New England Soccer Today

The Warmup: #NEvNY

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

The first win of the season continues to evade the New England Revolution (0-1-3, 3 points), who’ve certainly suffered their fair share of frustrations during the first four games of the season. But after a two-game road trip along I-95, the Revolution return home for a nationally-televised showdown against the New York Red Bulls (1-2-0, 3 points) on Friday night at 7:00 PM.

The last time they met:

A classic, late-season midweek match brimming with playoff implications featured a Revolution side that grabbed goals from Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe to stake a 2-1 home with over the Red Bulls on Sept. 16, 2015. Interestingly, that victory marked the last occasion in which the locals pocketed all three points in Foxboro.

What to expect:

If each club’s goals against stats are any indication, Friday’s clash probably won’t be much of a defensive struggle, which should bode well for a goal-starved Revolution side. Then again, anyone that watched their offense try to score against NYCFC last week knows the club struggled to test keeper Josh Saunders in a match that was pretty wide open from start to finish.

New York returns to action after battling to a 4-3 win over the Houston Dynamo, thanks to a pair of incredible goals from Felipe Martins. Mike Grella and Sacha Kljestan also chipped in to help power New York to a wild victory. Before that showcase of attacking soccer, the Red Bulls were kept off the board in the first two matches. But they’ll likely enter Friday’s contest short-handed due with Ronald Zubar, Gideon Baah, and Gonzalo Veron all battling injuries.

Who to watch:

Teal Bunbury showed that he wants to be a focus of the Revs attack last week against NYCFC, however, his poor finishing only undermined the squad’s chances at Yankee Stadium. That said, Bunbury is the man to watch this week especially with Charlie Davies likely to return to his starting striker’s role.

Felipe had the hot foot last time out for the Red Bulls, and he’ll look to channel his scoring touch again on Friday. With the Red Bulls rested following last week’s bye, Martins will not only have fresh legs, but will be eager to strike against a side that’s already conceded three goals on two occasions this year.

The Revs will win if:

The locals have to take advantage of a Red Bulls side that’ll be without a handful of key pieces. New England must return to their creative selves, something that should be helped by the return of Lee Nguyen from international duty. The Revolution playmaker must take over the match with his impressive vision and pin-point accuracy. Right from the opening kick, the Revolution cannot be afraid to press high, and allow Chris Tierney to whip some dangerous balls into the box.

The Revs will lose if:

While the Revolution have never been afraid to gamble in order to get the offense going, they cannot afford to let their guard down against a side as dangerous as the Red Bulls. It’ll be up to all 11 players to close down the likes of Martins, Sacha Kljestan, Lloyd Sam and Mike Grella. But if the locals get lackadaisical, it could be a long night for the Foxboro Faithful.

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