MLS Regular Season | Match #19
New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union
Monday, October 19 | 7:30 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.
Watch: NBC Sports Boston
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio USA (Portuguese)
Revolution Pregame Live presented by Dan O’Brien Automotive Group (6:45 p.m.)
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New England Revolution
5th in Eastern Conference (7-4-7, 28 pts.)
Last Result | 3-2 win at Montreal Impact
A heavily-rotated Revolution lineup – featuring eight changes from last weekend’s win over New York City FC – got the job done in a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Impact on Wednesday night, using goals from Kekuta Manneh, Teal Bunbury and Adam Buksa to claim a third straight road win and a fifth in the last six away from home.
New England improved to 4-1-1 in their last six games overall and continued their steady climb up the Eastern Conference standings, now just three points back of 4th-place Orlando City SC (8-2-7, 31 pts.) and 3rd-place Columbus Crew SC (9-4-4, 31 pts.), and seven points back of 2nd-place Philadelphia (10-3-5, 35 pts.) with five games left on the regular-season schedule.
2nd in Eastern Conference (10-3-5, 35 pts.)
Last Result | 2-2 draw at D.C. United
Philadelphia became the second team to clinch a spot in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs – joining league leaders Toronto FC – courtesy of a dramatic 2-2 draw with D.C. United on Wednesday night. Trailing into the late stages, defender Mark McKenzie unleashed a rocket from distance to claim a point for the visitors.
Jim Curtin’s side are now 6-1-2 since early September, outscoring opponents 20-7 during that stretch and climbing to within three points of TFC for first place in the Eastern Conference (and all of MLS).
Revolution forward Adam Buksa
One of eight fresh faces in the Revolution’s starting XI on Wednesday night, Adam Buksa led the charge for New England’s attack, registering one goal and one assist en route to Shaw’s Man of the Match honors and a spot on the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi.
Buksa has started all three of the Revs’ previous meetings with Philly this year and has unleashed 11 shots – hitting the post once – but he’s yet to find the back of the net. In fact, the Revs have only scored once as a team in those three matches, and they could rely on Buksa for another offensive spark on Monday night.
Union midfielder Anthony Fontana
After registering just two goals and one assist in his first two seasons with the Union – totaling 13 appearances and one start – Homegrown midfielder Anthony Fontana has emerged as one of Philadelphia’s top attacking threats in recent weeks.
The Delaware native – who celebrated his 21st birthday with a goal in Wednesday night’s 2-2 draw with D.C. United – has scored five times in his last seven appearances, including a brace off the bench in the Union’s 2-1 win over the Revolution on September 12.
Gustavo Bou returned from a two-game absence with a 19-minute appearance off the bench vs. Montreal, but he was replaced before the final whistle and postgame Bruce Arena said the Argentine forward was still on the mend from the injury that had kept him sidelined.
It was also revealed postgame that Cristian Penilla has “a fifth metatarsal injury that’s going to require surgery,” which will rule the Ecuadoran winger out for an extended period.
Kekuta Manneh, meanwhile, came off at halftime after scoring his first Revolution goal in his first Revolution start, but the recent arrival said on Saturday that he’s “feeling good” ahead of Monday night’s meeting with Philly.
Finally, Carles Gil has returned to Foxborough for the final stage of his recovery process as he makes his way back from surgery to debride his left Achilles tendon back in early August. Arena and Gil have both said they’ll take his recovery day-by-day, but there remains hope he could return prior to the end of the 2020 season.
Union captain Alejandro Bedoya has started 17 of Philly’s 18 regular-season games this year, but he’ll be unavailable on Monday night as he’ll serve a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation. It’s Bedoya’s second such suspension in the past month.
Jose Martinez is also unavailable while on international duty with Venezuela, while Raymon Gaddis and Warren Creavalle have both missed games recently because of injury.
Cory Burke, however, will be available for selection according to head coach Jim Curtin. Burke has not appeared for the Union since April of last year and has spent the majority of 2020 on loan with Austrian club SKN St. Poelten.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena
“(Attention to detail) is very important. I think in the three games we’ve played this year, you could argue that Philadelphia has been a little bit better in that regard. That’s a point of emphasis for our team, is to get these things a little bit better. If we want to beat or compete with the top teams in the league, we have to be paying a lot more attention to detail, whether it’s set pieces or how we play at the end of games, at the end of halves.”
New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner
“Every game’s important. We’re jockeying for position. We want to host a playoff game. We want to be in that top four. It’s no secret that we’ve played Philly a bunch of times this year. They’ve definitely edged us and last time they got a pretty dramatic win over us with 10 men. We’re looking to right the ship in that sense. I’m not sure I’ve ever beaten Philadelphia as a starter either, so personally I’d like to be able to scratch that record and check that box off my list. Like I said, every game’s important but you can only focus on the next one so it’s an important one.”
Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin
“We’re very familiar with each other. Every game has been very tight, highly-contested, very competitive, and now they’re all one play games if you go back and look at the tape of them all. Not a lot of chances for either team in these types of games, so again, it comes down to who executes in the penalty boxes, defensively and in attack. Again, Bruce has done a great job. They’ve had injuries, but they don’t really miss a beat. They don’t concede a lot of goals, so in that regard we’re very similar, and again, they’re starting to click right now in the attack.”
Philadelphia Union forward Andrew Wooten
“I think the key is that we have to focus on us. We know it’s going to be a hard fight and I think we’re ready for it … I think we’re doing a pretty good job on the road. The coach is always giving us a good match plan, and we know what to do, and hopefully we can execute on Monday.”