Preview: Struggling Revs, Red Bulls renew I-95 rivalry

The New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls renew their I-95 rivalry with both teams in real need of three points as the clubs meet Saturday at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution currently sit outside the top 10, coming off a heartbreaking late 1-1 home draw with the Houston Dynamo. The Red Bulls are currently just ahead of the cut line, coming off a 2-2 home draw with Chicago last weekend.

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REFEREE: Juan Guzman. SAR (bench): Fabio Tovar; JAR (opposite): Ian Anderson; 4th: Baldomero Toledo
MLS Career: 6 games; FC/gm: 29.2; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 2; pens: 2

INJURY REPORT: NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION – OUT: DF Franco Coria (L knee MCL sprain); FW Kheli Dube (whiplash); FW Rajko Lekic (R great toe fracture); MF Sainey Nyassi (R knee MCL sprain) …

NEW YORK RED BULLS – OUT: FW Luke Rodgers (plantar fasciitis); MF Carl Robinson (R knee contusion); GK Frank Rost (R quadriceps tear); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jan Gunnar Solli (R quadriceps strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: NE: Matt Reis (through Aug. 21)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NE: Pat Phelan … NY: Dane Richards, Luke Rodgers
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Ryan Cochrane, Franco Coria, Rajko Lekic, Stephen McCarthy … NY: Mehdi Ballouchy, Rafa Marquez, Carlos Mendes, Roy Miller

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (53 meetings): Revolution 24 wins (3 shootout), 96 goals … Red Bulls 18 wins (2 shootout), 90 goals … Ties 11
AT NEW ENGLAND (25 meetings): Revolution 17 wins (1 shootout), 53 goals … Red Bulls 4 wins (2 shootout), 31 goals … Ties 4
•    An own goal and a Thierry Henry strike sent the Red Bulls on their way to a 2-1 victory in the first meeting between the clubs, June 10 at Red Bull Arena.
•    The last time a road team won in the series came in the first meeting in 2007, a 1-0 Revolution victory at Giants Stadium. The teams then played to draws in each of the last four meetings at the Meadowlands, before the Red Bulls won 2-0 in the first meeting at Red Bull Arena.
•    New York has not won in New England since 2002. The Revolution have won the last two encounters at Gillette Stadium, and 12 of 16 meetings in league and MLS Cup play since that last New York win.
•    Coaches record: Steve Nicol vs. NY: P31 W15 L6 D10 … Hans Backe v NE: P3 W2 L1 D0

LAST MEETING (MLS)
6/10: NY 2, NE 1 (Cochrane og 37, Henry 50 – Boggs 54)
•    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.
•    NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Greg Sutton - Jan Gunnar Solli, Carlos Mendes, Stephen Keel, Roy Miller - Teemu Tainio - Mehdi Ballouchy, Joel Lindpere, Austin da Luz (John Rooney 84) - Thierry Henry, Luke Rodgers (Corey Hertzog 64).
•    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

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution has their winless run stretched to five games in cruel fashion, conceding a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution have 22 points from 25 matches, in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    New England poked in front after just four minutes. A partially cleared corner came back into the box, where Milton Caraglio saw his close-range effort deflected by a sliding defender. But it fell right to Ryan Cochrane at the back post, who turned in the goal against his former side.
•    But the Dynamo pulled even with some late dramatics. Brad Davis curled in a corner kick and Carlo Costly rose highest to force Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis into a save. But Bobby Boswell was able to poke home the rebound on the goal line for the leveler.
•    Revolution head coach Steve Nicol made three changes to the team that fell 3-1 to the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. Ryan Cochrane returned to central defense, coming into the team along with Zak Boggs and Kenny Mansally, with Stephen McCarthy, Zack Schilawski and Pat Phelan going to the bench.
•    NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane (Pat Phelan 76), A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes - Zak Boggs, Shalrie Joseph, Benny Feilhaber, Chris Tierney (Zack Schilawski 62) - Kenny Mansally, Milton Caraglio (Stephen McCarthy 79).

