FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Viernes de Futbol is coming to Gillette Stadium.
For the first time in almost eight years the New England Revolution (0-1-3, 3 pts.) will host a Friday night match as the rival New York Red Bulls (1-2-0, 3 pts.) will visit Foxborough to kick off the weekend. The action starts at 7 p.m., with national TV coverage on UniMas. Information on how to find UniMas in your area is available HERE.
Radio listeners can catch the local call with Brad Feldman and Paul Mariner on 98.5 The SportsHub HD2 (listen live HERE) or the Portuguese call on WMVX 1570 AM Nossa Radio USA.
Current Form: Snake-bitten in recent weeks, Revs looking to turn chances into goals
It was a common refrain for the Revolution last weekend at Yankee Stadium, where they created enough quality chances to win the game, but failed to find the finishing touch in a 1-1 draw.
The Revs now have three draws from their opening four games and on Friday night against the Red Bulls they’ll be hoping to once again generate those types of chances, but with a different end product. If they can find that quality in the final third, they’ll give themselves an opportunity to pick up their first win of the 2016 campaign.
“When we get the offense clicking and the defense clicking at the same time, I think we’ll be good,” said Andrew Farrell. “We’ve shown that when we’re sound defensively, we can shut a good team out. When we’re scoring goals, we can score against any team. We’ve just got to get those two things on the same page.”
Fresh off last year’s Supporters’ Shield triumph the Red Bulls started the current season with a pair of shutout losses, but rebounded in their last match, a come-from-behind, 4-3 win over the Houston Dynamo. Felipe scored a pair of late, long-range goals on the night, earning MLS Player of the Week honors in the process.
Past Meetings: Revs aim to continue historic home dominance over the Red Bulls
Home teams have historically dominated the all-time series between the Revs and Red Bulls, with the Revolution going 20-5-7 at home but just 8-18-8 in New Jersey. The home team has won each of the last four regular-season meetings, including a pair of Revolution victories at Gillette Stadium last season.
New York’s only win in their last 20 visits to Foxborough was in June 2014, when they secured a 2-0 win just before the World Cup break. The Revs responded with their only win at Red Bull Arena when it mattered most, however, claiming a 2-1 victory in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Championship that year.
Injury Report: Nguyen back from USMNT duty, but both Koffie and Watson suspended
Lee Nguyen missed last weekend’s draw in NYC while with the U.S. National Team for a pair of World Cup qualifiers, although he didn’t feature as the Americans split a home-and-home set with Guatemala. On the bright side, he should have fresh legs as he returns to the Revolution for Friday night’s meeting with the Red Bulls.
Right back Je-Vaughn Watson also returns from national team duty with Jamaica, but he’ll now have to serve a one-game suspension for the red card he received two weeks ago in Philadelphia. Central midfielder Gershon Koffie is also suspended after he was ejected last weekend at Yankee Stadium.
London Woodberry stepped in for Watson on the backline against NYCFC, but replacing Koffie is a tricky task as the hard-nosed midfielder brings a unique bite to the center of the park.
“He’s been an important piece since the day he arrived and fit in with the group,” Jay Heaps said of Koffie. “He’s a competitor and he adds a lot of bite in the middle … He’s able to spring balls and help us gain possession, but then a possession leads to an attack.
“We’re going to miss him, but I feel strongly that we’ve got guys who are going to be ready to go come Friday.”
The Red Bulls will be missing four players on Friday night, all through injury, including a trio of center backs in Damien Perrinelle (knee), Gideon Baah (hamstring) and Ronald Zubar (hamstring). Midfielder Gonzalo Veron (hamstring) is also currently sidelined.
Final Thoughts: After playing three of four on the road, Revs ready for home cooking
“At home, you have to get wins,” said Heaps, who was disappointed to only take one point from the home opener against D.C. United three weeks ago. “When you have the opportunity to play a team at home, in-conference, we have to be up for it and we have to be looking to take three points.”