FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Six points will be up for grabs in the next four days as the New England Revolution host a pair of games at Gillette Stadium, beginning on Wednesday night against the San Jose Earthquakes.
The only regular-season meeting this year between the Revs (2-3-1, 7 pts.) and Earthquakes (2-2-2, 8 pts.) is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m., with English coverage on CSN New England and 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2. Portuguese radio listeners can catch the call on WMVX 1570 AM Nossa Radio USA.
Revolution Postgame Live will begin immediately after the final whistle on CSN New England.
Current Form: Revs aiming to make it seven straight home wins since last September
Je-Vaughn Watson’s 27th-minute ejection put the Revolution in an early hole last weekend at Toyota Park, where the visitors saw their three-game unbeaten run (2-0-1) end in a 3-0 loss to the Chicago Fire.
Playing with 10 men for more than an hour put extra strain on the Revs at the beginning of a three-games-in-eight-days stretch, meaning head coach Jay Heaps will likely dig into his side’s depth to get through the week.
“We knew it was going to be tough and guys are going to have to step up,” Heaps said after the Revolution’s regen session on Monday morning. “We’re going to have to make sure that some guys recover, and (also) have some fresh legs with some guys that are ready to go.”
New England will have the advantage of being home for the next two games – they’ll close out their busy week on Saturday night against D.C. United – and they’ll have the opportunity to make some history in the process. The Revs have won six consecutive home games dating back to last September, and two more victories this week would surpass the club’s current home-record winning streak of seven games, set in 2004-05.
“We definitely try to make this place a fort,” said Juan Agudelo, who has three goals in two appearances at Gillette Stadium this season. “We don’t want any team to come in here and feel comfortable. We need to make them understand that if they come in here, it’s going to be a battle.”
San Jose, meanwhile, are winless in their last four games (0-2-2) since opening the season with back-to-back home wins. Dating back to last year, the Earthquakes have lost five straight games away from home.
Chris Wondolowski remains dangerous, however, as the man who occupies fourth place on Major League Soccer’s all-time scoring list has already racked up two goals and three assists on the young season.
“He’s a finisher. He’s a goal scorer,” said Kei Kamara, who was a teammate of Wondolowski’s in Houston in 2008 and 2009. “He’s somebody that leads his team really well, and he’s shown it over the years. When you have somebody like that, we really have to pay focus on him.”
Past Meetings: Revs have held upper hand over Earthquakes in recent years
New England’s history with San Jose has been streaky, but the Revs have swung the pendulum in their favor recently with three wins and a draw in their last four meetings.
The Revs had won three straight meetings with the Earthquakes between 2013 and 2015 until their lone meeting last year, a scoreless draw on the Revolution’s first-ever visit to Avaya Stadium. It was in that game that Heaps first deployed the 4-4-2 diamond formation that the Revs have primarily used since.
Injury Report: Revs remain healthy, but Watson suspended following red card
For a fifth straight week the Revolution have been given a clean bill of health with an empty injury report, but they won’t quite have a full squad available on Wednesday night as Watson will serve a one-game suspension after being sent off last weekend in Chicago.
The Earthquakes aren’t quite as healthy, as they’ll be without Quincy Amarikwa (ACL), Harold Cummings (ankle) and Marc Pelosi (knee) for their midweek trip to Foxborough. Both Andres Imperiale (groin) and Simon Dawkins (knee) are listed as questionable.
Final Thoughts: Revolution attackers hungry for goals after frustrating day in Chicago
“It definitely makes me more excited to go out there and possibly get more chances, give more chances and create more chances,” said Agudelo, limited to one off-target shot from distance against the Fire. “It wasn’t a fun game for any of the attacking players. We defended a lot, so hopefully we can have a better game this Wednesday.”