After pocketing four much-needed points on the road in New York and Montreal, the New England Revolution will look to strengthen their postseason push by grabbing three more against the Columbus Crew in Saturday’s home finale.
Last week, the Revs pulled off a stunning 1-0 victory last week in Montreal after previously tied the Red Bulls at the Red Bull Arena the week before. The Crew saw their own postseason ambitions put on hold after a tough 0-1 loss last week in Kansas City. Prior to last week’s setback, the Crew’s last loss came over a month ago against the same Kansas City side on Sept. 7.
The longtime conference rivals last played each other exactly three months ago in Columbus when New England received a pair of late goals from Jose Goncalves and Diego Fagundez to claim their first win at Crew Stadium since 2009. Saturday’s match will be the 59th regular season meeting between the two clubs with Columbus holding the 29-18-11 edge. The Crew have posted a 7-7-4 mark against the Revs at Gillette Stadium.
New England currently sits a single point under the red line, while Columbus is only five points away from the fifth and final spot in the Eastern Conference. Both sides need three points on Saturday to keep their playoff hopes alive after New York Red Bulls and Sporting KC already claiming the top two spots.
New England will be thin in the attack with the loss of Frenchman striker Saer Sene, who is out for the rest of the year after a ankle surgery on his left foot, and while Lee Nguyen is suspended for the match for caution accumulation.
Revolution coach Jay Heaps will likely plug either Andy Dorman or Clyde Simms alongside Kelyn Rowe and Scott Caldwell in the heart of New England’s attack. With the exception of a minor injury sustained by Frederico Higuain last week in Kansas, Brian Bliss’ side has no injury concerns, and no players on suspension or international duty.
With only two matches remaining for the regular season, New England will need to win both in order to control their own destiny – a destiny that could see them clinch their first postseason berth since 2009. But anything short of a win on Saturday could all but end the Revolution’s season if Houston beats New York and Chicago secures a win against Toronto this weekend.
While the Revs are looking to win both of their remaining match against the Crew, Columbus Crew’s midfielder Dominic Oduro believes his side has what it takes to get maximum points in its final two games.
“New England is really beatable at the end of the day,” Oduro said. “We are a good team. We can make that happen. We have to give ourselves that chance. Hopefully the other games go the way we want them to go. We have to stay positive, focus on the next two games at hand.”
Saturday’s match will be the first leg of a home and home series between the Revolution and the Crew. The teams will meet in the season finale Sunday, Oct. 27, at Columbus Crew Stadium.