Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League | Quarterfinals (Leg 2)
New England Revolution (MLS) at Pumas UNAM (Liga MX)
- Revs lead 3-0 on aggregate
Wednesday, March 16 | 10:15 p.m. ET
Estadio Olímpico Universitario | Mexico City, Mexico
Watch: FOX Sports 1 (English), TUDN (Spanish)
Listen: 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
New England Revolution
9th in MLS Eastern Conference (1-1-1, 4 pts.)
Last Result | 3-2 loss vs. Real Salt Lake
The Revs carry a 3-0 aggregate advantage into the second leg of their Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinal series with Pumas on Wednesday night, riding a Sebastian Lletget goal and an Adam Buksa brace to a big win in the first leg last week at Gillette Stadium. With the away goals rule in effect at this stage of the competition, if the Revs score one goal on Wednesday night in Mexico City, Pumas will need to score five times to advance. The winner will book a spot in the CCL Semifinals against either CF Montréal (MLS) or Cruz Azul (Liga MX).
New England should be somewhat fresh as they head to Mexico, as head coach Bruce Arena made seven changes to the starting XI for this past weekend’s meeting with Real Salt Lake. Ema Boateng and Jozy Altidore scored to give the Revolution a 2-0 lead amidst a snowstorm at Gillette Stadium, but the visitors scored three times in the late stages to stun the Revs and hand them their first loss of the year in all competitions.
10th in Liga MX Clausura (3-4-2, 11 pts.)
Last Result | 2-1 loss at Cruz Azul
Trailing by three goals on aggregate and knowing they’ll need an offensive outburst to advance in the competition, Pumas will likely be full throttle from the opening whistle on Wednesday. The hosts will be hoping that altitude plays a factor in Mexico City, where the elevation is near 7.400 feet and where the Revs will need to adapt as quickly as possible to the conditions.
Currently 10th in the Liga MX table with 11 points from nine games, Pumas are now winless (0-3-1) in their last four games in all competitions. They were on the road this past weekend in league action, suffering a 2-1 loss to fellow CCL quarterfinalists Cruz Azul.
Revolution midfielder Carles Gil
Although only officially credited with two assists, Carles Gil was the architect of all three Revolution goals in their 3-0 win over Pumas in last week’s first leg, living up to his reputation as the reigning MLS MVP. Gil was then given a bit of rest over the weekend, making just a 30-minute appearance off the bench against RSL with an aim at keeping the Revolution captain fresh for CCL.
While the Revolution’s primary objective on Wednesday night will be protecting their 3-0 aggregate advantage, they also know that scoring just one goal would mean Pumas need to score five, making Gil a potentially deadly force for the Revs in the attacking third.
Pumas forward Juan Dinenno
The hosts will need several big performances to dig out of their aggregate hole on Wednesday night, but perhaps their most important figure is once again Argentine forward Juan Dinenno. The 27-year-old was largely held in check by the Revolution in Leg 1, registering just two shots, including one on target.
Dinenno has the ability to score in bunches, however, as he did in Pumas’ 6-3 aggregate win over Saprissa in the Round of 16. After scoring once in the first leg in Costa Rica, Dinenno then scored a pair of goals in the second leg in Mexico City, including the goal that ultimately decided the series.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“Well, clearly, the game is different for a lot of reasons. Weather conditions, last game was snowing and probably 30 degrees in Foxborough. Here, it'll probably be 65 degrees at kickoff on a good field and probably a good crowd, entirely different from the scene we saw in Foxborough, and yeah, their tactics are going to change. They’re down three goals in the competition, so they'll be very aggressive and certainly in attack mode.”
New England Revolution midfielder Sebastian Lletget
“I mean, this is an interesting way to approach a game. It’s going to be a challenge from the start, because we know they need many goals to tie or try to win the game. So, we know at some point it will spread out and that could play into our hands, because of the personnel we have on this team. But we have to be careful. It’s going to be a mental exercise, because even though we’re 3-0 up, I think the group needs to just stay focused, honestly play it as if it’s 0-0. As the game goes on and they don’t score, we know it’s going to open up and there could be opportunities there to capitalize, but it’s going to be tough. It’s going to be a really tough game.”