The Revolution haven’t lost in six games, with Seattle up next
In the midst of their longest unbeaten streak since 2015, the Revolution will look to make it seven straight without a loss Saturday night when they host the Seattle Sounders.
Seattle, on the heels of a 2-1 win at Colorado, has scored just 15 goals in 16 games. The Sounders have been shut out eight times already and went the entire month of March without registering a goal.
For the third consecutive season, Seattle has gotten off to a slow start. Last year, the Sounders started 4-7-7 before a win at Colorado on July 4 turned around their season. This season, Seattle was 3-9-3 before Wednesday night’s victory.
“[The Sounders] have a lot of very good players,” said Revolution coach Brad Friedel. “For one reason or another, they haven’t had a lot of results go their way. We have to be at the top of our game.”
Last season’s meeting in Seattle was the most emotionally draining point of the season for New England. Leading, 3-0, with just more than 15 minutes to play, New England imploded, conceding three goals as the match ended in a draw.
It has been a much different mentality this season for the Revolution, off to their best start since 2008.
At 7-4-6, New England sits fifth in the Eastern Conference at the midway point of the season, just 5 points behind the second-place New York Red Bulls.
“I like the character that the team has a lot,” Friedel said. “I think all the players, as always, applying themselves really well in training and take that to the games.
“I think we have a good enough team to win any game, anywhere in this league. It’s just up to us to prove it.”
The Revolution did just that last weekend, defeating DC United in a back-and-forth game at home, 3-2. Cristian Penilla scored a pair of goals, included the late winner from the penalty spot.
In past seasons, New England has dipped into a summer slump through late June and July.
Riding the wave of a six-match unbeaten streak, New England has started to create separation from the teams below it in the standings.
The Revolution play 10 of their final 16 on the road following Saturday’s match.
“We’re midway through and in a great spot but we can’t be complacent,” said Revolution defender Andrew Farrell.
“We want to be one of the top teams in the East to have a home playoff game in front of our great fans.”
A big part of the Revolution’s success has been striker Teal Bunbury. He has 10 goals, already a career high, and has accounted for one-third of New England’s goals, thriving under Friedel’s high-press system.
“With this kind of style, it fits him very well,” said fellow striker Juan Agudelo. “He’s able to get on the end of things with good quality players getting him good balls.”
When, where: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Gillette Stadium, Foxborough
TV, radio: NBCSB, WBZ-FM (98.5)
Formations: Revolution: 4-2-3-1; Seattle: 4-2-3-1
Goalkeepers: Revolution — Matt Turner; Seattle — Stefan Frei
Coaches: Revolution — Brad Friedel; Seattle — Brian Schmetzer
Referee: Nima Saghafi
Out: Revolution — D Chris Tierney (knee), M Isaac Angking (illness), F Femi Hollinger-Janzen (elbow); Seattle — M Handwalla Bwana (foot), F Jordan Morris (knee).
Miscellany: The Sounders are 4-5-3 all-time vs. the Revolution, 1-4-1 at at Gillette Stadium . . . Will Bruin leads the Sounders with five goals. No other player has more than one . . . Seattle is a distant last in goals in MLS with 15, but only four teams have allowed fewer than its 22 goals against . . . Frei’s .750 save percentage is fourth in the league.