Preview: Cellar-dwelling Revs host first-place Philly

NE_PHI_DL

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

The New England Revolution return home with an aim to put an end to a long winless streak when they play host to Philadelphia Union on Sunday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are winless in their last eight games, their last league action a 3-3 at Real Salt Lake on July 4. Union are unbeaten in four games after back-to-back draws, their last match a scoreless draw at San Jose last weekend.

DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE

REFEREE: Chris Penso. SAR (bench): Hector Vergara; JAR (opposite): Eric Boria; 4th: Mark Geiger
MLS Career: 5 games; FC/gm: 20.4; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 1; pens: 3

INJURY REPORT:
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION – OUT: FW Kheli Dube (whiplash); QUESTIONABLE: DF Ryan Cochrane (L foot pain); PROBABLE: DF Kevin Alston (L hamstring tightness); MF Ousmane Dabo (R quadriceps strain); MF Andrew Sousa (L wrist surgery)
PHILADELPHIA UNION – OUT: FW Levi Houapeu (R ankle strain); DOUBTFUL: MF Stefani Miglioranzi (sinus fracture); FW Veljko Paunovic (L hip strain); PROBABLE: DF Danny Califf (intercostal strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES:
none

SUSPENDED:
NE: Shalrie Joseph (caution accumulation; through July 17); Ryan Cochrane (through July 17)

WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD:
NE: Ryan Cochrane, Stephen McCarthy
PHI: Carlos Valdes
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
NE: Pat Phelan, Rajko Lekic
PHI: Danny Califf, Brian Carroll, Danny Mwanga, Sheanon Williams

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (2 meetings): Revolution 0 wins, 2 goals … Union 1 win, 3 goals … Ties 1
  • AT NEW ENGLAND (1 meeting): Revolution 0 wins, 1 goals … Union 1 win, 2 goals … Ties 1
  • RETURN MATCH: 8/28: Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution, 7 p.m. (Galavision)
  • LAST YEAR (MLS)
  • 7/31: PHI 1, NE 1 (Le Toux 25 – Perovic 71)
  • 8/28: NE 2, PHI 1 (Stolica 31 – McInerney 82; Mapp 90)
  • Union went undefeated against the Revolution in their inaugural season, the teams playing to a 1-1 draw at PPL Park, then Philadelphia taking a 2-1 victory in Foxborough.
  • Coaches' records: Steve Nicol vs. PHI: P2 W0 L1 D1 … Peter Nowak v NE: P14 W5 L4 D5

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

The New England Revolution return to league play, their winless streak now at eight games after a 3-3 draw with Real Salt Lake on July 4 at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Revolution have 16 points from 18 matches, in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • The match took a significant turn after just three minutes. Nat Borchers was sent off by referee Yader Reyes after pulling down Benny Feilhaber in the area as he burst through, and Rajko Lekic finished off the penalty.
  • The Revolution doubled the lead in the 16th minute when Chris Tierney sent a low, hard free kick under the wall and inside the right post, but RSL responded in the 24th minute when a free kick from midfielder Andy Williams caromed off the post before Will Johnson coolly tapped in the rebound.
  • The hosts pulled even in the 56th minute when Revolution defender Kevin Alston was whistled for a handball in the box on an RSL cross and Álvaro Saborío buried the ensuing penalty.
  • But New England nosed back in front in the 63rd minute when Sharlie Joseph headed home a Benny Feilhaber free kick. Yet the match took another turn just four minutes when defender Ryan Cochrane was shown a second yellow card.
  • That set the stage for another Real equalizer, this time a through ball from Saborio to put Espindola alone into the box and he cut the ball past Matt Reis and inside the right post for the 3-3 draw.
  • Revolution head coach Steve Nicol made one change to the team that went down to a 2-1 defeat at Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field. Chris Tierney came back into the team for Ryan Guy.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-2-3-1): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston (Didier Domi 86), Ryan Cochrane (sent off 67), A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes (Kenny Mansally 46) - Pat Phelan, Shalrie Joseph - Sainey Nyassi (Zak Boggs 65), Benny Feilhaber, Chris Tierney - Rajko Lekic.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Revolution scored three goals in a game for the first time since April 23, when they defeated Sporting Kansas City 3-2 at home.
  • “It’s tough, it felt like a loss. Going up early 2-0 and they’ve got the red card early, I feel like we should have done better with that,” Revolution head coach Steve Nicol said. “We shouldn’t have let them creep back into the game like that. It was tough, it felt like a loss.”
  • The Revs scored three goals on the road for the first time since 2008, but still saw their winless streak away from Gillette Stadium extended to nine matches (0-6-3).
  • The Revolution are in the midst of a six-game stretch in league play where they will play five games on the road; following the visit by Philadelphia, they head out for games at D.C. United, Colorado and Sporting Kansas City.
  • After the match at RSL, the Revolution went on a brief vacation, taking a few days off before returning to prepare for this week’s games.
  • “I like the fact that we were able to get away from the game to recharge and reset the batteries,” Revolution defender Ryan Cochrane said. “Hopefully, we'll come back out flying and we can turn this thing around in the second half because, honestly, I feel like we were trying everything. The guys were working really hard every day in practice. Sometimes, you just need to clear your mind and get away from the game.”
  • On Wednesday, Manchester United kicked off the World Football Challenge with a 4-1 victory against the Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
  • Halftime substitutes Michael Owen (51) and Federico Macheda (54, 61) struck for Manchester United, while Kenny Mansally (56) registered the Revolution’s lone goal. United midfielder Ji-Sung Park rounded out the scoring in the 80th minute.
  • Here’s the Revolution team: Matt Reis (Bobby Shuttleworth 46), Chris Tierney (Darrius Barnes 46), A.J. Soares (Otto Loewy 46), Franco Coria (Ryan Cochrane 46), Kevin Alston (Kenny Mansally 46), Zak Boggs, Benny Feilhaber (Ousmane Dabo 65), Shalrie Joseph, Pat Phelan (Stephen McCarthy 46), Sainey Nyassi (Ryan Guy 65), Rajko Lekic (Zack Schilawski 64)
  • “We’re happy with the way things went things went in the first half. I thought we were pretty solid, defended well. We were fitter and sharper than them, so it was important that we kept things tight and we did,” said Nicol. “We changed the whole back four because we have a huge game coming up on Sunday. We knew it would cause us some problems, but we know what we have to do to look after ourselves for Sunday.”

