DENVER – A largely successful two-game homestand put the New England Revolution back on track ahead of this weekend’s visit to the Mile High City, where they’ll take on the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.
Kickoff from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park between the Revs (1-2-1, 4 pts.) and Rapids (0-0-3, 3 pts.) is set for 7 p.m. ET, with local television coverage on WSBK myTV38. Radio listeners can catch the call in English on 98.5 FM HD2 and cbsbostonsports.com, or in Portuguese on WMVX 1570 AM Nossa Radio USA.
Current Form: Momentum slowly building for revitalized Revs; Rapids make MLS history
A determined performance from Kelyn Rowe (two goals on a career-high seven shots) helped spark the Revs to their first win of the season last weekend, a 2-1 triumph over the San Jose Earthquakes. Another strong defensive effort made Rowe’s goals stand up as the Revs conceded just once (from the penalty spot) in two home games.
Not only did the victory provide the Revs with three critical points to close the month of March, but it also offered a much-needed confidence boost after a frustratingly slow start to the 2015 campaign.
“It’s going to take some time. We didn’t have the longest offseason, so we’ve got to take it game by game,” said Charlie Davies, who made his first start of 2015 last weekend. “With a win, that always gets everybody feeling that much better. The energy is there and now we can hopefully build off this last win and continue to keep it going.”
One week after scoring their first goals of the season, the Revs now face the difficult task of breaking down the only team in MLS still boasting an unblemished defensive record. In fact, the Rapids are not only the lone MLS side yet to concede a goal – they’re also the only team yet to score a goal.
Colorado has kicked off the campaign with three straight 0-0 draws – the first team in the league’s 20-year history to do so – and it makes them a miserly opponent for the rejuvenated Revs.
“It just says how difficult they are to play against,” said Davies. “They’re a tough team that doesn’t give up goals. They’re going to grind, they’re going to battle and that’s kind of the identity around Colorado – a team that’s going to fight you until the end.
“We expect a difficult task, a difficult challenge and we have to rise to the occasion like we have this year and last year, so we’re looking forward to it.”
Past Meetings: Revs visit Dick’s Sporting Goods Park hoping to break their Colorado curse
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – and Colorado in general – has never been kind to the Revolution.
Since the venue opened in 2007 the Revs are winless (0-3-3) at DSG Park, simply adding to the struggles they’ve faced in Colorado throughout the years. New England have won just three times on 20 previous visits to the Centennial State (3-13-4) and haven’t tasted victory here since June 15, 2002, almost 13 years ago.
The Revs did, however, beat the Rapids in the only meeting between these two sides last year, snapping out of their summer swoon with a 3-0 win at Gillette Stadium on July 30.
Incidentally, that game last July began what’s turned into a 17-game winless run for the Rapids.
Injury Report: Bunbury back after missing three games; Jones and Alston also progressing
Slowly but surely the once injury-hit Revolution are nearing full health.
Teal Bunbury, sidelined for the past three games after spraining his right shoulder in the season opener, will likely be available for selection on Saturday after Jay Heaps declared the powerful winger ready for action.
Heaps also revealed that Jermaine Jones isn’t far off from a return as the influential midfielder eases his way back into training after missing extended time while recovering from sports hernia surgery. Jones’ status has been declared “day-to-day,” and he’s steadily increased his workload since re-joining the Revs late last week.
While it’s unclear whether Jones will be fit enough to feature this weekend, it appears as if Kevin Alston could be back in the reckoning after missing a pair of games with a right hamstring strain. The outside back has resumed full training and was not listed on the club’s official injury report in the buildup to this weekend.
Final Thoughts: Revs wary of Rapids side in search of first goal, win of 2015
“They’re playing at home and they’re looking to win,” Jose Goncalves said of the Rapids. “It’s dangerous because a team which doesn’t have any [wins] is desperate to make anything happen.
“We must stay calm and take the chances we will have, even if we don’t have a lot of chances. We must be very prepared and focused on this game because they will take anything they can take.”