FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution II (6-7-1, 19 pts.) returns to action on Thursday night, hosting USL League One newcomer North Carolina FC (3-7-3, 12 pts.) for the first time at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff in Foxborough is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
New England was off this past weekend after getting back in the win column on July 23 with a 1-0 win over Toronto FC II. Defender Ryan Spaulding tallied his second goal of the season, his first career game-winning strike, with an assist from midfielder Jake Rozhansky. Rozhansky is the first Revolution II player to record five helpers in a season. Goalkeeper Joe Rice set career marks with his fourth win and fourth clean sheet of the season. Rice’s four clean sheets rank second among League One goalkeepers while New England leads the league with six shutouts overall this season.
With their efforts against Toronto FC II, Spaulding and Rozhansky were selected to the USL League One Team of the Week for Matchweek 16. Spaulding, who earned his sixth career Team of the Week selection and his team-high fourth of the 2021 campaign, netted the 800th goal in USL League One history and added three recoveries and one interception defensively. Rozhansky, who earned his third selection to Team of the Week this season, completed over 90 percent of his passes for a ninth consecutive match while creating a team-high four chances.
Thursday’s match will mark the first time New England Head Coach Clint Peay faces off against his former club. Peay spent the 2019 season as an assistant coach with North Carolina FC during the club’s tenure in the USL Championship. Serving under then-Head Coach Dave Sarachan, Peay helped guide North Carolina FC to the USL Championship Playoffs with a 16-10-8 record.
North Carolina FC is coming off their first road victory of the 2021 season on Sunday night, defeating Fort Lauderdale CF at DRV PNK Stadium, 3-2, thanks to a pair of converted penalties by Robby Kristo. The forward scored the winner from the penalty spot in second-half stoppage time, his team-leading fourth goal of the season and second game-winner.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Here are a few top storylines to watch for during Thursday night's contest:
- Revolution II winning a third straight match at Gillette Stadium and extending their home shutout streak which currently sits at 187 minutes. New England has won four of its last five home games.
- Midfielder Jake Rozhansky completing over 90 percent of his passes for a 10th straight match and recording an assist in a third consecutive game. The Revolution II captain ranks among the top 10 in League One this season in passes (3rd, 887), assists (2nd, 5) and chances created (8th, 25).
- Forward Edward Kizza making a fourth consecutive appearance with Revolution II, and fifth overall this season. The first-round 2021 MLS SuperDraft pick has played 299 minutes in USL League One.
- Defender Sean O’Hearn playing 22 minutes and midfielder Michel playing four minutes to surpass 1,000 minutes played in their first professional seasons.
- Goalkeeper Joe Rice improving upon his 1.00 goals against average on the year. Rice ranks second in USL League One’s Golden Glove race and owns a 4-3-1 record.
- Defender Francois Dulysse and forward Connor Presley possibly seeing action with Revolution II for the first time since June. Dulysse was called into Gold Cup duty, making his senior international debut for Haiti, while Presley is returning from a leg injury.
Match #15: Revolution II vs. North Carolina FC
Date: Thursday, August 5, 2021
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
Streaming: ESPN+ (National) / YouTube (International)
Talent: Sean Saint Jacques (play-by-play)