The New England Revolution (1-3-1, 4 points) return to Gillette Stadium in a bid to return to winning ways when they host the Houston Dynamo (2-2-0, 6 points) on Saturday in a rematch of their First Kick festivities. Kickoff is set for 5 pm.
Revolution coach Jay Heaps, who was ejected at the end of last week’s match in D.C., has been fined an undisclosed amount of fee by the league, and will not be on the sideline on Saturday when the Revs welcome the Dynamo.
The Revs are coming off a disappointing showing D.C., where a Jose Goncalves own goal paved the way for United to grab their first win in league play since last August. Longtime Revolution killer Chris Rolfe, who was added to D.C.’s roster only days before, haunted the local XI again when his stoppage time score put the game out of reach for the Revolution.
Meanwhile, Houston is surely looking to rid the bitter taste of a 4-1 defeat against rival FC Dallas last week in the Texas Derby. And with good reason. With the score even at the hour mark, Dynamo center back David Horst received a controversial red card, opening the floodgates for FC Dallas, who scored a trio of goals with the man advantage.
Of course, the elephant in the room this weekend is the memory of the Revolution’s embarrassing 4-0 loss the Houston Dynamo handed them at the BBVA Compass Stadium six weeks ago. Will Bruin netted two goals and registered an assist for Houston, while Boniek Garcia and Omar Cummings each chipped in with a goal of their own.
With Horst unavailable, and backup Eric Brunner set for ankle surgery, Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear could hand a starting spot to rookie A.J. Cochran, or drop central midfielder Rico Clark into the backline. Another development that Kinnear will have to attend to is the health of his captain, Brad Davis, who came off at halftime in last week’s match.
Though Houston may have holes in their lineup come Saturday, the Revolution have their own issues to attend to. After failing to score in four of their first five, the attack will have to come alive this week to give the hosts any hope of getting its first home win of the season.
Although it’s still early, the Revolution know that Saturday’s game is a must win, especially at home, where no club can afford to leave points on the pitch.