FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution II (7-9-4, 25 pts.) returns home on Friday night, hosting the Richmond Kickers for the second time this season at Gillette Stadium. The match is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. ET kickoff on ESPN+.
Revolution II suffered a 4-1 setback last Saturday night at North Carolina FC. Midfielder Esmir Bajraktarevic became the third Revolution Academy player to score a goal in a professional match, netting New England’s lone tally of the night in the 12th minute. Defender Ryan Spaulding made his return to his hometown club for the first time since signing with New England, setting a new career high with seven shots, three of which were on target.
Friday night will mark the fourth time this season Richmond and New England have met on the pitch, and the second time in Foxborough. Richmond has won twice while the teams split the points in their most recent meeting on Aug. 14 in Virginia, 2-2. Noel Buck and Edward Kizza scored a minute apart late in the contest to rescue a point for Revolution II. Richmond has emerged victorious in its two prior visits to Foxborough, taking a 2-1 triumph last August and a 3-0 win in New England’s home opener on April 17.
New England remains entrenched in a tight battle for playoff positioning, with five points separating the third through 11th positions in the USL League One standings. After Saturday’s draw, New England sits in ninth place with 25 points, two points below the playoff line with eight games remaining.
Last Saturday, Richmond lost on the road at Forward Madison FC, 1-0, thanks to a second-half strike from Revolution II loanee Ryan Sierakowski. Richmond has been shutout in two consecutive contests, playing to a scoreless draw with North Carolina FC on August 28 before last weekend’s defeat.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Here are a few top storylines to watch on Saturday:
- Midfielder Noel Buck making his 21st appearance of the season. The 16-year-old, along with defender Ryan Spaulding, is one of two players to have appeared in every match this season and is tied for second on the team with four goals.
- Revolution Academy midfielder Esmir Bajraktarevic making a fifth consecutive appearance since joining the program in August. The 16-year-old scored his first professional goal in his first career start last Saturday night at North Carolina FC.
- Goalkeeper Joe Rice potentially making his 25th professional appearance. Rice has played in 21 games for Revolution II since signing with the club in 2020 and currently owns an 8-7-6 record with New England.
- Forward Meny Silva possibly making his 10th appearance of the season. The Revolution Academy graduate won 10 of his 11 duels and drew five fouls at North Carolina FC last week.
- Sean O’Hearn, Michel, and Justin Rennicks all making their 20th appearance of the season.
- Midfielder Jake Rozhansky potentially playing for the first time since Aug. 14 at Richmond. The captain is New England’s leader in assists (5) and chances created (27) this season.
Match #21: Revolution II vs. Richmond Kickers
Date: Friday, September 17, 2021
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
Streaming: ESPN+ (National) / YouTube (International)
Talent: Josh Eastern (play-by-play)
Social: @NERevolution2, #NERevsII, #NEvRIC