SEATTLE – A massive test awaits the New England Revolution on Saturday night at CenturyLink Field, where they’ll visit the defending MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders FC for the first and only time this regular season.
Kickoff between the Revs (2-3-3, 9 pts.) and the Sounders (2-2-3, 9 pts.) is set for 10 p.m. ET, with Brad Feldman and Paul Mariner handling the local call in English on CSN New England and 98.5 The Sports Hub. Portuguese radio listeners can catch the action on WMVX 1570 AM Nossa Radio USA.
Revolution Postgame Live will begin immediately after the final whistle on CSN New England, while Rob “Hardy” Poole and Shalrie Joseph will take your calls postgame on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Current Form: Revs aiming to respond on the road after back-to-back draws at home
New England wrapped up a three-games-in-eight-days stretch last week with consecutive games at Gillette Stadium, where they were frustrated in a pair of draws with the San Jose Earthquakes and D.C. United.
While there were positives to take from both matches – another clean sheet against San Jose and a strong second-half response against D.C. – the Revs were left feeling like they’d dropped points, and they’ll be looking to make up the difference this weekend in Seattle.
“I think we’re all going to be hungry,” said Diego Fagundez, who has appeared in 61 consecutive regular-season games for the Revolution. “Two home games that we tied is not what we wanted. We wanted three points from both of those, but sometimes things don’t go your way.
“We all have to recover and make sure that we’re all ready for Saturday’s game against Seattle.”
Road results are hard to come by in MLS, but the Revs have already picked up one vital point in the Pacific Northwest this season, having drawn the Portland Timbers at Providence Park four weeks ago. That’s a result and a performance that the visitors will look to draw upon on Saturday night.
“You’ve got to use your experiences,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “Going to Portland, it was a good result in the sense that we acclimated well to a tough environment. We’re going to need to do the same on Saturday.”
Seattle got their MLS Cup title defense off to a slow start with just one win in their first six games, but they responded in a big way last weekend with a comprehensive 3-0 win over the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center. Nicolas Lodeiro (two goals, three assists) and Jordan Morris (two goals) continue to be threats offensively, while the resurgence of former Revolution forward Clint Dempsey has led the charge.
“Everyone knows Clint well, and he’s always in the mix,” said Dempsey’s former teammate Heaps. “He creates so much for them, and he’s someone who can occupy two or three defenders at a time. That opens up space for Lodeiro and Morris and a lot of their attacking options.”
Past Meetings: Home-field advantage a key factor in Revs-Sounders series
Historically, home sides have dominated the series between New England and Seattle, as both teams have registered just one win and one draw on their opponent’s home ground.
The Revolution’s only win in the Emerald City came on their first-ever visit in 2009, when they snagged a 1-0 victory behind a Shalrie Joseph goal. The Revs also managed a 0-0 draw in 2013, while they’ve suffered losses in three other trips to Seattle.
On the flip side, the Revs are 4-1-1 against the Sounders in Foxborough, including a 2-1 win last May, when Femi Hollinger-Janzen came off the bench to score a late game winner.
Injury Report: Kamara unavailable in Seattle; Tierney (hip irritation) listed as questionable
Kei Kamara, who has appeared in all eight of the Revolution’s games this season (starting seven), will be unavailable for Saturday night’s tilt with Seattle as he and his wife are expecting the birth of their second child.
Chris Tierney, meanwhile, is listed as questionable with hip irritation after appearing off the bench in last weekend’s draw with D.C. United.
Seattle are dealing with quite a few injury concerns, as Chad Marshall (back), Oniel Fisher hamstring) and Nouhou Tolo (shoulder) are all out for this weekend’s contest, while Brad Evans (calf), Aaron Kovar (groin) and Roman Torres (hamstring) are all questionable.
Final Thoughts: Seattle native Rowe expecting “a 90-minute battle” with Sounders
“It’s going to be a tough battle,” said Kelyn Rowe, a Seattle native who’ll play in front of friends and family on Saturday night. “We have to be smart about how we go about the game. It’s not going to be in our hands the whole time. They’re at home, they’re more comfortable.
“I think it’s very similar to Portland. It’s going to be a battle, and it’s going to be one that’s going to be a 90-minute battle, rather than a 45- to 70-minute battle.”