are a little bit ahead, and everyone else is within striking distance. So, who knows where we are, and hopefully, we're headed in the right direction.”

New England Revolution midfielder Matt Polster
“I'm not sure if we've turned it around necessarily. I think I've said this last time, I think we’ve played well throughout the course of the season. I think it’s just been mental and individual mistakes in moments that have kind of let us down and drop points here and there, but I don't think it's we've had – yes, the season has been a poor start but I think we've played well through the course of the season so far and you know, I think once we can string together a couple solid results, I think then we'll turn the corner. But right now it's just one win that we have so we need to focus a lot on Columbus and try and get to three points there.”