FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution will try to extend their unbeaten run to eight games while closing out a three-game homestand on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, where they’ll host the LA Galaxy.
Kickoff between the Revs (7-4-7, 28 pts.) and Galaxy (7-7-4, 25 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. Brad Feldman, Paul Mariner and Naoko Funayama will have the call both there and on 98.5 The Sports Hub, while Portuguese radio listeners can tune into 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 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.
All fans attending Saturday’s game are encouraged to pick up a matchday handout on their way into the stadium, as those cards will be held up immediately after the national anthem as part of a unique, full-stadium display.
Current Form: Revs unbeaten in seven, Galaxy unbeaten in five entering the weekend
Both the Revs and Galaxy carry lengthy unbeaten runs into Saturday night’s meeting as neither side has tasted defeat since May.
New England’s unbeaten run hit seven (2-0-5) last weekend as they battled to a 0-0 draw with Seattle Sounders FC, and while the Revs were delighted to keep their first clean sheet since late April, they were also left wanting more after being stifled by the stingy Sounders.
“Obviously we get a point, and that’s good, but at home, we always want three points,” said Teal Bunbury, who leads the Revs with a career-high 10 goals. “We know especially a game against LA, they’ve got the big names, they’ve got the stars and things like that, and we’re going to want to perform.
“We’re at home in front of our fans, so it’s definitely going to be a motivating factor.”
LA’s unbeaten run stands at five (2-0-3) following last weekend’s comprehensive 4-0 win over Columbus Crew SC, a result that pushed the Galaxy to 4-1-3 in their last eight matches after losing four straight.
Much of the focus on Saturday night will be on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has recorded a team-leading 11 goals and three assists in just 14 appearances since arriving in late March, but the Revs will also have to key in on weapons like Ola Kamara, Romain Alessandrini, Giovani dos Santos, and Chris Pontius.
“There are just talented players all over the field that can hurt you if you give them an inch of space, so it’s going to take focus for 90 minutes,” said goalkeeper Matt Turner. “(We need to) limit service into the box.”
Past Meetings: Revs-Galaxy matchups have featured goals galore in recent years
There have been a whopping 32 goals scored in the last six regular-season meetings between the Revs and Galaxy dating back to 2012, an average of 5.33 goals per game. All six of those contests have featured at least four goals, and last year’s included seven as the Revs claimed a dramatic 4-3 win in Foxborough.
The #NERevs have scored some memorable g⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽als against the @LAGalaxy.— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) July 11, 2018
Here's a look back at those(and some of theirs¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )ahead of this Saturday's matchup @GilletteStadium pic.twitter.com/nqlrNrKzw5
Teal Bunbury scored a pair of goals off the bench in that victory last year, near the beginning of a stretch in which he’s scored 17 goals in his last 34 regular-season appearances.
The Revs and Galaxy have also met in a trio of MLS Cup finals (2002, 2005, 2014), all three of which have gone to extra time and the results of which nobody can seem to remember.
Injury Report: Dielna (lower back) on the mend, Angking resumes full training
Defender and captain Claude Dielna remains in contention for a place in the Revs’ squad on Saturday night after he was forced off at halftime of last weekend’s draw with “a bit of a muscle issue in his lower back.” Dielna was monitored by the Revolution’s athletic training and fitness staff throughout the week.
Isaac Angking, meanwhile, has been removed from the Revolution’s injury report for the first time in five months as he’s rejoined full training after recovering from a non-soccer-related medical emergency.
Femi Hollinger-Janzen (dislocated elbow) and Chris Tierney (torn ACL) remain out.
Final Thoughts: Somi looking forward to potential clash with fellow Swede Ibrahimovic
“He was one of my idols when I was young,” Revolution left back Gabriel Somi said of Ibrahimovic, both of whom were born and raised in Sweden. “It’ll be fun, if I play, and be able to play against him. Of course it would be a dream, but we’re focused on the three points and not just on Ibrahimovic. They have a lot of quality players, so we have to play very good to get the three points.”