FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution II is set to host Richmond Kickers on Saturday afternoon in their home opener for the 2021 campaign. The contest kicks off at 5:00 p.m. ET and is available nationally on ESPN+.
Revolution II opened the 2021 USL League One regular season with a 1-0 victory at Fort Lauderdale CF. Forward Ryan Sierakowski scored the first goal of the season for New England in his club debut with an assist from Revolution Academy midfielder Hikaru Fujiwara. Goalkeeper Joe Rice, who made his first appearance since recovering from a knee injury sustained on Sept. 26, 2020, recorded his fourth career clean sheet and his second straight season-opening shutout with Revolution II.
Five more players made their professional debuts last weekend, bringing the total number of Revolution II debutants to 24 since the start of 2020 – including 15 current or former Academy players. Defenders Cole Dewhurst, Sean O’Hearn, François Dulysse and midfielders Noel Buck and Dennis Ramirez all made their first professional appearances. O’Hearn was named USL League One Player of the Week winning five duels, three tackles, and seven clearances in helping Revolution II keep a clean sheet.
Revolution II’s lineup will once again feature a combination of first-team players, USL League One signees, and current Revolution Academy players. New England made several offseason moves to bolster the roster ahead of the 2021 season, signing eight players including Academy graduate Colby Quiñones. New England also added goalkeeper Marzuq Puckerin, defenders, Prosper Figbe, and Sean O’Hearn, Brazilian midfielder Michel Costa da Silva, and most recently, defender Tyler Freitas, midfielder Jake Rozhansky, and forward Ryan Sierakowski.
Richmond and New England split their season series last season with the road team winning both meetings. Revolution II dropped a 2-1 contest at home on Aug. 21, 2020 before defeating Richmond, 4-0, on the road in October. Richmond returns a veteran core, including 2020 USL League One Golden Boot winner Emiliano Terzaghi, who netted 10 goals in 15 appearances during his first season with the Kickers. Richmond head coach Darren Sawatzky, who played for the Revolution from 1996-97, returns for his second year at the helm after guiding the Kickers to an 8-6-2 finish in 2020.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR against Richmond Kickers:
- Revolution II earning points from its home opener for the second consecutive year after recording a draw vs. Union Omaha in their inaugural match of the 2020 campaign at Gillette Stadium.
- Revolution II newcomers Michel, Prosper Figbe, and Marzuq Puckerin potentially making their debuts with the club.
- Revolution Academy players Noel Buck and Hikaru Fujiwara possibly earning minutes for second consecutive game after starting the season opener last weekend.
- First team players Damian Rivera and Justin Rennicks both potentially seeing action with Revolution II.
- Goalkeeper Joe Rice potentially making his first appearance against his former club and extending his own personal shutout streak which currently sits at 328 minutes.
- Defender Colby Quiñones possibly making his first appearance since signing for Revolution II directly from the Revolution Academy.
- Forward Ryan Sierakowski scoring for a second consecutive contest after netting his first goal of the season in his club debut last weekend.
Match #1: Revolution II vs. Richmond Kickers
Date: Saturday, April 17, 2021
Kickoff: 5:00 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
Social: @NERevolution2, #NERevsII, #NEvRIC, #WeAreOne
Streaming: ESPN+ (National) / YouTube (International)
Talent: Joe Malfa (play-by-play)