FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The busiest stretch of the New England Revolution’s season continues on Wednesday night at SeatGeek Stadium, where the Revs will close out a three-game road swing against the Chicago Fire.
The Revs (2-7-2, 8 pts.) and Fire (2-4-4, 10 pts.) will get underway at 8 p.m. ET, with NBC Sports Boston televising the match and streaming the action live on NBCSportsBoston.com and the NBC Sports mobile app. Brad Feldman and Paul Mariner will have the English call both there and on 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2, while Portuguese radio listeners can catch the call on 1260 AM Nossa Radio USA.
Revolution Postgame Live begins immediately after the final whistle on NBC Sports Boston.
You can watch Wednesday night’s match alongside fellow Revolution supporters at the club’s official watch party, presented by Budweiser and hosted at The Banshee (934 Dorchester Avenue, Boston MA 02125).
Current Form: Revs look for “a reaction” after tough loss; Fire back home after road trip
This past weekend’s trip to Philadelphia got off to a promising start for the Revs, who were level at halftime having created the better of the chances. But a second-half collapse saw the Revs concede five times in an eventual 6-1 loss, leaving head coach Brad Friedel to focus on the positives ahead of a short turnaround.
“This time, I firmly believe having a game right around the corner is a good thing,” Friedel said. “Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. This time, I do, because there were too many good things that went on in the (Philadelphia) game to completely allow that to get us down.
“Believe me, it’s not acceptable that we conceded the six goals – that’s not what I’m getting at. But up until that point, there were a lot of good things, and we have to build on those positives into the Chicago game, because the way Chicago plays and the way that we can set up, we will be able to create a lot of chances.
“We just have to be a lot more resolute defensively. Twenty-five goals in 11 games is not an acceptable amount of goals to concede.”
Chicago, meanwhile, return to SeatGeek Stadium after failing to score a goal on a three-game road trip through New York City FC (1-0 loss), the Montreal Impact (1-0 loss), and Los Angeles FC (0-0 draw). In that most recent match, however, the Fire did become the first team to take a point from Banc of California Stadium this season.
Several fresh faces have given Chicago a different look in 2019, with defender Francisco Calvo arriving from Minnesota United FC just last week to join the likes of Nicolás Gaitán and CJ Sapong.
“They’ve got a lot of good players that can attack you, create things, and make it a tough job for our defense,” said Andrew Farrell, also noting the presence of Aleksandar Katai and Djordje Mihailović. “We’ll look at the tape, we’ll see what they can do well, and see what we can exploit.
“I think it’ll be a good game. I think our guys are up for it. We’re looking for a reaction and we need to get three points.”
Past Meetings: Revs and Fire played to a pair of draws in 2018
Both meetings last year finished with honors even as the Revs and Fire played to a 1-1 draw at SeatGeek Stadium in June, before batting to a 2-2 deadlock in the return match at Gillette Stadium in September.
Those draws snapped the Revs’ four-game losing streak in the regular-season series, but did extend their winless run to six games (0-4-2) dating back to 2016. New England’s winless run in Chicago is currently eight games (0-5-3), as they haven’t won in the Windy City since the season opener in 2013.
There is, of course, history between these sides, as well. Although they haven’t met in the postseason for a decade now, they did battle eight times in a 10-year span between 2000 and 2009.
Injury Report: Several pieces return to bolster Revolution’s backline
Depleted by injuries and suspensions, New England used central midfielder Luis Caicedo at right back last weekend in Philadelphia, while captain Michael Mancienne battled through severe pain caused by plantar fasciitis to play the full 90 minutes at center back.
Thankfully there will be some relief on the backline as the Revs head to Chicago, as both Jalil Anibaba and Brandon Bye are eligible to return from suspension. Antonio Delamea, meanwhile, could also be back in the mix as he works through the concussion protocol.
“That’s definitely important,” Friedel said of regaining the services of Anibaba and Bye. “Hopefully we can get Michael’s foot mended as soon as possible, and hopefully Toni comes through the concussion protocol and can also be available.
“There’s no secret – we have been depleted on the backline, but in saying that, we shouldn’t be conceding six goals.”
Chicago will be without Brazilian center back Marcelo (hip), who started the first eight games of the season, while Sapong and his four goals and two assists are questionable with a thigh injury.
Final Thoughts: Agudelo says Revs “need to hold each other accountable”
“I feel like we need to hold each other accountable a little bit more on the field,” said Juan Agudelo. “I wouldn’t be upset if someone were to have a go at me to wake me up. For example, the first goal (against Philadelphia), I should’ve stayed on (Haris) Medunjanin’s left foot. I believe somebody should’ve had a go at me. Hopefully we hold each other more accountable next game.”