New England Soccer Today

Revs Look To End Season With Victory Over Long-Time Rivals

The New England Revolution (9-15-5, 32 points) will be looking to play spoiler Thursday night as they finish their 2010 season with a trip to New York. The Revs have nothing to play for but pride, while the Red Bulls (14-9-6, 48 points) are trying to maintain the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Since being eliminated from playoff contention, the Revs have seen an improvement in their performances and have won their past two games. The Revs have managed to take points from some of the league’s top teams in the past month, including draws with FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew, and their victory over the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday ended that team’s playoff chances.

The New England Revolution close out their 2010 MLS season with a match-up against the New York Red Bulls on Thursday.

The Red Bulls have clearly been the superior team this season and it should come as no surprise thanks to the midsummer editions of French striker Thierry Henry and Mexican midfielder Rafael Marquez. They weren’t looking so good, however, when they traveled to Gillette Stadium on May 29th, losing 3-2 to the Revolution.

That loss, New York’s 5th in their first ten games, proved a turning point in the Red Bulls season.  Since then New York has lost only four of 14 matches.  Despite their recent success, New York has yet to conquer the Revs.

New England is riding a fourteen match unbeaten run against the Red Bulls, dating back to 2005, though this is the first time during that stretch the Revs have failed to make the play-offs and the first time the Revs have visited Red Bull Arena, opened this year.

On Thursday the Revs will welcome back Cory Gibbs and Pat Phelan from suspension, but their injury list remains largely unchanged. Gibbs and Phelan may slot right back into the starting line-up, though the Revs defeated the Kansas City Wizards 1-0 on Saturday with Seth Sinovic and Jason Griffiths in their places.

For New York, Henry will miss out with a right knee strain. Henry was also out on Saturday as the Red Bulls missed a chance to clinch the top seed in the East when they fell to the Philadelphia Union, a team below the Revs in the standings. Now New York will be hoping to lock up that top spot this week with a victory over the Revs.

Though the Revs have been eliminated from playoff contention for several weeks now, they have been playing tough against the league’s best and will expect to do the same Thursday. A win against New York would give the Revs their first three game winning streak of the year and help to end an otherwise disappointing season on a positive note.

Coverage of the match from Red Bull Arena kicks off at 7:30 PM on ESPN2 Thursday night.

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