SEATTLE – An opportunity to bounce back against another of Major League Soccer’s top sides awaits the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon in the Pacific Northwest, where the Revs will visit Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field.
Kickoff between the Revs (9-9-6, 33 pts.) and Sounders (11-7-5, 38 pts.) is set for 4 p.m. ET, and NBC Sports Boston will televise the match and stream the action live for authenticated subscribers on NBCSportsBoston.com and the NBC Sports mobile app.
Brad Feldman and Paul Mariner will have the call on both NBCSB and 98.5 The Sports Hub, while Portuguese radio listeners can tune into 1260 AM Nossa Radio USA.
Revolution Postgame Live will begin immediately after the final whistle on NBC Sports Boston, while host Rob “Hardy” Poole and former Revolution midfielder Clyde Simms will take calls during 30 minutes of postgame coverage on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Current Form: Revs aim to bounce back from first loss since May; Sounders also on rebound
Both the Revs and Sounders will be looking for bounce-back performances on Saturday afternoon.
New England had their 11-game unbeaten run (7-0-4) snapped last weekend in a 2-0 loss to league-leading Los Angeles FC, the Revs’ first setback in almost three months. Sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena pointed to missed opportunities in the attacking third and an inability to control the midfield as key factors in the loss, and said the performance provided plenty of lessons for the Revs at a critical point in the season.
The players are particularly eager to put those lessons learned to the test as quickly as possible, and they’ll have the chance to do so this weekend against a Seattle team currently tied for second in the West.
“Everyone’s eager to get back out there,” said goalkeeper Matt Turner, who has lowered his goals against average to 1.18 in recent weeks, good for fourth-best in MLS. “I kind of alluded to this a few weeks ago when games are just every Saturday now, so there’s a little bit more rest in between from game to game, so we have more time to analyze and more time to dwell on things.
“Everyone’s looking forward to getting out on the field on Saturday in Seattle.”
The Sounders enter the weekend tied with both Minnesota United FC and the San Jose Earthquakes for second in the West – and fourth in all of MLS – but they’ve hit something of a blip recently. After starting the season 8-0-2 at CenturyLink Field they’ve lost back-to-back games at home, including last weekend’s 3-2 loss to Sporting Kansas City.
“They’re playing at home – they’re going to want to attack us,” said Michael Mancienne, who was back in the match-day squad for the first time since May 4 last weekend. “They’re going to know that we traveled, but we can’t let any of that sort of thing affect us.
“We can’t underestimate them just because they’ve lost two games. We can’t go into the game thinking, ‘We’re going to win, as well.’ We’ve got to take it every game at a time, one step at a time, and do the best that we can.”
Past Meetings: Revs have lost just once in last seven encounters with Sounders
New England and Seattle have played to a pair of draws the past two years, but both results arrived under wildly different circumstances. Last season neither side registered a shot on target until after the 70th minute en route to a 0-0 stalemate at Gillette Stadium, while the Revs’ last visit to CenturyLink Field saw them take a 3-0 lead into the final 15 minutes only to see that advantage evaporate into a 3-3 draw.
All told the Revs have lost just once in their last seven meetings with the Sounders, going 2-1-4 during that stretch and picking up points on two of their last three trips to the Emerald City.
That’s part of a remarkable run of success for the Revolution on the west coast, as they’re unbeaten on their last eight visits to the Pacific Time Zone, going 2-0-6 dating back to June 2016.
Injury Report: Delamea ruled out for trip to Seattle; Jones nearing a return
Arena will have to shuffle his center backs on Saturday with Antonio Delamea ruled out, the 28-year-old defender sidelined after limping off in the late stages of last week’s loss to LAFC. Mancienne and Jalil Anibaba can both fill that void, and both will be prepared should the opportunity present itself on Saturday.
DeJuan Jones also continues to recover after missing the last two games with a right leg injury, but the versatile rookie has been progressing with the athletic training staff and should be close to a return.
Meanwhile, a young quartet remains on loan as Brian Wright (Birmingham Legion FC), Zach Herivaux (Birmingham Legion FC), Justin Rennicks (North Carolina FC), and Isaac Angking (Charlotte Independence) are all currently with USL Championship sides.
Final Thoughts: Revs hoping for another fast start in the Emerald City
“In the past couple (road) games we’ve grabbed early goals, and that really helps set the tone for us when we’re on the road, and it allows us to settle into our game plan quite nicely,” said Turner, referencing the Revs scoring first in four of their last five road games, going 3-0-2 in that stretch. “Hopefully we can grab an early one (in Seattle), but if not, it’s nothing to panic about.
“We trust ourselves, and we’ve got some real fluidity up top that wasn’t really on show this past Saturday, but we’re going to work hard on it this week and get some goals.”