FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It’s a time of transition for the New England Revolution, who’ll play their first game under interim head coach Tom Soehn on Saturday evening when league-leading Toronto FC visit Gillette Stadium.
Kickoff between the Revs (10-14-5, 35 pts.) and TFC (18-4-8, 62 pts.) is set for 5 p.m., with Brad Feldman, Paul Mariner and Naoko Funayama handling the call 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 Pregame Live with Gabriella DiGiovanni and Jeff Lemieux will stream live on the Revolution’s Facebook page at 4:30 p.m., while Revolution Postgame Live will begin immediately after the final whistle on CSN New England. Rob “Hardy” Poole and Shalrie Joseph will take calls postgame on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Current Form: Revs aiming to rebound after “nightmare two games” on the road
Last week’s two-game road trip through Atlanta and Kansas City could not have been more frustrating for the Revs, who saw early red cards derail their chances in both matches en route to a pair of losses. In the end, last Saturday’s setback in KC turned out to be the last match of Jay Heaps’ six-year tenure as Revs head coach.
With Soehn now at the helm New England will go in search of a response this weekend at home, where they’re 10-2-2 on the season and have won five straight games, the last four via shutout.
“[The road trip] was a nightmare two games to be completely honest,” said veteran left back Chris Tierney. “It was ill disciplined from us. Some mistakes that cost the team as a whole, and it’s simple things that we can control as players.
“There has to be a response at this point. There’s really no other way to go but up. I think you’ll expect to see a more disciplined and more focused team this weekend.”
Toronto FC, meanwhile, recently strung together six straight wins, all by multiple goals – the first team in MLS history to accomplish such a feat. Greg Vanney’s side is now a remarkable 17-3-4 since mid-April, and they’re pushing to set the mark for best regular-season record in league history, even after suffering their first home loss of the season on Wednesday night against the Montreal Impact.
“They’re the best team in the league,” Tierney said of TFC. “They have depth in the squad, they’ve been rotating their team successfully all year, so it’s hard to get an idea of what they’re going to bring.
“But this game is going to be completely about us. We’re playing the best opposition in the league, but if we approach this game properly and give a response that’s deserving of this situation, then we should be able to get a result.”
Past Meetings: Revs handed TFC one of four losses this year at Gillette Stadium
Toronto FC have lost just four times through 30 games, but their heaviest defeat came at the hands of the Revolution, a 3-0 win for New England on June 3 at Gillette Stadium. Benjamin Angoua, Diego Fagundez and Juan Agudelo scored for the Revs, who are unbeaten in their last five home games vs. TFC (3-0-2).
New England did drop a 2-0 result in Toronto in their most recent meeting on June 23, but overall the Revs are 6-2-2 in their last 10 meetings with their neighbors to the north.
Injury Report: Németh suspended, Rowe progressing in recovery from knee sprain
Krisztián Németh will be unavailable this weekend while serving a one-game suspension after the forward was ejected just 11 minutes into his first Revolution start last weekend in Kansas City.
Kelyn Rowe, meanwhile, continues to make steady progress in his recovery from a right knee sprain, having missed the last five games.
Final Thoughts: “We’re going to give it everything we have”
“Until we’re mathematically eliminated, it’s always a reality,” Soehn said of the playoffs. “All we can focus on is the next game, and obviously we need help along the way. But until we’re eliminated, we’re going to give it everything we have. That’s all we know how to do.”