FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New York City FC will pay their first-ever visit to Gillette Stadium on Saturday night when the New England Revolution hosts the expansion side in a critical Eastern Conference clash.
Kickoff between the Revs (6-9-6, 24 pts.) and NYCFC (5-8-6, 21 pts.) is set for 7:30 p.m., with Comcast SportsNet and 98.5 The Sports Hub covering the game in English and WMVX 1570 AM “Nossa Radio USA” handling the call in Portuguese.
Stay tuned to CSNNE after the game for Revolution Postgame Live.
Fans attending Saturday night’s match are encouraged to stay after the final whistle to cheer on the New England Revolution Unified Team and New York City FC Unified Team as the sides play a Special Olympics Unified match. All spectators who stay will be asked to move to The Fort and sections in the northwest corner.
Current Form: Fifth straight loss drops Revs to sixth in East; NYCFC lurks three points back
New England couldn’t recover from a dismal start – conceding three goals in the opening 12 minutes – en route a 4-1 loss last weekend at Red Bull Arena, their sixth straight loss in all competitions.
Just one win in their last 12 league games has seen the Revs drop from second in the East down to sixth, three points ahead of ninth-place NYCFC in a crowded Eastern Conference. That run of form prompted the players to hold a team meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss what needs to happen to turn the tides.
“Nobody feels sorry for us,” said Jeremy Hall. “At the end of the day, we’ve just got to go out there and grind and do whatever it takes to win. We know that. We’re all professionals and we’ve been doing this for a while. We’re staying positive and hopefully it can turn around this weekend.”
If the Revolution have been one of the league’s colder teams in recent weeks, New York City FC has likely been the hottest. After winning just once in their first 13 games as an organization, NYCFC has gone 4-1-1 in the last six games to climb to within three points of a playoff spot in the East.
Spanish striker David Villa has led the way with 10 goals this season, eight of which have come in NYCFC’s last seven games. He’ll soon be joined by Italian legend Andrea Pirlo and English star Frank Lampard, although neither will be available for this weekend’s game.
Past Meetings: NYCFC picked up first-ever win over Revs in home debut back in March
Saturday night will mark New York City FC’s first-ever visit to Gillette Stadium, where the Revs saw their 17-game home unbeaten run snapped last time out against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
These sides did, however, meet once before in the second game of the season back in mid-March. Villa and former Revolution forward Patrick Mullins scored to lift NYCFC to a 2-0 victory that afternoon, as the expansion side picked up their first-ever win in their home debut at Yankee Stadium.
The last time the Revolution hosted an expansion team was back in 2012 when the Montreal Impact visited Gillette Stadium. Sanna Nyassi’s goal earned the visitors a 1-0 victory.
Injury Report: Goncalves suspension further handcuffs shorthanded backline
With Kevin Alston (hamstring), Darrius Barnes (knee surgery) and Jermaine Jones (hernia surgery) all sidelined by injury, New England’s options were already limited along the backline. Add in the suspension of center back Jose Goncalves – red carded in the late stages of last weekend’s loss to New York – and the Revs are left with just four healthy, available defenders for Saturday night’s game.
Andrew Farrell, Jeremy Hall, Chris Tierney and London Woodberry are likely to comprise New England’s backline this weekend, while converted midfielder Donnie Smith provides another option for head coach Jay Heaps.
Final Thoughts: Revs prepared to “step up” in front of large expected home crowd
“We used to pride ourselves on getting results at home, and recently it hasn’t been good enough, whether it’s on the road or at home,” said Farrell. “Being home, we want to do well.
“We always want to win every game and it hasn’t been good enough the past month-and-a-half, two months. So we know the importance of this game and we’re going to step up for it.”