FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution II (1-2-1, 4 pts.) will close out the month of May with the final match of a four-game homestand on Friday night at Gillette Stadium, hosting third-place Fort Lauderdale CF (3-4-0, 9 pts.). The USL League One contest is slated to kick off at 5:00 p.m. ET and is available nationally on ESPN+.
Revolution II is coming off a 2-2 draw at home against Chattanooga Red Wolves SC on May 16. New England opened up a two-goal lead, thanks to an own goal in the first half and a first professional goal by Noel Buck early in the second half. Buck, a 16-year-old Academy midfielder from Arlington, Mass., became the first Revolution Academy youth player to score a goal in a professional match.
Defender Pierre Cayet became the 27th and most recent player to make his professional debut with Revolution II since the club began play in 2020. A native of France, Cayet signed with the club on April 28 following his senior season at Temple University where he won the 2020 American Athletic Conference Defender of the Year award. In his first USL League One outing, he recorded team highs in clearances (6) and interceptions (5) while adding eight recoveries.
New England added another Revolution Academy product to the roster last week, signing midfielder Hikaru Fujiwara to a USL contract. The 17-year-old has excelled in 13 matches with the club, recording two assists including one in this year’s season opener. Fujiwara, who made his professional debut with the club last August, has made over 100 appearances across all age levels for the Revolution Academy since joining the program at age 12 in 2016. In that time, Fujiwara has scored over 30 goals, including a hat trick in the 2020 Generation Adidas Cup qualifying rounds in Sandy, Utah.
Friday’s match will mark the second and final meeting of the season between the two teams, with New England earning a 1-0 win on the road to open the season back on April 10. Forward Ryan Sierakowski netted the lone goal of the match, assisted by Fujiwara, while defender Sean O’Hearn earned League One Player of the Week honors on his debut.
Fort Lauderdale CF has played seven contests so far, the most of any League One side, while scoring a league-best 11 goals. Fort Lauderdale fell in their most recent match on May 22, 2-1, at Chattanooga. Captain and defender Ethan Hardin netted the lone goal in the defeat.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR vs. FORT LAUDERDALE CF:
Here are a few top storylines to watch for during Friday’s contest:
- Revolution II defeating Fort Lauderdale CF, the third-tier affiliate of MLS side Inter Miami CF, for the third in as many meetings and the second time this season.
- Goalkeeper Joe Rice possibly making his fourth start of the season. Rice has four shutouts and boasts a 1.28 goals-against average. He recently surpassed 50 saves and 1,000 minutes played in his 12 matches with the club.
- Revolution Homegrown Players Justin Rennicks and Damian Rivera continuing to see action with Revolution II and possibly starting together for a fifth-straight game to begin the 2021 season.
- Defender Tyler Freitas potentially making his club debut after signing with Revolution II in April. Freitas has made the bench for New England in each of the last two matches.
- Academy midfielder Noel Buck and forward Michael Tsicoulias possibly earning minutes for the fifth consecutive game this season. Buck is also seeking a goal in consecutive matches after becoming the first Academy player to score in a professional match on May 16 vs. Chattanooga.
- Defender Connor Presley continuing to appear in every game since the club began play in 2020, adding to his club-record 20 appearances for Revolution II.
- Defenders Presley and Sean O’Hearn continuing to play every minute for Revolution II this season.
- Forward Ryan Sierakowski scoring a second goal in as many matches against Fort Lauderdale CF after netting the game winner back on April 10.
Match #5: Revolution II vs. Fort Lauderdale CF
Date: Friday, May 28, 2021
Kickoff: 5:00 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
Social: @NERevolution2, #NERevsII, #NEvFTL
Streaming:ESPN+ (National) / YouTube (International)
Talent: Josh Eastern (play-by-play)