New England Soccer Today

The Warm Up: #NEvCHI

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

After conceding the opening goal for the first time in nine games last week in Portland, the Revolution hope to beat the Chicago Fire to the board and make that lead last on Saturday at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.

The Revolution, who enter Saturday’s contest winless in their last six, will be looking to put last week’s 2-0 loss to the Timbers behind them – and not just because of the scoreline. Coach Jay Heaps said that his team simply wasn’t good enough last week, and wants to see improvement across the board on Saturday.

Better overall form has to be a talking point for the Fire as well after suffering back-to-back losses to Orlando City and DC United. But putting that into practice won’t be easy without Shaun Maloney (Ireland) and David Accam (Trinidad & Tobago) both on international duty.

Below is a breakdown of each team and the match.

New England Revolution (5-4-6, 21 points), 2nd in the Eastern Conference
Chicago Fire (4-7-2, 14 points), 9th in the Eastern Conference

For the Revolution, it’s all about getting the most out of home field advantage. Unbeaten in their last 18 contests at Gillette Stadium, the locals will hope to do more than just keep that streak intact: they want maximum points, something that’s eluded them for over a month. They’ll be without Jermaine Jones for the second straight week, but Juan Agudelo’s return from international duty should aid the Revolution’s cause.

For the Fire, anything but a loss is the objective at Gillette Stadium. Without Accam and Maloney, they’ll lean on Harry Shipp and Kennedy Igboananike to test the Revolution back four. In the rear, familiar face Jeff Larentowicz anchors a back line that’ll need to improve its recent form (six goals surrendered in their last two) in the hopes of getting a result from Saturday’s match.

Revolution: Charlie Davies will be called upon to not only score, but open up space for his fellow attacking teammates. Last week in Portland, he was kept quiet by Liam Ridgewell, and there’s no doubt that the former BC Eagle will be keen to add to his account in front of the home fans.

Fire: Kennedy Igboananike has certainly played to the caliber of his designated player deal as of late, scoring two goals and adding an assist during his last three games. With Accam and Maloney both out, Igboananike will be asked to carry the load and help spur an offense that needs to be better given the squad’s defensive woes.


-The longtime conference rivals were originally scheduled to meet on Apr. 15, but with an international friendly between the United States and Mexico on tap for that very night, both clubs agreed to postpone the game until Saturday.

-The Revolution and Fire split their 2014 season series straight down the middle with a 1-1-1 record against each other.

-The last time the Fire came to Gillette Stadium, the Revolution staked a 2-1 win Sept. 7, 2014, a game that featured goals from Diego Fagundez and Charlie Davies.

-Saturday’s match will be the only time the Revolution host the Fire during the regular season. The teams will meet again at Toyota Park on Oct. 3.

Following Saturday’s match, the Revolution will gear up for U.S. Open Cup competition, with the Charlotte Independence on tap for Wednesday at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium (Harvard). The fourth-round encounter kicks off at 7:30pm.

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