MLS Regular Season | Match #9
New England Revolution vs. New York City FC
Wednesday, September 2 | 8 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.
Watch: NBC Sports Boston
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio USA (Portuguese)
Revolution Pregame Live presented by Dan O’Brien Automotive Group (7:15 p.m.)
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New England Revolution
6th in Eastern Conference (2-1-5, 11 pts.)
Last Result | 1-1 draw vs. New York Red Bulls
Gustavo Bou scored his team-leading third goal of the season and the Revs extended their unbeaten run to seven games (2-0-5) on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, but they were left frustrated by a series of missed opportunities in their 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls.
New England outshot their opponent for the sixth time in eight games this season, but they’ve struggled to convert those chances into goals. They’ve scored just twice in their three home games in 2020 – all draws – so they’ll be eager to secure their first win in Foxborough on Wednesday night.
New York City FC
9th in Eastern Conference (3-5-0, 9 pts.)
Last Result | 3-1 win vs. Chicago Fire FC
NYCFC got 2020 off to a rough start, losing their first four games while scoring just one goal in the process. They’ve since found their form, however, going 3-1-0 in their last four league games and discovering their finishing touch with a 3-1 win over Chicago Fire FC on Saturday, doubling their goal haul for the season.
Just two points separate the Revs and NYCFC in the Eastern Conference standings, making Wednesday night’s clash another in a series of six-pointers.
New England’s six goals against are fourth-fewest in all of MLS and rookie center back Henry Kessler has played a significant role in that success, starting six games and appearing in all eight. The sixth overall pick in this year’s SuperDraft has adapted quickly to the professional game, and has looked comfortable at the MLS level.
Kessler could again have a big part to play on Wednesday night as the Revs aim to shut down an NYCFC team that has scored just six goals, second-fewest in MLS, but features several dangerous weapons.
An everyday starter for NYCFC since arriving stateside in 2017, Alexander Ring – named club captain upon David Villa’s departure – has played all but three minutes for NYCFC through the first eight games of the season.
Ring is a dominant midfield presence also capable of popping up in the attacking third of the field, as demonstrated in recent weeks as the 29-year-old has scored in back-to-back games for NYCFC.
Bruce Arena will be back on the sidelines on Wednesday night after completing his three-game suspension, with the Revs going 1-0-2 under the direction of assistant coach Richie Williams. Scott Caldwell will also be back in the mix, having served his one-game suspension this past weekend against the Red Bulls.
Recent arrivals Tommy McNamara and Kekuta Manneh were both on the bench and available for the first time against RBNY, with McNamara making his Revolution debut with a 17-minute substitute appearance.
Carles Gil and Luis Caicedo both remain out with long-term injuries.
Maxi Moralez returned from a leg injury to play the second half of NYCFC’s win over Chicago this past weekend, his first appearance since the MLS is Back Tournament. Moralez has been one of the league’s premier playmakers in recent years, amassing a total of 36 assists the past two seasons.
Meanwhile, both Sebastien Ibeagha and Gedion Zelalem are listed as “not medically cleared” in NYCFC’s official game notes.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena
“I don’t think the seven-game unbeaten streak is anything to brag about. We don’t have enough three-point wins during that stretch. Saturday (against the Red Bulls) was frustrating and largely due to our fault. We didn’t play as well as we’re capable of playing and making too many mistakes. Hopefully we can pick it up and play better on Wednesday.”
New England Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe
“I’ve been on many teams over many seasons where we’ve had trouble finishing and we’ve created a lot of chances. We have guys on this team that can finish but they just need to see it go in the back of the net. Look, Gustavo [Bou] getting a goal, that’s two [games] in a row, is huge for us to get some goals. I think Teal [Bunbury] is going to find some chances, he was very unselfish with his chance the other night which was amazing. But he’ll find the back of the net and once Adam [Buksa] finds the back of the net and [Cristian] Penilla finds the back of the net the goals will come in unison there. So I think we’re just waiting for the ball so to come in and we’re going to continue to finalize the final pass making sure it’s a good one and making quality runs into the box as we need to and just taking our chances as they come. We need to just be a little more calm and composed and hopefully these goals come and we can open the floodgates.”
New York City FC head coach Ronny Deila
“It’s going to be a tough game. We go away against a good team, so we need to be at our best if we’re going to have three points. It’s a big test for us. I think also if we go away with three points in this game, it’s a massive statement that we are on the right path and can start to look up on the table instead of the other way. We’re looking forward to the game.”
New York City FC midfielder Keaton Parks
“We had a slow start this season. It was tough. We had two tough losses before quarantine, and then, of course, four months off. It doesn’t help us. I think we are at that point – I think we’ve turned it around. Two good wins, and the team, the atmosphere here, the attitude here is really good right now, and we’re all confident, and we’re going to keep pushing forward.”