FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution (13-11-9, 48 pts.) closes out the 2013 regular season when the team travels to Ohio to take on the Columbus Crew (12-16-5, 41 pts.) at Crew Stadium on Sunday afternoon. A “win and you’re in” scenario, the Revs would advance to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009 with a victory on Sunday.
Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET, with Comcast SportsNet broadcasting the game live on TV, and 98.5 the Sports Hub’s HD2 channel carrying the game on the radio.
The Revs, riding a five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2), enter Week 35 of MLS regular season in the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. With a win in Columbus on Sunday, the Revs will clinch their first playoff berth since 2009. Depending on other results around MLS, the Revs could finish as high as third place in the East, but also miss the playoffs and finish as low as seventh.
If the Revs finish in fourth or fifth place, they will play in the MLS Cup Play-In Game on Wednesday, Oct. 30 or Thursday, Oct. 31, (opponent and place TBD), in a single knockout game with the winner advancing to face the East’s first-place team on Saturday, Nov. 2 or Sunday, Nov. 3, in the first match of the two-game Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Sunday’s match is the third and final meeting between New England and Columbus this season. The Revs have won the first two games of the regular-season series, earning a 2-0 win at Columbus on July 20 and a 3-2 win at home on Saturday night. A win Sunday would give the Revs their first regular-season series sweep of Columbus since 2005.
THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES
It comes down to this one weekend
After 34 weeks of play in the MLS schedule, it all comes down to this weekend’s matches for seven teams still in reach of a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs … with only two of five spots secured in the Eastern Conference, and four of five in the West, the final weekend of play looms large for the seven teams still in contention for one of the remaining berths … the Revolution, who sit fifth in the East and in the last playoff spot, are a win – or a combination of results around the league – away for their first berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs since 2009.
A win and we’re in
The Revs enter the final weekend of MLS regular-season action in control of their own playoff destiny… a win in Columbus on Sunday afternoon in the back end of the home-and-away series will secure the Revolution’s first postseason berth since 2009. … following Saturday’s win over Columbus at Gillette Stadium, combined with other results around the league, the Revs moved back above the “red line” in the East standings and are in the fifth and final playoff position entering the final week of play.
Revs will qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs with:
- A WIN vs. Columbus Sunday
A DRAW vs. Columbus Sunday AND:
- Houston loses or draws at D.C. AND
- Philadelphia loses or draws vs Kansas City
A LOSS vs. Columbus Sunday AND:
- Houston loses at D.C. AND
- Philadelphia loses or draws vs Sporting Kansas City
All scenarios contingent on there being no record-breaking score lines in other games this weekend; the Revs (48 goals) lead both Houston (39 goals) and Philadelphia (41 goals) in the second tie-breaker (goals scored); and in goal differential (the third tie-breaker), the Revs are +10, Houston -1 and Philadelphia -1 … totals wins is the first tie-breaker, which both Montreal (14) and Chicago (14) currently hold over New England, but New England (13) matches with Houston (13) and holds over Philadelphia (12)
The Revs could also finish as high as third place with a win over Columbus on Sunday and draws or losses by both Montreal (at Toronto, Saturday, 4 p.m.) and Chicago (at New York, Sunday, 5 p.m.)
Worst case scenario: a Revs loss, combined with other unfavorable results (Houston win or draw; Philadelphia win) around the Eastern Conference, could see the club finish the season as low as seventh place in the East
The Thin Red Line
The Revs enter the weekend above the “red line” in the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference … however, a total of three points separates the teams from third place to seventh place with Montreal ( 49 pts.), Chicago (49 pts.) New England (48 pts.), Houston (48 pts.) and Philadelphia (46 pts.) all vying for the three remaining playoff spots.
