New England Soccer Today

What’s Shakin’?

Fresh off their third win of the season, the Revolution (3-3-4, 13 pts.) head west to face off against the San Jose Earthquakes (2-4-3, 9 pts.) Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.

In what projects to be a low-scoring affair between two goal-starved sides, the Revs and ‘Quakes both enter the match coming off much-needed wins – but claiming them in very different fashions.

For the Revs, it took the whistle of referee Chris Penso to help them overcome a surprisingly-lively Whitecap club. In the 49th minute, Benny Feilhaber was brought down inside the box before Penso pointed to the spot. A minute later, Shalrie Joseph slotted it through as the defense took care of the rest, giving the Revs an unconvincing 1-0 win over a Vancouver club that often looked to be the better team on the evening.

Meanwhile, the ‘Quakes, who entered last week’s match against Columbus stumbling through a six-game winless streak, exploded for three goals within a 12-minute span to give the Crew its worst lost of the season. And it wasn’t just the frequency with which those goals were scored that was impressive. The fact that three different players scored- Chris Wondolowski, Brandon McDonald, and Khari Stephenson – may signal that the offense may not be as one dimensional as it appeared earlier this season.

So what do these tales of taking points tell us about tomorrow night’s intra-conference tilt?

Well, for starters, the Revs defense, which is riding a 212-minute shutout streak, will have a lot to worry about Saturday night. Any team fresh off a three-spot should put its upcoming opponent on notice. Granted, San Jose’s offensive outburst marked the first time the club had scored a trio of goals this season. But, with the ‘Quakes at home and riding the high of the their best performance of the season, the Revs defense may have a tall order tomorrow night.

That’s not to say the ‘Quakes should approach the match completely carefree. In addition to their lights out defense, the Revs midfield displayed textbook possession against the Rapids two weeks ago, with Joseph spearheading New England’s forays in the final third. Although they were unlucky to find the back of the net against the defending champs, the performance proved that Revs midfield has the ability to blossom into one of the league’s best.

Despite the differences in how the Revs and Quakes got their results last weekend, the MLS originals have much in common. Both teams have leaned on their defenses to collect points. Similarly, both clubs are searching for answers to their attacking woes, particularly the Revs, who have greatly missed last season’s team MVP Marko Perovic due to injury.

With both clubs riding the momentum of recent wins, the Revs and Quakes have to view Saturday night’s match as an opportunity to extend their success and put their names back into the contender conversation.

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