MLS Regular Season | Match #12
New England Revolution vs. New York City FC
Saturday, September 19 | 4:30 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 (3:45 p.m.)
- Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, revolutionsoccer.net
New England Revolution
8th in Eastern Conference (3-3-5, 14 pts.)
Last Result | 2-1 loss at Philadelphia Union
Lee Nguyen returned with a brief appearance off the bench and Tajon Buchanan scored his first MLS goal in the late stages as the 10-man Revs were poised to take a hard-earned point home from Subaru Park last weekend, but Anthony Fontana’s 95th-minute dagger sent New England to a 2-1 loss at the Philadelphia Union.
The loss marked the Revolution’s first dropped points away from home (2-1-0) since returning to play in mid-August, and now they’ll come back to Gillette Stadium in search of their first home win of 2020.
New York City FC
6th in Eastern Conference (5-5-1, 16 pts.)
Last Result | 2-1 win vs. FC Cincinnati
NYCFC return to Foxborough as one of the hottest teams in all of MLS, going 4-0-1 in their last five games while outscoring opponents 8-2 in the process. That stretch already includes one win at Gillette Stadium, where NYCFC claimed a 2-0 win over the Revs on September 2.
Ronny Deila’s side have found their form since opening the season with four straight losses, as they’ve quickly risen from the bottom of the table all the way to sixth in the Eastern Conference.
Revolution forward Gustavo Bou
Gustavo Bou was highly active when the Revs hosted NYCFC two weeks ago, firing off six shots to mark his highest total in the last seven games. But only two of those shots were on frame and the Revolution captain’s overall influence was limited.
Bou hasn’t found the back of the net in the past three games, matching his longest stretch without a goal since arriving in MLS last summer, so the dangerous Argentine could be due to break through on Saturday.
NYCFC forward Héber
Héber played a critical role in NYCFC’s recent win over the Revs, helping force an own goal with his near-post run before scoring the insurance goal with a flashing header from a corner kick. The 29-year-old Brazilian also had another big chance saved before coming off after 73 minutes.
Midfielder Alex Ring has been NYCFC’s unlikely goal-scoring hero in recent weeks with three goals in the last five games, but Héber remains one of their most dangerous attacking threats.
Matt Polster has started all six games in central midfield since debuting with the Revs on August 20, but that stretch will come to an end on Saturday as he’ll serve a one-game suspension after being sent off in last weekend’s loss to the Union.
Scott Caldwell was the man to step in following Polster’s ejection at Subaru Park, while the Revs have plenty of additional options in the middle of the field with the likes of Diego Fagundez, Tommy McNamara, Lee Nguyen, and Kelyn Rowe.
The visitors will be without a pair of key pieces on Saturday afternoon as midfielder James Sands will be suspended because of yellow card accumulation, and playmaker Maxi Moralez is listed as “not medically cleared” after limping off in the first half of NYCFC’s win over FC Cincinnati last weekend. Sands has started each of NYCFC’s first 11 games, while Moralez had started the last three matches after returning from injury.
Tayvon Gray and Gedion Zelalem are also listed as “not medically cleared” on NYCFC’s injury report, while head coach Ronny Deila said he’s not sure of Ronald Matarrita’s status ahead of Saturday.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena
“This past week was good. I would imagine other clubs in the league – the players just need a break. We gave our players a couple of days off. It’s been a long, challenging season already and we’ve only played 11 [games] to date. It’s been challenging. Having the opportunity to have a week off between games allows us to give the players some rest, and then obviously get together and get a little bit more coordinated on the field. I think in the Philadelphia game, I thought our guys were well prepared. They played a heck of a game and it was unfortunate we made a couple of errors at the end of the game that cost us a point. I think this week has been another good week, and we’re certainly going to be prepared for the game on Saturday.”
New England Revolution forward Gustavo Bou (via translator)
“We know that finishing and converting chances has been tough for us this season. We’re aware of that. We have to keep working in each training session and each game. We need to keep working and gain confidence as forwards and as a team. As forwards we want to score goals. It’s been tough. Once we gain confidence, good things will come. We know right now that the best is yet to come. We know that if we keep working and stay focused good things will come and hopefully we can get three points at home.”
New York City FC head coach Ronny Deila
“This is going to be a tough game. It was tough last time we were there, but we did really good, and now I’m sure they want to bounce back again from that result, so we have to be ready for a fight – physically fight – in the beginning, and then also to open them up through the things we have done lately. We’ve been very good moving the ball, switching play, and overload on the sides, very good reactions in the team. But in the bottom is the foundation – hard work, discipline, and organization. That has to be really, really good if we’re going to get three points.”
New York City FC defender Gudmundur Thórarinsson
“It’s always tricky to play teams two times within a short period. I think, obviously, last game we played really well against them, and at their home pitch, as well, so two factors in that: I think psychologically we’re going to have the upper hand, obviously, and we can come confident into the game, but at the same time, I can imagine that they’re really hungry for revenge. So it’s always a little bit tricky, but I’m confident that as long as we just focus on our game and we play the way we’ve been playing the last few weeks – if we come out with energy, the pressure we’ve been playing with, and on the ball we’ve been brilliant, as well. For me it’s always the most important to kind of zone in and just focus on my own game no matter who you are playing against.”