Preview: On the skids, Revs host rebounding Toronto FC
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
8 p.m. ET (TSN; CSN-NE)
June 15, 2011 (WEEK 14; MLS Game 129)
Two clubs looking to make a charge back up the Eastern Conference table meet when the New England Revolution play host to Toronto FC on Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution saw their losing streak reach four games last Friday, in a 2-1 loss at the New York Red Bulls. Toronto FC haven't won in six games, but drew for a second consecutive match last time out, a 2-2 tie at the LA Galaxy.
REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. SAR (bench): Claudio Badea; JAR (opposite): Peter Manikowski; 4th: Jose Carlos Rivero
MLS Career: 132 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 40; pens: 50
INJURY REPORT: NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION — OUT: MF Benny Feilhaber (R ankle sprain); MF Marko Perovic (L knee sprain) ... TORONTO FC — OUT: MF Elbekay Bouchiba (R knee surgery recovery); DF Adrian Cann (R knee sprain); DF Nana Attakora (R quadriceps strain); QUESTIONABLE: FW Alan Gordon (adductor strain); MF Gianluca Zavarise (adductor strain); MF Jacob Peterson (L hamstring strain); MF Matt Stinson (R calf strain); MF Alen Stevanovic (adductor tightness)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: TOR: Julian De Guzman (Canada); Dicoy Williams (Jamaica)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NE: Stephen McCarthy
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Shalrie Joseph ... TOR: Richard Eckersley, Dan Gargan, Javier Martina, Tony Tchani
ALL-TIME (9 meetings): Revolution 4 wins, 18 goals ... Toronto FC 2 wins, 10 goals ... Ties 3
AT NEW ENGLAND (5 meetings): Revolution 4 wins, 14 goals ... Toronto FC 0 wins, 3 goals ... Ties 1
RETURN MATCH: 10/22: Toronto FC vs. New England Revolution, 12:30 p.m. ET (TSN)
LAST YEAR (MLS)
4/10: NE 4, TOR 1 (Schilawski 47, 51, 58; Nyassi 66 — De Rosario 28)
5/22: TOR 1, NE 0 (Barrett 53)
• The Revolution have never lost to Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium. In five meetings all-time, the Revs have won four, including a 4-1 win last year, with one draw.
• Toronto FC has won the last games at BMO Field vs. New England, after the first two meetings there finished in draws.
• Coaches record: Steve Nicol v TOR: P9 W4 L2 D3 ... Aron Winter vs. NE: first game
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution lost their fourth consecutive match, falling 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls on Friday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Revolution have 13 points from 14 matches, in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
• The Revolution had a glorious chance to open the scoring in the 33rd minute when defender Stephen Keel got tangled with Lekic in the penalty area. But goalkeeper Greg Sutton saved Shalrie Joseph's attempt from the spot at full stretch.
• It proved costly for the visitors, as just four minutes later, Ryan Cochrane mistakenly knocked the ball into his own net in trying to clear Thierry Henry's centering pass from the right.
• New York scored the eventual winner in the 50th minute. Henry controlled a pass on the left flank and drove into the penalty area before cutting the ball back and firing a shot past Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis.
• The Revs pulled a goal back four minutes later when Chris Tierney served a quality cross from the left that fell perfectly onto the foot of Zak Boggs, who one-timed a shot past a diving Sutton.
• Revolution head coach Steve Nicol made one change to the team that lost 1-0 to FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park. Pat Phelan came into the midfield for Stephen McCarthy.
• NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-2-3-1): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Ryan Cochrane, Didier Domi - Ousmane Dabo (Stephen McCarthy 20), Pat Phelan (Kenny Mansally 56) - Zak Boggs (Sainey Nyassi 85), Shalrie Joseph, Chris Tierney - Rajko Lekic
• Sharlie Joseph missed from the penalty spot for the first time since the 2008 season. He had converted his last four from the spot, including two previous attempts this season.
• "When things are not going for you, that's what happens," Revs coach Steve Nicol said. "We had enough chances to win two games on the night, never mind one game. We gave a couple of chances up but, at the same time, we kind of feel robbed."
