FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – A pair of teams aiming to get back on track will do battle at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night, when the New England Revolution host the LA Galaxy.
The Revs (5-9-5, 20 pts.) and Galaxy (6-9-4, 22 pts.) will get underway at 7:30 p.m. and the match will be broadcast live on NBC Boston, marking the first time an over-the-air network affiliate in Boston will broadcast a Revolution match. For viewers outside the metro Boston area, CSN New England will also have live coverage.
Radio listeners can catch the action on 98.5 The Sports Hub (English) and WMVX 1570 AM (Portuguese).
Revolution Postgame Live, featuring Brad Feldman, Paul Mariner and Naoko Funayama, will begin immediately after the final whistle on both NBC Boston and CSN New England (outside metro Boston).
Current Form: Revs, Galaxy both in need of points after difficult start to summer
Saturday night’s showdown comes at a critical time for New England and LA as both sides have dropped four straight league games entering the weekend.
The Revs most recently suffered a pair of home losses to the New York Red Bulls – one league match and a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal – conceding the game-winning goal in the dying stages on both occasions.
New England will rely upon their home-field advantage on Saturday night – all five of their wins this year have come at Gillette Stadium – but they’ll need to turn things around in Foxborough, having dropped their last two league games in front of the home fans.
“I believe in this team, and I hope we won’t disappoint our fans, who have been amazing this season,” said Antonio Delamea. “We feel really sorry for everything that’s going on right now, but football is like that. We all need to stay positive and come out of this together.”
The Galaxy have also lost four straight league games, including three at home, most recently on Wednesday night when they dropped a 1-0 result to the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps.
But while LA have struggled mightily at home, they’ve been strong on the road, putting together the league’s best record away from home with a mark of 5-3-1.
“They make good decisions on the road of how to beat teams, and how to come in and have a good game plan,” said Revs head coach Jay Heaps. “We understand that we’re fighting for our lives here as we have (our next) two games at home. Each of them is going to be more important than the next, because we just have to get points at home.”
Past Meetings: Cross-country foes have recent history of high-scoring affairs
Goals are to be expected on Saturday night as the Revs and Galaxy have combined for at least four goals in each of their last five regular-season meetings, including a 4-2 win for LA in the only meeting last year.
The sides have split those five meetings – two wins apiece with one draw – with the Revolution outscoring the Galaxy by a margin of 13-12 in that span. Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe have largely been New England’s catalysts in recent meetings with LA.
That draw was the last time the Galaxy visited Gillette Stadium, as Fagundez and Teal Bunbury helped the Revs come from behind and the teams finished level at 2-2.
Injury Report: Rowe returns from Gold Cup duty; Kouassi inching closer to return
New England will receive a massive boost on Saturday night with the return of Kelyn Rowe, who impressed during his first-ever senior international call-up with the U.S. National Team. Rowe bagged one goal and one assist while starting a pair of games in the CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage.
Xavier Kouassi could also soon provide a lift as he gets closer to a return from the quad injury that has sidelined him since late May.
“It’s good to have them back,” said Delamea. “They can give us this extra energy, extra strength on the field. We will use them and I think with them, we will all be better.”
Kouassi is currently listed as questionable on the Revolution’s official injury report, as is Daigo Kobayashi, who has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury.
Juan Agudelo (USMNT) and Je-Vaughn Watson (Jamaica), meanwhile, remain on Gold Cup Duty as their respective countries have both reached the semifinals.
Final Thoughts: “It’s going to have to be everybody” to get Revs back on track
“It’s not just one player; it’s got to be the collective,” Heaps said when asked what it will take for the Revs to bust out of their slump. “Players holding themselves accountable, holding the group accountable, and working together, stop pointing fingers, and really use the group to get the result.
“One guy is not going to be able to change the entire course of the results. It’s going to have to be everybody.”