FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution will make their long-awaited return to action on Saturday night when they’ll host fellow MLS original D.C. United at Gillette Stadium.
Both sides last played on June 13, taking an extended break during the group stage of the FIFA World Cup™.
Kickoff between the Revs (6-4-6, 24 pts.) and United (2-6-4, 10 pts.) is set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night. NBC Sports Boston will televise the match and stream the action live on their web site and mobile app, while radio listeners can tune into 98.5 The Sports Hub (English) and 1260 AM Nossa Radio USA (Portuguese).
Elizabeth Pehota and Jeff Lemieux will break down the starting lineups and storylines on Revolution Pregame LIVE, streaming on the Revs’ official Facebook page at 7 p.m. ET, while Revolution Postgame Live will begin immediately after the final whistle on NBC Sports Boston.
Rob “Hardy” Poole and former Revolution midfielder Clyde Simms will handle postgame duties on 98.5 The Sports Hub, taking calls for 30 minutes after the final whistle.
Fans attending Saturday night’s game are encouraged to bring personal care items (combs, shampoo, body wash, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc.), which can be dropped off at donation bins located outside all Gillette Stadium gates. The items will benefit the Boston Children’s Hospital’s various family patient housing facilities.
Current Form: Revs return from break refreshed and carrying a five-game unbeaten run
The 16-day break was the Revolution’s longest stretch between matches in more than two years, providing the players an opportunity to step away from the game and recharge ahead of the season’s second half.
Prior to that break the Revs played six games in a stretch of 19 days, and they’ll carry a five-game unbeaten run in league play (1-0-4) into Saturday night’s meeting with D.C. That includes three straight draws away from home and a come-from-behind win over the New York Red Bulls in their last match at Gillette Stadium.
The Revs haven’t been completely satisfied with their results, however, as they’ve felt all three road draws could’ve very easily been victories, and they’ll be eager to get back to their winning ways this weekend.
“Halfway through the season, we feel good – but we probably should’ve been feeling better, because we let some points slips away from us,” said Diego Fagundez, who could become the youngest player in MLS history to make 200 regular-season appearances this weekend. “It’s like a new start, a new season basically.”
As the Revs kick off a three-game homestand on Saturday night, D.C. United will play their seventh straight road game. In fact, D.C. will play 12 of their first 14 games away from home as they await the opening of Audi Field on July 14, and that’s led to some early-season struggles as they’re just 1-6-3 on the road.
There have been signs of life for Ben Olsen’s side, however, as they played defending champions Toronto FC to a 4-4 draw at BMO Field in their last league match on June 13.
“It’s another team I don’t think you can really look at their point total and their record to see exactly how they perform on a match-by-match basis,” said Revs’ head coach Brad Friedel, noting D.C.’s counterattack and highlighting players like Darren Mattocks, Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta and Yamil Asad. “One thing’s for certain – they’re not going to be an easy matchup at all. We’re going to have to be completely focused if we want to get the three points.”
Past Meetings: Revs aiming to snap seven-game winless run vs. longtime rivals
Saturday night’s meeting will be the 72nd all-time regular-season matchup between the Revs and D.C., and it’s been United that have had the upper hand in recent years.
The Revs are winless in their last seven league meetings with D.C. (0-4-3), including a trio of draws in the last three matches at Gillette Stadium.
New England did, however, beat D.C. in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 last season, claiming a 2-1 win in a match played at Jordan Field on the campus of Harvard University.
Injury Report: Femi (dislocated elbow) out 4-6 weeks; Angking on the verge of a return
Third-year forward Femi Hollinger-Janzen will be sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks after dislocating his elbow in training. Femi has yet to appear in a regular-season game in 2018, but he did start the Revs’ match against Louisville City FC in the U.S. Open Cup.
Chris Tierney, who was placed on the Season-Ending Injury list on June 1, underwent successful surgery on Thursday to repair the ACL in his right knee, which he tore in the first half of the Revs’ 1-1 draw with Atlanta United FC on May 30. His expected recovery time is approximately nine months.
There is good news, however, for Isaac Angking. Sidelined since preseason while recovering from a non-soccer-related medical emergency, the 18-year-old midfielder has increased his work load in recent weeks, and could return to full training in the near future.
Final Thoughts: Anibaba praises Fagundez as he prepares to make 200th appearance
“We’ve been in the league for about the same amount of time,” Jalil Anibaba said of Fagundez, both of whom debuted in 2011. “He’s been doing great things ever since he was a teenager, so the sky is the limit for him. He’s a huge piece for us and he’s been in great form as of late, but to be fair, he’s been in great form the whole season.”