The Revolution’s road struggles have been evident this season. Winless in six games away from Foxborough (0-4-2), they will kick off a two-game road swing Saturday with a trip to face their rivals, the New York Red Bulls.
New England is entering another three-games-in-eight-days stretch, with a midweek contest at New York City FC on Wednesday followed by a home game next Saturday against Toronto before an off week. Three consecutive matches against Eastern Conference teams in playoff spots means increased pressure for the Revolution to perform.
“It’s just all about preparation,” said coach Jay Heaps. “We have to be prepared for all three games before we leave here on Friday.”
The Revolution will have company as they make the trip down the I-95 corridor to North Jersey, as around 1,000 New England supporters are headed to Harrison as well.
“It’s the best kind of boost you can get, especially on the road,” said midfielder Kelyn Rowe. “To have those fans cheer when you’re in that corner. And you can actually hear them on the other side of the field, which is incredible because of the fans the Red Bulls get.”
New England is looking to carry momentum from back-to-back home victories into Saturday’s match. A 4-0 thumping of Real Salt Lake two weeks ago was followed by a 2-1 comeback win in last Sunday’s matinee against Columbus. Diego Fagundez scored three goals in that span, including both against the Crew.
“I think we’ve seen Diego grow throughout the years,” said Rowe. “Last game, he was the man of the match by far, from minute one to minute 90. We’re happy that he’s finding this consistency and hope he can keep going.”
New York is winless in May after a very successful April. Its best result this month came last Friday against Toronto, a 1-1 draw. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his team-leading fifth goal in the first half before Toronto’s Benoit Cheyrou tied it late in the match.
The Red Bulls and Revolution met twice last season, with the home side earning a 1-0 victory each time.
A key issue for the Red Bulls has been offensive production, as the club has managed just 13 goals in 13 games. However, the Revolution will be without a pair of key defenders, as Andrew Farrell and Benjamin Angoua are suspended. New York’s high-press offense can be effective, especially against weakened defenses.
“Those are the type of things we need to be wary of when we’re trying to play out the back,” said Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen. “We’ll have to find ways to change those possessions and quick attacks. Those are the ones that will lead to a lot our chances.”