MLS Regular Season | Match #34
New England Revolution vs. Inter Miami CF
Sunday, November 7 | 3:30 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.
Watch: TV38, myRITV, CoziTV
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2 (English), WBIX 1260 Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
New England Revolution
1st in Eastern Conference (22-4-7, 73 pts.)
Supporters’ Shield Champions
Last Result | 1-0 win vs. Colorado Rapids
Tajon Buchanan’s second-half goal and Matt Turner’s four-save shutout effort were enough for the Revs to grind out a 1-0 win over the Rapids 10 days ago, a record-breaking result that pushed the Revolution to 73 points, most in a single season in MLS history. Now 15-1-4 since mid-July and unbeaten in their last 10 games (7-0-3), the Revs can match the longest unbeaten run in club history (11) with another result on Sunday afternoon.
By the time the Revs step onto the field at Gillette Stadium for the regular season finale, it will have been more than two weeks since they officially clinched the first Supporters’ Shield in club history. But on Sunday they’ll have the chance to lift the Shield for the first time in front of an anticipated crowd of more than 25,000.
Inter Miami CF
11th in Eastern Conference (11-17-5, 38 pts.)
Eliminated from MLS Cup Playoffs
Last Result | 3-1 loss vs. New York City FC
Miami saw their slim playoff hopes officially end last weekend with a 3-1 home loss to New York City FC. The second-year side is locked into an 11th-place finish in the Eastern Conference, one spot below where they finished during their 2020 expansion season.
Phil Neville’s group has struggled mightily away from home in recent weeks, suffering five straight losses on the road while scoring just one goal during that stretch, a Gonzalo Higuaín penalty. In fact, Miami’s 35 goals this season are the fewest in all of Major League Soccer, tied with expansion side Austin FC.
Revolution midfielder Carles Gil
While forwards Adam Buksa (16 goals, four assists) and Gustavo Bou (15 goals, nine assists) will battle it out for the club’s Golden Boot award on Sunday, it’s captain and playmaker Carles Gil who will put the finishing touches on what’s likely to be an MVP campaign.
Gil enters Decision Day with 18 assists on the season, one shy of the Revolution’s club record (19) set by Steve Ralston in 2002. If the 28-year-old Spaniard registers a pair of assists on Sunday, he’ll not only set a new Revolution single-season record, he’ll also become just the fourth player in MLS history to record 20 assists in a single season.
Gil has recorded multiple assists four times this campaign, including on July 21 when he set up a pair of goals in the Revolution’s 5-0 win over Inter Miami CF.
Miami forward Gonzalo Higuaín
Considering Miami’s struggles in front of goal this season, it’s somewhat remarkable that 33-year-old forward Gonzalo Higuaín has put up the numbers he has, registering 12 goals and nine assists in 30 appearances. With a total of 21 goal involvements, Higuaín has factored into a whopping 60 percent of Miami’s scoring.
It remains to be seen whether Higuaín will feature on Sunday given the fact that Miami is out of playoff contention, but if the visitors are to threaten the Revolution, it’s likely to be through the former Argentine international.
Leading goal scorer Adam Buksa is the only player appearing on the Revolution’s official availability report, listed as questionable ahead of Sunday afternoon’s meeting with Inter Miami. The 25-year-old has appeared in 31 of the Revolution’s first 33 games, tied for second-most on the team behind only Andrew Farrell (32).
Bruce Arena will choose from a rested squad having not played since October 27, and the Revolution head coach stated in an interview with Zolak & Bertrand on 98.5 The Sports Hub earlier this week that he planned to use the strongest group available on Sunday.
Miami lists four players as out for Sunday’s finale, including goalkeeper Nick Marsman, who has started 22 straight games for the Herons since debuting in the 5-0 loss to New England back on July 21. Defenders Ryan Shawcross, Joevin Jones, and Ian Fray are also listed as unavailable, while Kieran Gibbs and Victor Ulloa are both listed as questionable.
Leading scorer Gonzalo Higuaín is not listed on Miami’s availability report, but head coach Phil Neville did say on Friday that the forward has been dealing with “a longstanding plantar fasciitis problem” that makes him a question mark for the game at Gillette Stadium.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“Well, I would say this season has been a success. I think, obviously, the MLS Cup would be icing on the cake, but we're absolutely thrilled with the regular season and winning the Supporters' Shield, and then we look forward to the challenge of the playoffs. And you know sports, everyone wants to win championships and the champion in MLS is defined as the MLS Cup winner. We've won the regular season, and now we want to win the postseason, as well.”
New England Revolution forward Teal Bunbury
“That's kind of the tough emotion where we're excited that we won the Supporters' Shield, we've set the MLS points record, and we're happy about that accomplishment, but we know we want to do more. So, it's finding the balance of being excited, definitely having a good time with the group of guys that have been fighting this whole season. Not just players, but staff, coaches, front office, everybody's kind of been involved in this. So, it's going to be a fun time celebrating that and celebrating with our fans. I think both those things are going to be fun but also tempering it with knowing, 'Hey, we haven't won the ultimate goal or the ultimate prize,' which is an MLS Cup. So, we have to keep a level head, but definitely celebrate it. It's the first Supporters' Shield in club history, so we definitely have to be happy about that.”