FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Back home after a six-day swing through the tri-state area, the New England Revolution will wrap up their busy week on Saturday night when they host league-leading Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium.
Kickoff between the Revs (4-5-5, 17 pts.) and TFC (8-1-5, 29 pts.) is set for 7:30 p.m., with Brad Feldman, Paul Mariner and Naoko Funayama handling the English call on CSN New England and 98.5 The Sports Hub. Portuguese radio listeners can tune into WMVX 1570 AM Nossa Radio USA.
Revolution Postgame Live will begin immediately after the final whistle on CSN New England, while host Matt McCarthy and analyst Shalrie Joseph will take calls for 30 minutes after the match on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Saturday night will be the Revolution’s first official Pride Night at Gillette Stadium, as the club has teamed up with both the Midnight Riders and Boston Pride to celebrate inclusion, diversity and a unified community.
Current Form: Revs cap two-game road trip with dramatic point in New York City
A gutsy 86th-minute equalizer from Xavier Kouassi – hobbled after suffering a quad injury just minutes prior – helped the Revs close out their two-game road trip through New York and New Jersey on a positive note, as they battled back twice to claim a 2-2 draw with New York City FC on Wednesday night.
The result was a boost for the Revs as they return home to Foxborough, where they’ll play five of their next seven games through the end of July. Throughout the next two months the Revs will look to build upon the form that has seen them go 8-0-2 in their last 10 games at Gillette Stadium dating back to last September.
“Every time we come back home, we feel really confident in the way we can play and the style which we play,” said right back Andrew Farrell, who returned from suspension to start against NYCFC on Wednesday. “After a long week on the road, it feels good to be home, and we’re looking forward to Saturday.”
Toronto FC sit alone atop the MLS standings, having lost just once through their first 14 games and with a league-best goal differential of plus-14. Greg Vanney’s side is also currently the hottest in MLS, with a 7-0-1 mark in their last eight league games.
Perhaps most impressively, TFC have maintained their form despite injuries and international absences forcing them to dig into their depth on multiple occasions.
“They’re winning games on the road, they’re dangerous at home; they’re just pretty much a complete team,” said Revs head coach Jay Heaps. “They’ve made some key additions. They’ve got the three pillars in their [Designated Players], but they really went out and added key pieces, and the players within the league that they added last year are really coming to fruition.”
Past Meetings: Revs’ eight-game unbeaten run vs. TFC snapped in most recent meeting
New England found loads of success against Toronto from 2013 to 2015, on both sides of the border. The Revs were an unbeaten 5-0-2 in seven meetings with TFC through those three years, and they added another draw to that record with a 1-1 stalemate in Foxborough last April.
The Canadian side finally snapped that string in the clubs’ most recent meeting last August, however, as a Sebastian Giovinco hat trick powered TFC to a 4-1 win at BMO Field.
But Saturday’s match will be at Gillette Stadium, where the Revs are 7-2-4 all-time against Toronto FC, including 2-0-2 in their last four matchups.
Injury Report: Kouassi sidelined by quad strain; Bunbury suspended for a second game
Kouassi’s warrior-like performance at the end of Wednesday night’s draw with NYCFC no doubt endeared him to Revolution supporters, but the quad injury that the 27-year-old midfielder battled through in the final 10 minutes will unfortunately keep him out of Saturday night’s meeting with TFC.
“He laid it all out on the line; he couldn’t walk at the end,” Heaps said of Kouassi’s performance at Yankee Stadium. “It doesn’t look great in terms of turning around and being able to play on Saturday. We’re just hoping it’s not a long-term injury.”
Teal Bunbury will join Kouassi on the sidelines this weekend as the Revs’ forward serves the second game of a two-game suspension, following an incident late in New England’s 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls last weekend.
Toronto FC will be without DPs Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley – both on international duty with the U.S. National Team – as well as defender Nick Hagglund (torn MCL) and midfielder Marky Delgado (suspension), but Giovinco returned from injury in Wednesday night’s 4-0 win over the Ottawa Fury in a Canadian Championship semifinal.
Final Thoughts: Heaps says Revs have to “find a way” to power through busy week
“There’s going to be some tired guys and there’s going to be guys that need to just find a way – will it – because we’re going to have to use guys that played 90 minutes in two consecutive games within a week,” said Heaps.
“We just tried to balance certain guys that we felt like needed it, and at the same time, guys that we know can go three games are going to have to go three games.”