New England Soccer Today

Rowe Sees Similarities Between TFC & Orlando

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – When Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe looks at the film of this weekend’s foe, he sees a number of resemblances to the one he and his teammates encountered only a few days ago.

Like the Toronto side they faced last week, the Orlando City squad the Revolution are set to face on Sunday feature a dangerous one-two punch up top, and can put a foe on the ropes fairly quickly.

“They’re good on the counter and obviously good with Kaka and Cyle Larin going forward,” Rowe told on Wednesday. “So it’s going to be similar to Toronto with two guys up front who are very dangerous.”

From afar, those similarities alone would suggest that the Revolution are in for a rough afternoon at the Orange Bowl. But if Orlando City is indeed a close replica of Toronto, then the Revolution have to feel good about their chances.

During Saturday’s draw at Gillette Stadium, Revolution midfielders Gershon Koffie and Scott Caldwell were able to keep Sebastian Giovinco in check. In the fact, the only time the reigning MVP struck was on a broken play in which the locals were caught momentarily off guard.

“I think for 99.9 percent of the game, we had him contained,” Revolution striker Charlie Davies told “I think he might be a little more dynamic, so with Kaka, it’s more or less the same thing – you have to always be aware of where he is on the field.”

As for Larin, whose game is similar to that of Toronto striker Jozy Altidore, Revolution coach Jay Heaps also believes that vigilance is the name of the game to keep him from threatening.

“He doesn’t need much to score goals,” Heaps said. “He’s a player that has to be accounted for, and if he gets an inch, he’s going to score and (him and Kaka) together are pretty lethal.”

Yes, Orlando City’s attack isn’t one to be trifled with come Sunday. But neither is the Revolution’s if last week’s performance was any indication.

In a match that featured lively performances from Rowe, Davies, Teal Bunbury, the front four created a healthy collection of chances against even with Michael Bradley, Drew Moor and Steve Beitashour right in their faces.

While Orlando City also boasts a strong defensive unit in Cristian Higuita, Seb Hines, and Servando Carrasco, Rowe believes that their defensive approach “plays right into our hands.”

“I think we can play the ball there,” Rowe said. “They play a very narrow defending, I think we can go wide and play balls in with those early crosses from Chris (Tierney) and Je-Vaughn (Watson) and hopefully we can take advantage of that.”

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