PHILADELPHIA UNION

Philadelphia Union extended their undefeated streak to four games, playing to a scoreless draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. Union have 28 points from 18 matches on the year, in a tie atop the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • Union forced Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch into five saves on the evening. Philadelphia Faryd Mondragon made two saves in preserving the clean sheet.
  • Union nearly snagged all three points with five minutes left to play, but Kyle Nakazawa's free kick from the edge of the area rattled off the post.
  • Union manager Peter Nowak made four changes to the team that got a late equalizing goal for a 2-2 draw with D.C. United at RFK Stadium. Gabriel Farfan and Stefani Miglioranzi came into the back four for Carlos Valdes and the departed Jordan Harvey, and Keon Daniel and Kyle Nakazawa came into midfield for Veljko Paunovic and Carlos Ruiz.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-2): Faryd Mondragon - Sheanon Williams, Stefani Miglioranzi, Danny Califf, Gabriel Farfan - Justin Mapp (Roger Torres 70), Kyle Nakazawa, Brian Carroll, Keon Daniel (Michael Farfan 58) - Sebastien Le Toux, Danny Mwanga (Jack McInerney 79).

TEAM NEWS

  • Union conclude a three-game road swing with the visit to New England. They’ve played to draws at D.C. United (2-2) and San Jose (0-0) to start the trip.
  • “With the chances, we need to do better, much better. We got lucky when we played D.C., but this game we were supposed to win by a couple of goals,” said Union manager Peter Nowak. “Those games last year we lost. This is progress and we are still getting the points on the road which is important as well.”
  • Union have scored five goals in the last five games – but they’ve been shut out three times in that span.
  • “In the first half I wasn’t really happy. We had a couple of good ball movements but the final pass didn’t come, or if it did come it was too late,” Nowak said. “I thought our wings were pretty inactive with Justin [Mapp] and Keon Daniel, and I think we need to do better with that.”
  • After maintaining the same back four for nine consecutive games, Union manager Peter Nowak had to make two changes against San Jose with Carlos Valdes ill and the trade of Jordan Harvey. Stefani Miglioranzi moved into an unfamiliar central defense position, but Philadelphia still kept a clean sheet.
  • “We stayed pretty good with Danny Calliff and Stefani Miglioranzi. We did that in the preseason and we were pretty sure that Stefani can do the job with his confidence and experience. It’s another option for us defensively,” said Nowak.
  • Before being dealt, Harvey had missed just one game this season, the May 6 game vs. Portland when he was suspended after being sent off the match before. In that match as well, Gabriel Farfan slotted in at left back.
  • “I think Gabriel Farfan as a left back did pretty well to replace Jordan. In the long run we’re going to look to do better, but as of now we do have options, and they are good options,” Nowak said. “[Gabriel Farfan] is still young and he’s still getting experience. For his first time at this position, for 90 minutes, he did all right.”
  • Still, Nowak said there could be other solutions: "Michael [Farfan] and Keon [Daniel] can play [left back], but I'm not sure they have enough defensive bite like Gabriel Farfan," Nowak said to Philly.com.