ORL_AT_Preview

MLS Regular Season | Match #32
New England Revolution at Orlando City SC
Sunday, October 24 | 7:30 p.m. ET
Exploria Stadium | Orlando, Fla.

Watch: FS1 (English), FOX Deportes (Spanish)
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2 (English), WBIX 1260 Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
Revolution Pregame Live (7 p.m. ET)
- Facebook, YouTube, revolutionsoccer.net

CURRENT FORM

New England Revolution
1st in Eastern Conference (21-4-6, 69 pts.)
Supporters’ Shield Champions
Last Result | 3-2 win at D.C. United

All three Designated Players – Gustavo Bou, Adam Buksa, and Carles Gil – scored in the same game for the first time as the Revs exploded for three second-half goals in a come-from-behind, 3-2 win over D.C. United on Wednesday night at Audi Field. The victory was New England’s eighth on their last nine road trips, and extended their current unbeaten run to eight games (6-0-2) since the beginning of September.

Although the Revs have already secured the first Supporters’ Shield in club history – and the homefield advantage throughout the MLS Cup Playoffs that comes with it – plenty will be at stake through the final three games of the regular season. Several league records are on the table Sunday, with the Revs just one win and three points shy of matching the MLS records for regulation wins (22) and points (72) in a single season. Bruce Arena, meanwhile, is one win shy of tying Sigi Schmid’s mark for all-time regular season victories (240).

Orlando City SC
4th in Eastern Conference (12-8-10, 46 pts.)
Last Result | 1-1 draw vs. CF Montréal

Orlando entered the weekend smack dab in the middle of the crowded Eastern Conference, occupying fourth place and only trailing the third-place Philadelphia Union based on goal differential. While the Lions began the weekend just three points back of second-place Nashville SC, they were also just five points above the playoff line heading into the regular season’s final two weeks.

Oscar Pareja’s side has rebounded well since suffering a 2-1 loss to the Revs on September 25 at Gillette Stadium, going unbeaten (2-0-2) in four games since. They’ve been particularly good at Exploria Stadium this season, suffering just a pair of losses (8-2-5) in 15 games at their home ground.

KEY PLAYERS

Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner
Even as the Revs have rotated consistently throughout the season, one constant in recent months has been goalkeeper Matt Turner. The 27-year-old shot-stopper has started 13 of the Revolution’s last 14 games since missing a month while on Gold Cup duty in July, and this past Wednesday night matched the club’s single-season record for wins by a goalkeeper with his 16th victory.

Turner could play a key role on Sunday night with more rotation expected for the Revs, and he’ll be able to lean on past success against Orlando, having saved penalty kicks from Nani in each of the last two meetings, both New England victories.

Orlando City forward Daryl Dike
It’s taken a while for second-year forward Daryl Dike to regain his form in MLS following his wildly successful loan to Barnsley in the English Championship, but last year’s fifth overall SuperDraft pick has hit his stride in recent weeks. Dike has just six goals on the season but recently scored in three straight games, including in Orlando’s 2-1 loss to the Revs on September 25 at Gillette Stadium, where he also drew a late penalty.

Orlando have relied on a balanced attack this season with 11 different players scoring multiple goals, but they could be leaning on Dike to be the difference maker in a stretch of critical upcoming matches.

STATUS REPORT

Revolution
While the Revs remain healthy heading into the regular season’s final three games, they will be without one key piece on Sunday night as central midfielder Matt Polster will be suspended for yellow card accumulation. Polster has appeared in 28 of the Revolution’s 31 games this season and has been a stalwart in central midfield.

Head coach Bruce Arena has also indicated there could be some rotation this weekend as the Revs play their third game in nine days, with a fourth on the horizon midweek against the Colorado Rapids.

“There’ll be changes in these next two games,” Arena said on Friday. “Exactly what those changes are haven’t been determined, but we’ll likely be making changes because it’s just too many games in a short period of time.”

Orlando City
The hosts list three players as out for Sunday’s visit from the Revs: Raul Aguilera, Adam Grinwis, and Uri Rosell, though the trio have combined to make just 18 appearances this season. Meanwhile the trio of Rio Hope-Gund, João Moutinho, and Andrés Perea are listed as questionable, with Perea (23 appearances) and Moutinho (19 appearances) of particular interest.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“Well, I think it means a lot to the club. Right now, that is something now that is important. We've checked a lot of boxes this year and we're so close to being winners of the Supporters' Shield that we need to clearly say that that has to be a goal is to finish off the regular season as the Supporters' Shield winners. It says a lot about the players, our staff here, and the support we're getting. So, I think it would be a great accomplishment for our team.”

New England Revolution forward Teal Bunbury
“Our mentality is that we want to win it. We kind of held off on maybe talking about it midway through the season or the past month or so, but I think now that it's right there for us, we want to win trophies as a team and as an organization. That's kind of what you're based on is your wins, trophies, and all those things. Playing well is great, but if you can win trophies, it's important. For me personally, I think this would be huge for the club, huge for the supporters, and it just showcases the strides we've taken as an organization to get to this point. But I don't think we should be satisfied with just winning Supporters' Shield. There's been teams in the past who have gotten to the end of the season, won Supporters' Shield, and kind of fizzled out in the playoffs. We definitely don't want to be a team like that. That's our goal now to win it, but our focus is the MLS Cup.”