Eastern Conference Standings (Entering Week 35)
|1||New York Red Bulls||56||33||1.7||16||9||8||53||39||14||29||15||24||-1|
|2||Sporting Kansas City||55||33||1.67||16||10||7||45||29||16||29||14||16||2|
|5||New England Revolution||48||33||1.45||13||11||9||48||38||10||29||13||19||-3|
X – clinched a playoff berth
Fagundez’s very lucky 13
Diego Fagundez scored his 13th goal – and his fifth game-winner – of the season on Saturday against Columbus after being named the team MVP in a pre-game ceremony … entering Sunday’s game, Fagundez is riding a three-game point streak (two goals, one assist) … the 18-year old has also recorded at least one point in seven of his last nine games (six goals, three assists) dating back to August 25, 2013.
… and cracks club top-10 scoring list …
Diego Fagundez moved into a tie for 10th place with Andy Dorman (17 goals) on the club career scoring chart on Saturday night … the midfielder is now tied for eighth in game-winning goals (six) on the club career chart as well … Fagundez also became the league’s leading scorer as a teenager with 17 goals, passing Eddie Gaven (16) … Fagundez has enjoyed a stellar breakout season with 13 goals and seven assists in 2013 after scoring four goals and adding three assists through his first two seasons with the Revs.
… and becomes MLS’ top teenage talent
With his 17th career goal on Saturday night, Diego Fagundez became MLS’ highest-scoring teenager ever in league history … he had entered the game tied with Eddie Gaven, who scored 16 goals in his teenage years … Fagundez now claims the record to himself, and also has a full season left to add to his total as he does not turn 20 until February 14, 2015.
Big night from Dorman
Andy Dorman picked a great time to record his first assist of the season … Dorman stepped into a central midfield role in place of the suspended Lee Nguyen (caution accumulation) on Saturday against Columbus and had a hand in all three of the team’s goals … he drew the foul that led to A.J. Soares’ flicked-on header off Kelyn Rowe’s free kick in the 32nd minute, and then drew the penalty kick that Chris Tierney converted in the 69th minute … on the game-winning goal in the 76th minute, Dorman whipped in a cross that Diego Fagundez converted … the assist was his first as a Rev since June 16, 2007, also against Columbus … Dorman has made 11 appearances this year, including two starts.
Balanced scoring pays off
Defenders A.J. Soares and Chris Tierney scored their first goals of the season in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Columbus … Soares and Tierney became the 12th and 13th players, respectively, to score at least one goal for the Revs this season and the second and third defenders to score, as well … Jose Goncalves, the Revs’ anchor on defense, has scored two goals this season … for Soares, it was his fourth career goal, all coming off set pieces … Tierney recorded his sixth career goal, and first from the penalty spot.
Reis still unbeaten in 2013
Matt Reis kept his 2013 unbeaten streak alive on Saturday as the Revs earned a 3-2 win against Columbus … Reis has posted a 6-0-4 record in 11 appearances in goal this season, while registering a 0.80 goals against average and four shutouts … additionally, the Revs have only allowed more than one goal twice in which Reis has played 90 minutes… his 10-game unbeaten streak is the second-longest of Reis’ career, one back of his record 11-game streak to open the 2005 season (7-0-4, April 2 through June 11, 2005).
Points adding up
Saturday night’s win against Columbus gave the Revs their 48th point of the season … it is the team’s highest point total since 2007, when the team secured 50 points by going 14-8-9 in the 30-game season … the Revolution have the opportunity to add as many as three more points in their final game of the season … a full three points would give the Revs 51 points, their second-highest point total ever, after the 59-point 2005 season.
Fagundez goes Green (Card)
On Monday morning, the Revs announced that Diego Fagundez, a native of Uruguay, has gained permanent resident status from the U.S. government and will now count as a domestic player on the Revolution’s roster … with the change to Fagundez’s residency status, the Revolution currently has five players who occupy international spots on the roster: Jerry Bengtson (Honduras), Jose Goncalves (Portugal), Dimitry Imbongo (Congo), Saer Sene (France) and O’Brian Woodbine (Jamaica) … the Revolution signed Fagundez in November 2010 as the team’s first-ever Homegrown player after he spent a year-and-a-half playing with the Revolution Academy’s youth teams.
