FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Fresh off a three-game homestand the New England Revolution will now return to the road for three straight, beginning on Wednesday night when they’ll make their first-ever visit to the Twin Cities, where they’ll battle Minnesota United FC at TCF Bank Stadium.
Kickoff between the Revs (7-5-7, 28 pts.) and Loons (7-11-1, 22 pts.) is set for 8 p.m. ET with Brad Feldman and Paul Mariner handling the call on NBC Sports Boston, which will televise the match and stream the action live on their web site and mobile app. That duo will also have the call 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 7:30 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.
Current Form: Revs aim to rebound from stunning loss; Quintero lighting it up for Loons
Revolution head coach Brad Friedel used the terms “heartbreaking” and “sickening” to describe this past weekend’s loss to the LA Galaxy, a match in which the dominant 10-man Revs carried a 2-1 lead into stoppage time, only to see that advantage evaporate with a pair of late Galaxy goals.
While the collapse was a gut-punch, Friedel and his players now face the challenge of pulling the positive feelings from their spirited performance through 90 minutes, while at the same time working to cut out the mistakes that ultimately cost them the points in the late stages.
“Everybody has a bitter taste in their mouth after Saturday’s game, but there were a lot, a lot, a lot of positives to pull from the game,” said center back Jalil Anibaba. “Any time you lose in that fashion, you tend to be really down on yourselves, but there were so many positives to pull that the spirits are high.
“We have every reason to be proud of what we put into the game, for the most part.”
The loss snapped the Revs’ seven-game unbeaten run as they closed out their three-game homestand with a record of 1-1-1, but now as they head on the road for five of their next six and 10 of their last 15, they’ll be buoyed by the fact that they’ve picked up results in five of their last six matches away from home.
“It’s obviously different this year than it’s been in past years,” said Kelyn Rowe. “We’re a lot better on the road. Our mentality is a lot better on the road, and we need to continue that.”
Minnesota currently sit ninth in the Western Conference, six points outside the playoff picture, and while they’ve struggled on the road (1-8-0), they’ve been solid at home with a record of 6-3-1. That includes wins in their last two matches at TCF Bank Stadium, most recently this past weekend against Real Salt Lake.
The Loons have, however, conceded multiple goals in both of those victories, and all told they’ve allowed eight goals in their last three matches. That leaky rearguard could leave some gaps for the Revolution to exploit on Wednesday night, particularly in the wide areas next to Minnesota’s three-man backline.
“We’re going to do everything that we’ve been doing,” said Friedel. “We’re going to try to stay compact, we’re going to try to stay physical, we’re going to try to be brave and very productive and proactive on the ball.”
The Revs will also need to be proactive in dealing with Minnesota’s leading scorer, Darwin Quintero, who’s racked up seven goals and four assists since arriving in April. Four of those goals and two of those assists have come in the past three games, as the Colombian attacker has played a part in six of the Loons’ last seven goals.
Past Meetings: Second all-time meeting is Revs’ first-ever visit to Minnesota
Wednesday night’s match will mark new territory for the Revolution, who’ll be making their first-ever visit to the Twin Cities and TCF Bank Stadium.
In fact, New England and Minnesota have met just once before, in the Revs’ home opener at Gillette Stadium last season, when Juan Agudelo scored a pair of goals in the Revolution’s 5-2 rout of the then-expansion side.
Injury Report: Key trio suspended for New England, but others “really hungry” to step up
New England will have to cope without a trio of regular starters on Wednesday night in Minnesota as Luis Caicedo (yellow-card accumulation), Antonio Delamea (yellow-card accumulation) and Cristian Penilla (red card) will all serve one-game suspensions.
Penilla has started all 19 games this season, Caicedo has started the last 16 since arriving in late March, and Delamea has started nine of the last 10 in central defense, but those who’ll have the opportunity to step up in their absence are more than ready for the challenge of filling those boots.
“I think our depth has been tested throughout the course of the year, and it’ll continue to be tested,” said Anibaba. “I have all the confidence in everybody who’s going to be called upon.”
Final Thoughts: “Three points is all that’s on our mind” heading to Minnesota
“We’re going to go and try to win the game, there’s no doubt in my mind about that, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the players will be ready for this game,” said Friedel. “They’ll be ready, and the three points is all that’s on our mind.”