FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution return home on Sunday evening to close out their busiest stretch of the season thus far, as they'll play their third game in only nine days, all against top tier Eastern Conference opposition.
After taking one road point through the first two matches, falling 2-0 at Nashville SC and finishing in a 1-1 draw at the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners, the Philadelphia Union, the Revs will now square off at home at Gillette Stadium, where they will host the defending MLS Cup champions, Columbus SC.
“The defending MLS Cup champions are coming into Foxborough in Gillette Stadium, so it's obviously going to be challenging game,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “They are off to a little bit of a slow start for them in the league, but we know they are a good team.”
The Revs are very familiar with Columbus’ strengths after falling to them, 1-0, in last year’s Eastern Conference Final. While this is a new chapter in a fresh regular season game, the Revs are keeping in mind what they know about this opponent and aim to use that to their advantage.
“We feel good,” Gustavo Bou said via translator. “I think we are in a good place. We have the chance to play against a good opponent that we saw last year in the conference final. They beat us by one goal, but the positives are that this is a new game and we’re the home team. It will be important for us to be focused and play the game we want to play in order to win and continue improving.”
Every single player on the roster has been looking to keep elevating their game. Frequent matches have allowed for the squad’s depth to truly be tested. Throughout the last two games several different players have rotated into the starting lineup, and a total of 18 have been used throughout 180 minutes on the field.
“I think our group is feeling good,” said Matt Turner. “We’ve relied on our depth. We haven’t played the same exact lineup every single [game].”
No matter whose name is called on Sunday against Columbus, the Revs will be ready.
“[Columbus] is a strong team,” said Turner. “We know that intensity needs to be our starting point. If we come out, we set the tone, we win our first few tackles in the game, and we sustain that through 90 minutes, we can find ourselves in a position to take all three points from this one.”
The Revs will host Columbus SC on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET, with national television coverage on ESPN2 (English) and ESPN Deportes (Spanish).