New England Soccer Today

Preview: New England Revolution at Colorado Rapids

With just seven games remaining in the New England Revolution’s regular season, every match is a must win from this point on if the playoffs are possible.  For the Revolution, this task will be easier said than done, particularly because tomorrow night’s match will feature one of the most consistent teams in Major League Soccer: The Colorado Rapids- against the Revolution- a team that has struggled to find consistency.

The Colorado Rapids lead the all-time series against the Revolution, 17-11-7.  The Rapids, who will host New England at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, are unbeaten against the Revolution at home since 2000.

Marko Perovic's return from suspension should boost the Revs' attack. (Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/

On form, the Rapids are unbeaten in five of their last six matches.  They have allowed 24 goals this season with Matt Pickens, who has a GAA of 1.09, between the pipes.  At home, Colorado have only allowed seven goals and have a 6-1-4 record at DSG Park this season.

The Revolution on the other hand are 1-9-1 on the road, having scored just seven times away from Gillette Stadium this season.  The altitude in Colorado never makes a visit to the Rapids hospitable for the Revolution, though they are unbeaten in Colorado in their last two visits.

Earlier this season on April 24, the Rapids stole a 2-1 victory from the Revolution at Gillette Stadium.  Marco Perovic, who was not available for last week’s match against Chivas USA, scored New England’s only goal and will be available tomorrow night for selection.

Also crossing paths again will be Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson, Nico Colaluca, and Cory Gibbs.  Gibbs, Larentowicz, and Thompson as well as Preston Burpo were traded this off-season in a deal between the Revolution and the Rapids.  Larentowicz nearly scored during the meeting this April, his long range effort bouncing off the post.

Despite the difficult odds away from home, this is a must win for the Revolution and will need to keep three things in mind if they hope to do damage in Colorado.

One: limit Conor Casey and Omar Cummings.  Between the two of them, Colorado have scored 18 goals this season.  Cory Gibbs, Darrius Barnes, Emanuel Osei, and Kevin Alston need to stay with their defenders and communicate.  In a tough environment and with seven games left, this isn’t the place to be giving away foolish goals.

Two: have pace in midfield.  Even if the altitude is tough on the players, the Revolution have plenty of players with pace and skill.  Shalrie Joseph needs to distribute the ball and the wingers need to make runs to help play move.  The players with pace, particularly Alston and Nyassi, need to get involved and put Colorado on their heels early.

Three: play as if there is nothing to lose.  The Revolution can only go up.  Even if DC United leapfrogs New England in the standings, it has still been a tough and ugly season.  There really is nowhere for the Revolution to go but up.

Finally, keep this in mind: in 2004, the Revolution were having a tough season and did not qualify for the playoffs until their last match of the season.  On September 24, 2004, the Revolution played Colorado to a 6-1 victory.  History is on the Revolution’s side, even if the terms of the matches are different.  The Revolution are talented, tomorrow night is a great time to prove it.

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