• Zak Boggs' goal was the first for the Revolution's from open play in 601 minutes (since April 23). New England's last two goals (over a six-game span) came from a free kick and a penalty kick.
• Boggs' goal also snapped a 168-minute scoreless streak overall, with New England's last goal coming in the 86th minute at San Jose on May 21 from Chris Tierney's free kick.
• "We have a two game homestand against two teams that are struggling in Toronto and Chicago," said midfielder Pat Phelan. "I think we feel like we did some good things (against New York). They're a good side, it's a tough place to play. We could have gotten more out of the game, we should have gotten more out of the game."
• Making his second consecutive start after injuries limited him to one appearances in the first 12 league games of the season, Ousmane Dabo had to leave in the 26th minute due to an apparent leg injury. Stephen McCarthy came on for the French international and was slotted into the central midfield.
• For the final half-hour, the Revolution went to a 4-4-2 scheme when Kenny Mansally entered for central midfielder Pat Phelan and partnered Rajko Lekic in attack.
• "When Kenny (Mansally) came on that was a game changer, and us playing with two forwards at end I think we looked pretty dangerous," midfielder Chris Tierney said. "We had some good hold up play and got some balls wide and created chances."
Toronto FC reached a draw for a second consecutive match, this time in dramatic fashion in a 2-2 tie with the LA Galaxy on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. TFC has 14 points from 15 games on the season, sitting in a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
• The Galaxy opened the scoring after just two minutes. Freed all alone in the TFC half, Miguel LÛpez slipped a pass to the right side of the box, where an unmarked Chris Birchall raced in fire it home off TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
• But Toronto FC pulled even in the 68th minute. Danleigh Borman placed a perfect cross to the front of the goal from the left and Alan Gordon smashed a header past Josh Saunders.
• As the game turned into stoppage time, from a scramble in the area, a blocked shot deflected up into the air and Juan Pablo Angel stepped into a full-blooded drive from the heart of the box that got through the bodies in the box and into the goal.
• Yet TFC wasn't done. A long ball into the box was headed by Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza -- but fell right to Gordon, and he hit a first-time volley into the upper right corner of the goal to salvage a point for the Canadians.
• TFC head coach Aron Winter made three changes to the team that played to a scoreless draw with Sporting Kansas City at BMO Field. Doneil Henry came into the back four for Nana Attakora, and Jacob Peterson and Nick Soolsma replaced Javier Martina and Joao Plata.
• TORONTO FC (4-1-2-3): Stefan Frei - Richard Eckersley, Ty Harden, Doneil Henry, Danleigh Borman - Nathan Sturgis - Jacob Peterson (Alan Gordon 44), Tony Tchani (Joao Plata 34) - Nick Soolsma (Javier Martina 93+), Maicon Santos, Mikael Yourassowsky.
• While coming back for the stirring draw with the LA Galaxy, TFC is winless in its last six games.
• "At halftime we got together and we needed to come out with some pride, some heart and some fight. It's something that we haven't been doing a lot of lately and we really did it today," Gordon said. "In the second half we played 45 good minutes we now have to now build on that and put together 90 minutes, get some points and move up the table."
• It was the third two-goal game of Gordon's MLS career. His last one came in 2008 against the team to which he would be traded — while playing for the LA Galaxy against Chivas USA.
• When Gordon was traded across The Home Depot Center, he scored for Chivas against the Galaxy in his first SuperCl·sico.
• "It felt good," Gordon said. "I was just telling somebody I think I have 75% of my goals against former teams."
• Doneil Henry, the first graduate of TFC's Academy, made his first career MLS start, coming in at center back for the injured Nana Attakora.
• Big compliments for everybody, also for Doneil Henry, because he defended very well," Winter said. "And, second, for Alan Gordon, because he was away for a while, because he was injured, and today it shows that if he's fit he's a very good striker."
• Winter was forced into two changes before halftime. The first came when Tony Tchani struggled after he was caught in a tackle that earned David Beckham a yellow card in the 29th minute, and came off for Joao Plata five minutes later.
• Jacob Peterson later pulled up after making a run down the wing and Gordon came on for his first appearance since April 30, missing six games with an adductor strain.