New England Soccer Today

Five Questions: #NEvTOR

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

On Saturday, the Revolution get their first glimpse of Jozy Altidore since Jay Heaps’ playing days when Toronto FC comes to town hoping to snap the locals’ eight-game unbeaten run.

With plenty of intrigue surrounding this contest – which will likely feature three of the top U.S. Men’s National Team players – let’s dive right into this week’s set of questions.

1. Is Jose Goncalves healthy enough to return to the XI? Jermaine Jones certainly hopes so. Fortunately for him – and many other Revolution fans – it looks likely that the Revolution skipper will be in the lineup on Saturday. Despite missing last week’s match due to that nagging calf injury, Goncalves appeared to be unhindered during training on Wednesday. And if he returns, it won’t come a moment too soon. The Portuguese International’s presence was missed during the waning moments of the Orlando City match, a game in which the Lions sent a number of crosses before the dam burst. Although Toronto isn’t a team known for its width, the return of Goncalves will be crucial to keeping Jozy Altidore off the board.

2. Who’s role could potentially change? If Goncalves is ready to go, then it’s back to the midfield for Jones (danke!), which means either Scott Caldwell or Andy Dorman is going back to the bench. Spoiler alert: it won’t be Scott Caldwell. But even though the pit bull himself has become an important part of the attack in recent weeks, don’t expect him to pad his assist total on Saturday. When Caldwell is partnered with Jones, the Homegrown’s primary job is to drop back and provide cover rather than get involved in the attack. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As good as Caldwell has looked, the Revolution have sorely missed Jones’ influence on the offense, which could be in a for a big night against a susceptible Reds’ defense.

3. Can Charlie Davies make it five in a row? There’s no reason not think he can’t given the way he’s scored those four goals, which have come in a variety of ways. Last week, he scored on low drive from just inside the box, while scoring via the header against the Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake. In Philly, it was a simple tap in. Translation: Davies not only has a nose for the ball, but know where to be as the play develops. As good as Davies has been at finishing his chances as of late, it’s actually his soccer IQ that’s played just as much a leading actor his in scoring streak. And going up against a generous TFC backline, we could very well see Davies make it five for five.

4. Will we see Daigo Kobayashi return to the pitch? Based upon the way he looked at training, and the fact that he’s no longer on the injury report, it looks like there’s at least a passing chance he’ll play on Saturday. Yes, we know, injury reports aren’t known for their truthfulness. But being back in training was a positive sign. If he is given the green light, Saturday’s match might be the best opportunity to plug him in. With Michael Bradley set to survey the scene, and plenty of battles in the midfield to be won, the Saturday’s clash kind of game in which a seasoned and technically sound veteran like Kobayashi could enter the fray in the latter stages.

5. How will the Revolution contain Toronto’s one-two punch of Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore? One thing that’ll instantly help their case: a healthy Jose Goncalves. That’s a given. Another thing that’ll aid the locals’ cause: a confident Andrew Farrell. Together, the duo will be counted upon containing two of the league’s most effective scorers. But it won’t just be up to the Goncalves-Farrell combo to get the job done. Cutting off service will be key, and that’s where Caldwell and even Jones will need to chip in on the defensive effort. By clogging the passing lanes and isolating Altidore, while keeping Giovinco from capitalizing on set pieces, the Revolution will get their best chance of getting three points on Saturday.

What other questions surround the Revolution heading into Saturday’s contest? Let us know in the comments section!


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