FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Another road trip looms large for the New England Revolution this weekend as they’ll visit fellow MLS original D.C. United on Saturday night at RFK Stadium.
Kickoff between the Revs (8-11-5, 29 pts.) and United (7-15-4, 25 pts.) is set for 7 p.m., with coverage in English on CSN New England and 98.5 The Sports Hub, and in Portuguese on WMVX 1570 AM. Revolution Postgame Live will begin immediately after the final whistle on CSN New England.
Revolution fans can catch the action alongside their fellow supporters at the club’s official watch party, hosted at the Rose Alley Ale House (94 Front Street, New Bedford, MA 02740).
Current Form: Revs aiming to close out month of August with first road win
New England’s quest for a first road win continues on Saturday night after a heartbreaking setback last weekend in the Bronx, where Teal Bunbury’s fifth goal in the past six games had the Revs on course for victory only for them to concede a pair of late goals in a 2-1 loss to New York City FC.
It was the fourth time in 12 road games that the Revolution have held a second-half lead, but they’re just 0-3-1 in those matches, leaving players and coaches to work on a 90-minute mentality ahead of their trip to D.C.
“It’s been really difficult on the road, to be honest,” said Kei Kamara. “Hopefully we can find something to turn that around, because it’s that point of the season where your road wins or your road points are really, really big.
“It’s been hard for us to just stay in there. I guess you can say that when anybody comes to our stadium, we kind of give them that same result. We have to find a way to really turn that around.”
D.C. United, meanwhile, sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, but they’ve pulled themselves off the foot of the overall MLS table with back-to-back wins, both 1-0, both via own goals. According to Rick Lawes of MLS, it’s the first time in league history that a team has won consecutive 1-0 games via own goals.
Most recently, D.C. took advantage of a Michael Parkhurst own goal to down Atlanta United on Wednesday night at RFK Stadium. Of DCU’s seven wins this season, three have been against Atlanta.
Those six points in the past seven days have been a major boost for a D.C. side that looks markedly different from the group the Revs saw just two months ago in the U.S. Open Cup.
“They’re a difficult team right now,” said Kamara. “They’re building and they’re changing their lineups and adding some new guys onto the squad. They’re looking to change something around over there.”
Past Meetings: Revs advanced past D.C. in U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 in late June
Diego Fagundez and Brian Wright scored either side of halftime to help the Revs advance past D.C. in the Open Cup Round of 16 on June 28, the last time these two teams met. The sides also played to a 2-2 draw at Gillette Stadium in late April, Lee Nguyen and Juan Agudelo the goal scorers for New England that night.
Aside from their Open Cup triumph the Revs are winless (0-3-3) in their last six regular-season meetings with United, while they’ve lost on five straight trips to RFK Stadium, including a playoff match in 2015.
This could potentially be the Revolution’s last-ever visit to RFK Stadium – D.C. United’s home since the league’s inaugural season in 1996 – as DCU are scheduled to open their new stadium in the spring of 2018.
Injury Report: Rowe (knee sprain), Angoua (suspension) out for trip to D.C.
A right knee sprain suffered in the dying stages of last weekend’s loss to NYCFC will sideline Kelyn Rowe for the next 6-8 weeks, a large chunk of the remainder of the regular season. It’s a tough blow for both the Revs and Rowe, who had recorded three assists in five appearances since returning for Gold Cup duty.
Also out for Saturday night’s match is defender Benjamin Angoua, who’ll serve a one-game suspension for yellow-card accumulation.
There is good news for Diego Fagundez, Xavier Kouassi and Lee Nguyen, however, as all three have trained full this week after injury scares in the Bronx.
Krisztian Nemeth, meanwhile, continues to push his fitness as he aims to make his Revolution debut.
Final Thoughts: Delamea and Dielna continue to build center back partnership
“We trained hard last week to get it there, but I thought the ultimate test was the game,” head coach Jay Heaps said of the central defensive partnership between Antonio Delamea and Claude Dielna. “I thought the two of them really did a nice job with communicating, but also managing the backline, and playing some key balls into the midfield. They were, for me, two bright spots from the game.”