Revolution ready to put road woes behind them
On Sept. 17, 2016, the Revolution walked out of Saputo Stadium in Montreal with a 3-1 victory. Since then, New England is winless in 13 road matches.
The next two weekends present opportunities for the Revolution to put their road woes behind them, with matches at New York City FC (Sunday) and D.C. United (Aug. 26).
New England has had success at Yankee Stadium, posting a 1-1-2 record, including a 2-2 draw May 31. However, NYCFC is 8-1-3 at home this season.
“We know how they play,” said Revolution forward Teal Bunbury. “We know they have some special players on their team, but we also know that we can go in there and take advantage and hopefully get 3 points, because we need them.”
In the May 31 draw, the Revolution netted the equalizer in the 86th minute when a hobbling Xavier Kouassi powered a header past Sean Johnson. Kouassi, who sustained a quadriceps injury late in the match, has not appeared in the starting lineup since — a stretch of nine matches in which the Revolution went 4-5-0.
The Revolution are riding momentum from arguably their gutsiest performance of the season, defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps, 1-0, at Gillette Stadium last Saturday. Bunbury netted his fourth goal in five games, off a perfect cross from Kelyn Rowe.
“Make no mistake, Vancouver is a really good road team,” said Revolution coach Jay Heaps. “Because they have the firepower when they need it. They defend really well, they break plays up. I thought, yeah, we have to learn to do that a little bit on the road, to take some air out of the other team and not let the other team get such a head of steam.”
NYCFC has been on a tear of late, posting a 7-2-1 record while leaping into second place in the Eastern Conference.
NYCFC’s rise can be partially credited to the resurgence of David Villa, whose 18 goals lead MLS. He has scored in seven of his last nine matches, including a hat trick against the New York Red Bulls Aug. 6 and a late goal in a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy last Saturday.
The Revolution contained a tough Vancouver offense last weekend, and on Sunday they will be tasked with stopping one of the league’s top attacks.
“Everything kind of goes through [Villa]”, said Revolution defender Andrew Farrell. “They’ve got a lot of good players around him who — because we have to focus so much on [Villa], they get open shots and open looks. So we’ve just got to lock it up.”
Revolution at New York City FC
■ When, where: Sunday, 6 p.m., at Yankee Stadium, New York.
■ TV, radio: CSN, WBZ-FM (98.5).
■ Records: Revolution — 8-10-5 (29 points); NYCFC — 13-7-4 (43 points).
■ Formations: Revolution — 4-4-2; NYCFC — 4-3-3.
■ Goalkeepers: Revolution — Cody Cropper; NYCFC — Sean Johnson.
■ Coaches: Revolution — Jay Heaps; NYCFC — Patrick Vieira.
■ Referee: Mark Geiger.
■ Out: Revolution — none; NYCFC — D Ronald Matarrita (foot), D Maxime Chanot (pelvis), M James Sands (hip), M Miguel Camargo (hip).
■ Miscellany: New England is 3-2-2 all time against NYCFC . . . NYCFC’s plus-12 goal differential (45-33) ranks fourth in MLS. The Revolution have scored 38 goals and allowed 38 goals.