FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – For the second time in just six weeks the New England Revolution will link up with longtime rival D.C. United as the original MLS sides will meet at RFK Stadium on Saturday evening.
Kickoff between the Revs (1-1-5, 8 pts.) and United (1-3-3, 6 pts.) is set for 5:30 p.m., with local coverage available on both CSN and 98.5 The Sports Hub. Radio listeners can also catch the call in Portuguese on WMVX 1570 AM Nossa Radio USA.
After the final whistle 98.5 The Sports Hub will have the postgame show, with Rich Keefe hosting and analysis from Revolution legend Shalrie Joseph.
Current Form: Wild finish in Orlando leaves Revs with five draws from seven games
Sunday afternoon’s crazy finish at the Citrus Bowl – the Revs and Orlando City SC traded controversial stoppage-time goals in a captivating 2-2 draw – earned New England yet another point on their travels. They’ve now drawn three of their four road games this season, with the only loss coming while shorthanded in Philadelphia.
In total the Revs have now played to a league-high five draws through their first seven games – no other team in the league has more than three ties – and while they’ve been happy with their ability to grind out points away from home, they’re now looking to take the next step and turn some of those draws into wins.
“We’re a team that if we do get those breaks and we get those opportunities, we want to be able to finish teams off,” said Jay Heaps. “It’s about getting that confidence. I think once we get a full performance start to finish, with goals and the entire package all the way through, I think you’re going to see us take that huge step forward.”
D.C.’s recent results have been the definition of a mixed bag. Three weeks ago they conceded a late goal at Avaya Stadium but earned a crucial road point in a 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes, then followed that up with a 4-0 demolition of the Vancouver Whitecaps back at RFK Stadium.
But last week they fell victim to a 1st-minute goal from Sebastian Giovinco in a 1-0 loss to Toronto FC – also at RFK Stadium – dropping United’s home record to just 1-2-1 on the season. In that loss D.C. head coach Ben Olsen violated the league’s policy on entering the field of play and will be suspended for Saturday’s match.
Past Meetings: Revs felt they “dropped points” in 0-0 draw with D.C. six weeks ago
Including regular season, postseason and U.S. Open Cup contests, this weekend’s meeting will be the 77th all-time between the Revolution and United, who first met on April 27, 1996, almost 20 years ago to the day.
The most recent meeting was just six weeks ago when the Revs hosted D.C. in their 2016 home opener, and despite outshooting the visitors 18-8, New England couldn’t break through in a 0-0 draw.
Saturday will also be the Revolution’s first visit to RFK Stadium since last year’s playoff exit, when Juan Agudelo’s spectacular sidewinding goal was cancelled out in an eventual 2-1 loss. It’s been six months since that defeat, however, and the Revs won’t be hung up on the result this weekend.
“Guys have moved forward,” said Bobby Shuttleworth. “Everybody knows how last season finished and it wasn’t good enough, but I think that is kind of out of our brains. We’ve got to step in there fresh and try to put on a good performance.”
Injury Report: Agudelo and Goncalves both potentially back in the mix for trip to D.C.
The Revs are hopeful that two key pieces will make their returns this weekend as both Juan Agudelo and Jose Goncalves are on the mend after missing time in recent weeks.
Agudelo has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury and Goncalves didn’t make the trip to Orlando because of knee irritation, but both are listed as “questionable” after returning to training this week.
United currently have three goalkeepers on their injury report – Bill Hamid, Andrew Dykstra and Charlie Horton – along with defender Chris Korb and midfielder Collin Martin. All five are listed as “out” for Saturday’s game.
Still, D.C. are much healthier than they were when these sides met on March 12, particularly with both Fabian Espindola and Patrick Nyarko back in the mix.
Final Thoughts: Farrell says Revs must “limit the mistakes” in their quest for wins
“We definitely want to win,” Andrew Farrell said of the recent string of draws. “It’s tough in this league. It’s crazy how some games you can go a full 90 minutes – kind of like the last time we played D.C., when we thought we could’ve gotten three points. Now we’ve just got to finish our chances, we’ve got to keep them off (the scoreboard) and limit the mistakes.
“It’s being 100 percent focused throughout the whole time. If there’s one lapse, maybe they’ll get a goal, or a call, or a penalty against you. But if you keep the 11, the goals will come, the results will come and the three points will come.”