Movember is the month of a Mustache
The Revs will literally show its support for Movember when the Revs grow mustaches as part of the charity’s annual November men’s cancer awareness campaign … as part of MLS WORKS’ Soccer Kicks Cancer’s Movember 2013 campaign, a selection of Revolution players, executives, front office staff, its supporters groups and fans will join MLS WORKS to grow mustaches as members of the club’s Movember team … friends, family and fans are encouraged to show their support for men’s cancer awareness by donating to the Revolution’s Movember team, or to individual MOs’ (mustache growers’) campaigns … the first four Revs players who have committed to becoming MOs and growing mustaches to support Movember’s mission are Kevin Alston, Diego Fagundez, Kelyn Rowe and Chris Tierney … additionally, Revolution president Brian Bilello will grow a mustache for Movember, as well as many of the team’s male front office staff … the Midnight Riders and Rebellion, the team’s two supporters groups, have also committed to making mustaches de rigueur in November, and general fans are also encouraged to join the Revs’ team … information about joining the Revolution’s Movember team – or donating to the team or individual MOs – is available at www.mobro.co/nerevolution.
THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT INFO
Revolution at Columbus Crew (regular season): 19-29-11
- Saturday’s match is the 60th all-time regular-season meeting, and the 66th overall meeting, between the two clubs … the overall total also includes five MLS Cup playoff meetings and one U.S. Open Cup contest
- Columbus leads the all-time regular-season series between the two teams, 29-19-11
- The Crew leads the series in Columbus, with a 16-7-6 advantage in matches played in Ohio, including an 11-6-6 mark in matches at Crew Stadium
- Columbus also holds a 13-12-5 advantage in matches played in Foxborough, including a 7-8-4 mark at Gillette Stadium
- Saturday’s match marks the third and final regular-season meeting between the two clubs this season … on July 20, Jose Goncalves scored the game-winner in stoppage time and Diego Fagundez added an insurance goal minutes later to give the Revs a 2-0 win Crew Stadium … Fagundez then scored the game-winner in the second meeting as the Revs earned a 3-2 win at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 19.
- A win in Columbus on Sunday would give the Revs their first regular-season series sweep of Columbus since 2005
- New England has won just five times in its last 17 meetings with Columbus dating back to the 2007 season … the Revs are 5-8-4 in that stretch
- The Revs’ last season-series victory over the Crew came in 2006, when the Revolution went 2-1-1 against Columbus
- Outside of MLS competition, the Revs are 3-0-3 against the Crew, including MLS Cup Playoff (2-0-3) and U.S. Open Cup (1-0-0) matches
- Chad Barrett is the team’s current leading scorer against Columbus with three goals and three assists in 14 games against the Crew … he scored one goal each with the Chicago Fire (2007), Toronto FC (2009) and LA Galaxy (2011)
- Andy Dorman has scored three goals and added three assists against the Crew … Dorman had the game-winning assist in the team’s 3-2 win on Oct. 19
- Diego Fagundez has scored two goals and added one assist in six appearances against the Crew … Fagundez had the game-winner in the team’s 3-2 win on Oct. 19
- Seven current players have scored one goal against Columbus: Lee Nguyen, Jerry Bengtson, Jose Goncalves, Ryan Guy, Dimitry Imbongo, A.J. Soares and Chris Tierney
- Lee Nguyen has also recorded two assists against the Crew, both coming in the July 20, 2013 win at Crew Stadium
- Jose Goncalves’ goal was the game-winning goal in stoppage time on July 20
- Kelyn Rowe and Dimitry Imbongo have both recorded one assist against the Crew
- Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis has started all but one of his 31 appearances against the Crew, going 9-10-10 with seven shutouts and a 1.47 goals against average
- Bobby Shuttleworth has made two career appearances against Columbus, posting a 1-1-0 record with one shutout and a 1.50 goals against average