FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution puts its three-game winning streak in all competitions on the line Sunday afternoon when the two-time defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy visits Gillette Stadium.
The Revs (4-4-4, 16 pts.) and Galaxy (6-4-2, 20 pts.) will get underway at 4:30 p.m. in front of a national television audience on the NBC Sports Network. Regional radio coverage will be available on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Current Form: Revolution winners of three straight; Galaxy cruised past Sounders last Sunday
As temperatures heat up and with summer fast approaching, the Revs have started to hit their stride with three straight wins in all competitions. All three wins have been by multiple goals as the Revs have outscored their opponents by a margin of 9-1 in a pair of league wins over the Houston Dynamo and Toronto FC and a convincing U.S. Open Cup triumph over the affiliate Rochester Rhinos.
The Revs enter the weekend tied with the Columbus Crew for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, just two points behind the Philadelphia Union for the fifth and final postseason spot. Although it’s far too early to be consumed with playoff positioning, the Revs know points are needed to keep pace in the East.
“It’s a little bit of a different week with the Open Cup game [on Tuesday], but we’ve just got to keep that momentum going,” said goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. “We’ve got to try to stack these wins, keep taking points at home and put points on the board so we can keep pace with the rest of the playoff spots.”
In the club’s first game since trading leading scorer Mike Magee to the Chicago Fire, the Galaxy rolled to a 4-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC in which Robbie Keane netted a first-half hat trick and Robbie Rogers became the first openly gay male athlete to play in a major North American professional sports league. But the Galaxy’s second-string squad surprisingly crashed out of the U.S. Open Cup midweek with a 2-0 loss to the Carolina RailHawks.
Past Meetings: Revs claimed victory in only meeting of 2012
Kelyn Rowe likely has fond memories of the last time the Revs and Galaxy met up.
Rowe bagged the first goal of his MLS career to open the scoring before Chris Tierney and Saer Sene followed up with additional strikes to lead the Revs to a 3-1 road win over the eventual champions last March.
The last time the teams met at Gillette Stadium didn’t go quite so smoothly for the Revolution, however. Miguel Lopez scored the only goal of that game to lift the Galaxy to a 1-0 win on May 28, 2011, in Foxborough.
Injury Report: Imbongo, Simms likely out for NE; LA missing Gonzalez, Keane
Dimitry Imbongo is eligible to return for the Revolution after serving his one-game suspension in last weekend’s win over Toronto FC, but the powerful striker will likely be sidelined once again after suffering a groin strain in Tuesday night’s U.S. Open Cup triumph over Rochester.
Clyde Simms (R knee sprain) also remains “out” on the injury report, while Ryan Guy (L calf strain) has been upgraded to questionable after working his way back into training.
The Galaxy will be missing two key pieces on Sunday because of international duty. Robbie Keane won’t be available to replicate his hat-trick performance from last weekend as the DP striker is currently with the Ireland National Team, while center back Omar Gonzalez is similarly on duty with the U.S. squad.
Final Thoughts: Revs eager to prove themselves against defending champs
“It’s a great chance to show us, first, which level we are,” said Juan Toja. “And to show MLS, the league, the people, our fans, our families, everybody, that we have great players, a great team, that we are becoming very strong in the last period and we have to keep doing it.”