MLS Regular Season | Match #16
New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC
Wednesday, October 7 | 7:30 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 (6:45 p.m.)
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New England Revolution
6th in Eastern Conference (5-3-7, 22 pts.)
Last Result | 0-0 draw vs. Nashville SC
The Revs extended their unbeaten run to four games (2-0-2) – and kept a third clean sheet in that stretch – but were ultimately left frustrated by Saturday night’s 0-0 draw with Nashville SC, as they couldn’t break down the resolute expansion side despite outshooting them 17-3.
It was New England’s third scoreless draw at Gillette Stadium this season, while they had another at the MLS is Back Tournament against Wednesday night’s opponent, Toronto FC.
2nd in Eastern Conference (9-2-4, 31 pts.)
Last Result | 2-1 win vs. Philadelphia Union
Currently playing their home games at Rentschler Field at Pratt and Whitney Stadium in Hartford, Conn., TFC haven’t missed a beat, going 4-0-1 in their last five games to pull into a tie with Columbus Crew SC atop the Supporters’ Shield standings.
Toronto will make the short drive to Foxborough on the back of three straight wins, all against teams currently in the top five in the Eastern Conference standings: Columbus, New York City FC, and the Philadelphia Union.
Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen
The Revs have been shut out in four of their seven home games this season and as they work to break free of those struggles on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium, Lee Nguyen could be a critical part of the formula.
Nguyen has provided a creative spark since returning to the Revs one month ago, but he’s still in search of his first goal or assist of the 2020 campaign. Toronto FC have been shut out just twice this season – including once by New England on July 21 – so the Revs may need multiple goals to claim three points, and Nguyen could be a centerpiece of the attack that aims to get the job done.
Toronto FC midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo
Alejandro Pozuelo finished third in MLS Newcomer of the Year voting last year – behind the winner from New England, Carles Gil – and the 29-year-old Spaniard is an MVP frontrunner this season, racking up seven goals and a league-leading nine assists through just 15 games.
Pozuelo has scored goals in four straight games and has registered five goals and two assists in the last six, making him the lynchpin of one of the league’s most potent attacks.
Alex Büttner has missed New England’s last two games with a hamstring injury and DeJuan Jones has filled in admirably at left back, helping the Revs to consecutive clean sheets in the Dutchman’s stead. Büttner should be available to make his return on Wednesday night, however, according to head coach Bruce Arena.
Matt Polster, meanwhile, continues to recover from the concussion he suffered last weekend at D.C. United, and the Revs will maintain a cautious approach with his progression.
TFC seem likely to be without a trio of starters on Wednesday night as both Jozy Altidore and Justin Morrow suffered injuries in Toronto’s win over the Philadelphia Union this past weekend, and Michael Bradley remains on the “not medically cleared” list.
Altidore – who had scored his first two goals of the season while starting the past five games – suffered a hamstring strain against Philly, while Morrow is expected to miss at least 1-2 weeks with a calf strain. Bradley has missed the past six matches with a knee injury.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena
“I think every game we’ll make a couple of adjustments. I don’t think you can change your team in its entirety, and by that I mean a lot of changes, like six or seven changes. That would be real difficult. That’s not easy. That’s the issue every team is dealing with in and around the league. That’s why you probably see so many results that are a little bit inconsistent, and that’s why you see the table so jammed. There’s a couple of teams at the top, a couple of teams down below, and then everybody else is about the same. It’s been challenging to find any kind of consistency throughout this inconsistent season.”
New England Revolution center back Andrew Farrell
“Toronto is going to come out and kind of go blow-for-blow with us. I think they have a really good attacking core of players, a good defense. Any game in MLS this year -- it’s a very different year. Every year, you never know what can happen. You can be the last team in the standings and beat the first team in the standings. You’ve just got to be ready for every game, and Toronto is a team that no matter if they’re playing well or not well, they have the talent to punish you. They’re playing really well right now, so it’s going to be a dangerous game, but the guys are going to be up for it. Especially being at home and having come off a disappointing game not getting goals against Nashville, I think we’re going to be ready to hopefully score some.”
Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney
“They’re a team that I put in the category of ‘difficult to play against,’ especially at home. A lot of physical qualities from the group. They’re high-pressing, I think they’re a committed group of hard-working guys who want to make the game difficult. They’re athletic, they’re big in a lot of places, well organized, and they make the game tough.”
Toronto FC midfielder Marky Delgado
“It definitely feels weird (being based out of Hartford, Conn.). It’s not your normal, typical season. It’s really different. It does feel like a training camp just because we’re away from home, but the circumstances, they are what they are, and we’ve just got to make the most out of it. We can’t dwell on the situation. We just have to make the most out of it, and really make all of this worth it and get that final reward at the end.”