FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – This weekend presents a second straight road test for the New England Revolution, who’ll visit Columbus Crew SC on Saturday night at MAPFRE Stadium.
New England (2-3-4, 10 pts.) and Columbus (4-4-1, 13 pts.) will kick off at 7:30 p.m., with Brad Feldman and Paul Mariner calling the game 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 Matt McCarthy and Shalrie Joseph will take your calls postgame on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Current Form: Revs pressing forward after learning “a good lesson” in Seattle
Last weekend’s trip to CenturyLink Field produced a second road point for the Revolution, but the manner in which the match unfolded made for an unsatisfactory flight home.
A long-range opener from Daigo Kobayashi and a pair of goals from Juan Agudelo pushed the visitors into a 3-0 lead heading into the final 15 minutes, but Seattle Sounders FC responded with three goals in quick succession to force a share of the points in a 3-3 draw.
“It was a good lesson that we learned,” said Agudelo, currently tied for second on the MLS goal-scoring chart with six on the season. “Tough way to learn it, because we were up 3-0, but it’s a good lesson that we learned.
“We take a couple positive things that we’ve done and understand that in this league, with the skill that other teams have, we still have to play soccer to finish out games.”
The prevailing sentiment among players was that tired legs played a factor in the late breakdown, as the Revs spent large portions of the game defending wave after wave of Seattle attack.
“We lost almost all energy defending,” said Antonio Delamea. “This kind of thing, we need to improve. We need to show more focus, more composure on holding the ball so we can rest.”
Columbus have suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this year, including their first home defeat last weekend at the hands of New York City FC. Crew SC have nevertheless been strong at MAPFRE Stadium, where they boast a 3-1-1 record on the young season.
“Columbus is a really good team,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “They have such a style about them and they can adapt and do different things. We know we’re going to have to be prepared and want to play our game when we can, but try to figure out what they’re going to do, as well.”
Past Meetings: Columbus have claimed control of the series in recent years
Columbus have had something of an upper hand in the regular-season series with New England in recent years, winning three of the last four meetings dating back to 2015, including a pair of games at MAPFRE Stadium.
The Revolution’s last win in Columbus was a big one, however, as they rolled to a 4-2 triumph in the first leg of an Eastern Conference Semifinal in 2014 en route to a 7-3 aggregate victory in the series.
Injury Report: Tierney (hip) back in the mix after missing last weekend’s trip to Seattle
Chris Tierney missed out on last weekend’s visit to the Pacific Northwest while dealing with hip irritation, but the veteran left back has returned to full health and was a full participant in training this week.
That leaves the Revs with an empty injury report for the sixth time in the last eight weeks.
“We’re excited to have more guys back,” said Heaps.
Final Thoughts: Delamea says Revs “need to show more bravery” in Columbus
“We need to show more bravery,” Delamea said. “We need to be more sharp; the whole team. We need to play more. We need to keep possession. If we keep possession, they will get tired. When we can push our defensive line higher, then it’s also easier for us, because when you’re under pressure almost 90 minutes of the game, it’s very exhausting for the whole team.”