MLS Regular Season | Match #8
New England Revolution at FC Cincinnati
Saturday, May 29 | 3 p.m. ET
TQL Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio
Watch: TV38, myRITV, CoziTV
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), WBIX 1260 Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
New England Revolution
1st in Eastern Conference (4-1-2, 14 pts.)
Last Result | 3-1 win vs. New York Red Bulls
Gustavo Bou, Tajon Buchanan, and Adam Buksa were the goal scorers as the Revs improved to 4-0-0 at Gillette Stadium with a 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls last Saturday night. Arnór Traustason also registered his first two assists in a Revolution jersey as New England remained alone atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Monday morning brought more good news for the Revs as they announced that captain Carles Gil has signed a contract extension that will keep him with the club through the 2024 season. Gil currently leads MLS in assists, chances created, big chances created, chances created from open play, chances created from set play, and dribbles completed, amongst other categories.
14th in Eastern Conference (1-3-1, 4 pts.)
Last Result | 2-1 win at CF Montreal
A pair of set-piece goals earned FC Cincinnati their first win of the 2021 campaign last Saturday afternoon, as Jaap Stam’s side came from behind to beat CF Montreal, 2-1, at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. It was the first come-from-behind win for FCC since joining MLS as an expansion side in 2019, and snapped a string of three straight losses since opening the season with a 2-2 draw in Nashville.
Focus now shifts to TQL Stadium, where the hosts will be hungry for their first win in front of the home crowd after opening the venue with a 3-2 loss to Inter Miami CF just two weeks ago, on May 16.
Revolution forward Adam Buksa
After starting the first five games of the season Adam Buksa has been used in a substitute’s role the past two weekends, and he has responded in emphatic fashion, scoring off the bench against both the Columbus Crew and New York Red Bulls. Dating back to last year Buksa has now scored in four of his last six substitute appearances, including three straight.
Time will tell whether Buksa regains his starting spot on Saturday, but whenever the 6-foot-3 target forward is on the field, he’ll have an important role to play. In addition to his goal-scoring prowess, Buksa will be useful on the defensive end of the field against an FC Cincinnati side that ranks third in MLS in chances created from set plays, according to Opta.
FC Cincinnati midfielder Luciano Acosta
Cincinnati featured the league’s lowest-scoring attack in 2020, registering just 12 goals in 23 matches, but they’re already halfway to that mark in 2021 with six goals through their first five games. That’s in direct response to the club spending big money on attacking weapons this past offseason, including young Brazilian forward Brenner and former D.C. United playmaker Luciano Acosta.
Acosta is a proven commodity in MLS having registered 10 goals and 17 assists with D.C. in 2018, and the diminutive maestro already has one goal and one assist in his first three appearances with FC Cincinnati.
Once again midfielder Luis Caicedo is the only player listed on the Revolution’s availability report, as the 25-year-old continues to recover from a lower body injury and will miss this weekend’s match.
Fellow central midfielder Wilfrid Kaptoum started in last weekend’s win over the Red Bulls and went 61 minutes, just three minutes shy of his longest runout in a Revolution jersey. The MLS newcomer said he’s fully fit, and ready for more minutes whenever they come his way.
“My fitness is better,” Kaptoum said. “The decision is about the coach, no? If he thinks I have to play 90 minutes, I will be able to play 90 minutes. I’ll try to play the game the best of me, no? So, I want to be fit and then the coach decides.”
The hosts list just two players on their availability report ahead of Saturday’s game, as forward Franko Kovačević and defender Maikel van der Werff are both listed as out. Neither player has featured yet this season, with Kovačević limited to just one appearance since arriving last October.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena
“I know a lot of people have a lot of opinions as to where everything is in this league. They think we have the best team in history, we have all these other kinds of things, and in reality, the season is just starting. We can’t make any predictions. Our goal is still to qualify for the playoffs. That’s our number one goal this year. We’ve got a way to go, and we know it’s a challenging year, so we generally take it one game at a time. We try not to get too high or too low when things go well or don’t go well.”
New England Revolution center back Jon Bell
“I think this is one of the biggest games so far this season, just because we have a break after. We want to go into this break with our heads high. Another thing is that we haven’t won on the road yet. We’ve only tied and lost, so for us, this is a good opportunity to go into the break on an away win and still at the top of the table.”
FC Cincinnati head coach Jaap Stam
“After the game, after the result we had (against) Montreal, of course you can see that lifts the spirits, of course, but it’s not a guarantee, of course, for the next game. Every game we need to work hard. Every training session we need to put our shift in, and what we’re trying to do eventually to be consistent in playing and getting results, as well. But it helps, and the players are confident. You can see that in the training sessions, as well, so hopefully we can have a good weekend again this weekend.”