FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – A brand new opponent in a brand new stadium awaits the New England Revolution on Wednesday night, when they’ll kick off a two-game road trip by visiting expansion side Atlanta United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
With seven games remaining just four points separate the Revs (10-12-5, 35 pts.) from Atlanta (11-8-6, 39 pts.), who currently occupy the coveted sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET, with Brad Feldman and Paul Mariner handling the call on CSN New England and 98.5 The Sports Hub. Revolution Postgame Live will begin immediately after the final whistle on CSN New England.
Fans can watch the game alongside fellow Revolution supporters at the club’s official watch party at Buffalo Wild Wings in Mansfield (321 School Street, Mansfield, MA 02048).
Current Form: After staying red-hot at home, Revs once again look to end their road hex
Lee Nguyen’s ninth goal of the season was enough for the Revs to claim three vital points in a 1-0 win over the Montreal Impact last weekend at Gillette Stadium. It was New England’s fifth straight win at home and their fourth consecutive clean sheet in Foxborough, where they’ve put together a sterling 10-2-2 record on the season.
The task now, of course, is to translate that success to the road, which has been easier said than done this season. The Revs head to Atlanta still in search of their first road win of the year, having gone 0-10-3 in their first 13 trips away from New England.
“We need an away win,” said Teal Bunbury, who assisted on Nguyen’s game-winner last weekend. “In order to make the playoffs, I don’t think it’s going to be possible for us to not have an away win. This is a great time to do that, in Atlanta, where they’re a good team and we essentially just need three points.”
Atlanta have solidified that sixth spot in the East with a strong run of form, going 5-1-3 in their last nine games, including a 3-0 win over FC Dallas in the grand opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
With yet another crowd of more than 40,000 expected for Wednesday night’s showdown, the Revs will be looking to quiet down a group of supporters who’ll no doubt be loud from the opening whistle.
“I think it brings the best out of players when you’re going into an away game, especially when you know that their fans usually are going to be pretty rowdy, pretty loud,” said Bunbury. “We’ll try to silence them. But we’ve got to kind of get rid of that kind of stuff and really focus on ourselves, because we really just need the win.”
Past Meetings: New England and Atlanta set to square off for the first time
Wednesday night’s match will be the first-ever between the Revolution and Atlanta United FC, who began play as an MLS expansion club earlier this year.
New England last faced an expansion team on March 25 when they welcomed Minnesota United FC to Gillette Stadium, where they rolled out 5-2 winners courtesy of four first-half goals.
Overall the Revs are 6-4-4 in their first-ever meetings with expansion sides.
Injury Report: Rowe remains sidelined, but Revs largely healthy down the stretch run
Kelyn Rowe will miss his fourth straight game on Wednesday night as he continues to recover from a right knee sprain, but otherwise the Revs appear to be largely healthy ahead of the season’s final six weeks.
Diego Fagundez returned from a quad strain to play 33 minutes in the win over Montreal, and the dynamic winger has deemed himself 100 percent fit ahead of the trip to Atlanta.
“I think I’m 100 percent, but of course I want to make sure I’m good to go and no injuries happen again,” Fagundez said. “If you don’t take care of your body, then later on it’s going to get worse. I think they did a good job just waiting and little by little getting better. When I had my chance to get in, I felt 100 percent and they gave me the chance.”
Final Thoughts: Revs preparing themselves for a “fast-paced” Atlanta attack
“They throw a lot of numbers forward and they go at a fast pace,” Scott Caldwell said of Atlanta. “We know we have to deal with that. Once we take care of them and their attack, then we can counter them and see the holes that they leave behind. But they’re a fast-paced team going forward and throw a lot of numbers into the attack.”