Andrew Farrell group preseason 2021
Kurtis Burke

Arena expecting "a real test" from LAFC as Revs ramp up preseason preparations

LOS ANGELES – While the New England Revolution came out swinging in their 4-1 win over the LA Galaxy on Wednesday night, their next preseason match against Los Angeles FC on Saturday is anticipated to be an even more challenging test. 

“LAFC is a more established team and you could argue maybe the most talented team – if not one of the most talented teams in the league,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “I think that’s going to be a real test for us.

“The way we come out of that game will be interesting. I’m really looking forward to it, because they have an elite group of players. They have the best goal scorers in the league in [Diego] Rossi and [Carlos] Vela, they have a very aggressive midfield, so it’s going to test us in terms of our speed of play.”

The Revs are eager for the challenge against LAFC. Following New England’s first preseason game – a 1-0 loss to the Galaxy – Arena tasked the team with finishing their chances. The squad took Arena’s directive seriously, and responded with four goals in their rematch on Wednesday.

“We’re taking steps every single day to get better as a team and as a group,” said Brad Knighton. “[Wednesday] night’s result was good for us and it’s a step in the right direction. We’re trying to build towards our first game of the season, so little steps here and there, and we go again on Saturday.”

While netting four goals against the Galaxy is a huge positive sign for New England’s attack, the Revs are only looking to continue to build on that result. Arena has several other areas he wants to see the Revs improve upon heading into their battle against LAFC.

“Better movement on the defensive end of the field,” said Arena. “Again, doing better with our finishing. I think the game on Saturday we’re going to play is going to be much different than our first two games.

“They’ve got a good backline that’ll challenge our attacking players. Saturday is a really good practice game for us to really see where we’re at and allow us to think a little bit more about the things we need to do in our final preparations to begin the 2021 season.”

The Revs are still waiting for Henry Kessler and Tajon Buchanan to be available for their first preseason minutes after returning from international duty. The duo is currently finishing their COVID quarantine protocols and will not be eligible for selection on Saturday, but will be available to the group next week.

Luis Caicedo, Christian Mafla, and Wilfrid Kaptoum have also yet to appear this preseason, although Arena said on Thursday that all three should be ready to make their debuts before the Revs head back to the East Coast on April 10.

While Saturday’s match against LAFC (2 p.m. ET) will not be available to stream, you can find in-game coverage on the Revolution's social channels and postgame coverage on revolutionsocer.net.

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