FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Unbeaten in six and steadily climbing the Eastern Conference table, the New England Revolution will continue their three-game homestand on Saturday night when two-time defending Western Conference champion Seattle Sounders FC visit Gillette Stadium.
Kickoff between the Revs (7-4-6, 27 pts.) and Sounders (4-9-3, 15 pts.) is set for 7:30 p.m., with NBC Sports Boston televising the match and streaming the action live on their web site and mobile app. Radio listeners can catch the call in English on 98.5 The Sports Hub and in Portuguese on 1260 AM Nossa Radio USA.
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 with Brad Feldman, Paul Mariner and Naoko Funayama will begin immediately after the final whistle on NBC Sports Boston.
Matt McCarthy 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 gently-used soccer equipment (cleats, shin guards, soccer balls and goalkeeper gloves), which can be dropped off at donation bins located outside all Gillette Stadium gates. The items will benefit the Cultural Exchange Through Soccer.
Current Form: Unbeaten run hits six as Revs return from break with gutsy win
The 16-day break during the group stage of the FIFA World Cup™ didn’t disrupt New England’s stride as they stretched their unbeaten run to six (2-0-4) last weekend, using a Cristian Penilla brace and Teal Bunbury’s team-leading 10th goal of the season to power past visiting D.C. United.
It was far from the Revolution’s smoothest performance, but after back-to-back draws in San Jose and Chicago prior to the break, players and coaches alike were encouraged that the Revs found a way to grind out a victory when not at the top of their game.
“It was very important for us to get back on the winning track,” said center back Antonio Delamea. “It wasn’t one of our best performances, but we were still fighting out there for a good result, and in the end, the football rewarded us this time. We’re really happy.”
The victory kicked off a vital three-game homestand for the Revs, who’ll now host Seattle and the LA Galaxy the next two weekends before finishing the year with 10 of their final 15 games on the road.
The Sounders, meanwhile, visit Foxborough on the back end of a two-game road trip, which they began on Wednesday night with a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids. Will Bruin bagged both Seattle goals to snap a three-game winless run and push his team-leading tally to five goals.
While the Sounders have struggled through much of the season’s first half – they currently sit eight points outside the playoff picture in the West – theirs is a roster stacked with talent that’s led them to back-to-back MLS Cup appearances, and the Revs know the dangers they’ll present on Saturday night.
“It’s a top-tier team that needs to get points to get into the playoffs,” said Andrew Farrell. “Obviously we know teams like that who have their backs against the wall are going to give it their all. It’s an important game for us, so we need to make sure we take care of business.”
Past Meetings: Revs aiming for third straight win over Sounders in Foxborough
New England have lost just once in their last six meetings with Seattle (2-1-3), including wins in the last two meetings in Foxborough, where Femi’s late goal sealed a 2-1 victory in 2016 and a first-half barrage pushed the Revs to a 5-0 win in 2014.
Last year’s encounter at CenturyLink Field was a memorable one, but for the wrong reasons from the Revolution’s perspective. A pair of goals from Juan Agudelo and a long-range Daigo Kobayashi strike gave the Revs a 3-0 lead into the late stages, only for the Sounders to storm back for a 3-3 draw.
Overall the Revs have been solid against the Sounders at home, going 4-1-1 in six all-time meetings.
Injury Report: Femi remains sidelined, Angking continues to progress
Femi won’t be replicating his 2016 heroics on Saturday night as he’ll miss a second straight game with a dislocated elbow. He’s joined on the injury report by Chris Tierney (lost for the season with a torn ACL) and Isaac Angking, who continues to inch closer to a return after missing the first half of the season.
Final Thoughts: “No three points are ever just handed to you”
“We have to be at the top of our game,” said head coach Brad Friedel. “I feel if we are at the top of our game, at home, then we’ll be looking for the three points. But no three points are ever just handed to you – you have to work hard and earn every single point that you get.”