TORONTO – New England Revolution II (12-5-6; 46 pts.; 2nd in East) head north of the border to take on Toronto FC II (6-11-5; 26 pts.; 11th in East) at York Lions Stadium on Friday night. The 7:00 p.m. ET match airs live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV with David Gass calling the action.
Extending their unbeaten streak to an all-time club high of eight consecutive matches, Revolution II tallied five goals in securing a 5-1 victory over Atlanta United 2 at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. Forward Jordan Adebayo-Smith carried the attack with his first two-goal performance of the season. The 22-year-old’s brace lifts Adebayo-Smith’s total to 12 goals on the year, a Revolution II record and fourth-most in MLS NEXT Pro. The Englishman leads the league in shots on goal (34), while ranking second in shots (66). Adebayo-Smith also owns four assists this season, three behind the league lead.
“We want to finish as strong as possible,” Adebayo-Smith said following Sunday’s victory. “We still believe that we can finish first, I believe so as well. I feel like we’re just going to try to win every game that we have. If it takes us to first place, then hopefully that’s what we can achieve this year.”
Homegrown Players Esmir Bajraktarević and Damian Rivera, and midfielder Noble Okello also found the back of the net with one goal each in Sunday’s win. Bajraktarević collected his first assist of the season on Rivera’s tally, while newcomer Patrick Leal, who signed with Revolution II earlier this month, logged his second assist in three appearances since joining the team.
“We had a strong group, and I think they were concentrating and ready to go from the beginning. The effort was there, and it was just a matter of starting to get them the goals, and the opportunities were there,” Revolution II Assistant Coach Marcelo Santos said postgame. “Atlanta made it difficult in the first half. The way they were defending, it was difficult to break their block, but I thought Tico [Damian Rivera] was fantastic, and some of the other guys helped us to unlock them.”
Friday night’s match marks the third and final regular season meeting between New England and Toronto this season, with New England registering a 1-0-1 record over the first two encounters. The two sides last met on June 23, playing to a 1-1 draw before Revolution II secured a 4-2 shootout victory for an additional point. Adebayo-Smith scored in the 37th minute, while goalkeeper Jacob Jackson recorded five saves in the result. In the first meeting between the two teams on May 14, Rivera scored two goals within a two-minute window, tallying in the 84th and 85th minutes to lead New England to a comeback victory at York Lions Stadium.
With five regular season games remaining, the push toward the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Cup Playoffs and the team’s first-ever postseason berth continues. New England enters the weekend in second place in the Eastern Conference, just four points behind Crown Legacy FC and four points above defending MLS NEXT Pro Cup Champion Columbus Crew 2. New England can secure a playoff spot by earning two or more points in the match.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR AGAINST TORONTO FC II:
- Revolution II earning at least two points in the match to secure their spot in the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Cup Playoffs.
- New England extending its unbeaten streak to nine consecutive games and adding to its 50 goals scored this season, second-most in MLS NEXT Pro.
- Defender Victor Souza making his 24th consecutive appearance with Revolution II and building upon his league-leading 1,998 minutes played in 2023.
- Forward Jordan Adebayo-Smith adding to his team-leading 12 goals and four assists on the 2023 season. The East London native ranks fourth in MLS NEXT Pro’s Golden Boot race.
- Adebayo-Smith also leads the league in shots on goal (34), while ranking second in shots (66).
- Midfielder Patrick Leal, a Newton native, adding to his two assists in his first three appearances with Revolution II.
- Defender Pierre Cayet holding his position as the league leader in interceptions (60).
- Any Revolution Academy player making their professional debut and adding to the 29 that have done so in club history.