TEAM NEWS
•    The Revolution are winless in their last six games at Gillette Stadium, and have not won there since a 1-0 defeat of Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 14.
•    “To lose the two points in the 90th minute obviously sticks in the throat, but if we’re honest we were under a lot of pressure tonight and we stood up well, but we just couldn’t hang on at the end,” said Revolution head coach Steve Nicol.
•    The draw left the Revolution eight points behind the wild card positions with nine games left to play. After the visit by the Red Bulls, New England has three of its next four games on the road
•    “It’s still ahead of us in terms of if we want to get to the playoffs. We’re at home this Saturday and there’s not a doubt we have to get three points,” said Shalrie Joseph. “The last two games we talked about just getting six points and we’d be right in the thick of it, but we slipped up [Wednesday], allowing a late goal like that.”
•    When scoring first, the Revolution have held on for wins just four out of 10 times, losing twice and reaching draws four times. That total is second behind only New York – which is 6-0-9 after scoring first.
•    “We started off the game right putting pressure on them and getting an early goal and for some reason, mentally or whatever it is, we just go back into a shell and allow teams to play and it comes back to hurt us every game now for the last couple of games and you can see that’s what is killing us … we just have to be mentally strong,” Joseph said.
•    For Ryan Cochrane, the goal against his former club was his first in MLS since Oct. 25, 2008, when he scored for the San Jose Earthquakes.
•    But it was another early exit for Cochrane, after he was involved in a clash of heads. He went off early July 20 vs. D.C. with a foot injury, making just one start in four games between that and the Houston game, and was also forced off at halftime May 28 vs. LA.
•    “I just had kind of like blurry vision for most of the game and I was trying to shake it at halftime. I didn’t really sit down at halftime, I was trying to walk around and keep my adrenaline moving, you know, pumping but in the end it was just kind of precautionary to get off the field,” Cochrane said. “I just couldn’t shake it really. I think I’ll do an Impact Test [Thursday] and hopefully be ready for the weekend.”
•    When Cochrane left, Pat Phelan once again deputized in central defense. Phelan had started 10 of the 11 previous league matches in midfield.
•    “When he goes off you lose a little leadership there, a little experience. But that being said, Pat (Phelan) is an awesome player as everyone knows, so that’s not the problem. Then you have a leader like Ryan that goes off the field, it’s a bummer,” said A.J. Soares.
•    Kenny Mansally started at striker, partner Milton Caraglio, his first appearance in the first XI since July 17. Mansally had come off the substitutes’ bench every game in between.

NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls had their league winless run extended to six games, coming back for a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls have 31 points from 25 games, in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    The home side took the lead after just nine minutes. From the edge of the area, Dane Richards laid the ball back to Thierry Henry, and he curled in a majestic effort inside the right-hand post.
•    But the Fire were even just seven minutes later. Freed down the left flank by Marco Pappa, Patrick Nyarko sent a pass across the face of goal where Dominic Oduro tapped a shot past Red Bulls goalkeeper Chris Konopka.
•    Just eight minutes later, Chicago was in the lead. Pappa again sprung Nyarko, this time with a through ball up the center of the park. Konopka was able to deflect Nyarko's lofted shot, but the deflection fell right into the path of Sebastian Grazzini, who tapped home.
•    But the Red Bulls found an equalizer in the 63rd minute. Joel Lindpere played the ball to Dane Richards on the right flank, and he returned a centering pass that Lindpere hooked inside the far post first-time with his left boot.
•    Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made three changes to the team that fell 3-0 to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Teemu Tainio and Dane Richards came into the midfield for Jan Gunnar Solli and Juan Agudelo, and Chris Konopka made his MLS debut in goal, in place of Frank Rost.
•    NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-4-1): Chris Konopka - Chris Albright, Tim Ream, Rafael Marquez, Roy Miller - Teemu Tainio - Dane Richards, Joel Lindpere, Dax McCarty (Juan Agudelo 60), Mehdi Ballouchy (Stephane Auvray 60) - Thierry Henry.

TEAM NEWS
•    The Red Bulls have three losses and three draws in their last six games, and have not won since a 5-0 defeat of Toronto FC on July 6. They have won just twice in 18 league games (2-5-11),
•    “As it looked today, definitely yes,” said Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe said on Saturday. “Absolutely, this is a playoff team. And if we reach the playoffs, I am absolutely sure we will be very dangerous.” Said defender Chris Albright: “We fully expect to make the playoffs … that’s our expectation. We know it’s sort of time to kick it in. We’ve put ourselves in a position where points are imperative, not a luxury.”
•    The Chicago game started the final 10-game stretch of the season for the Red Bulls. Six (including the Fire game) are at Red Bull Arena.
•    “This has to be a restart — a new start for the rest of the 10 games,” Backe said. "Of course, we want to win games, we need to win games. But the most important thing was to see [if] we could bounce back from the Real Salt Lake game.”
•    League pool goalkeeper Chris Konopka – a Toms River, N.J. native who has been playing in Ireland much of the last three years – made his MLS debut in goal. He was selected to start ahead of young Alex Horwath, who made his professional debut in March vs, Columbus.
•    First-choice ‘keeper Frank Rost is still sidelined with a torn quadriceps muscle, and deputy Bouna Coundoul was ill after returning from international duty with Senegal. “[Coundoul] hadn’t trained with us one session this past week; he went direct from Salt Lake to play for Senegal,” Backe said. “It’s ridiculous to play a guy with that travel schedule.”
•    Konopka became the fifth goalkeeper to start a game for the Red Bulls when he played vs. Chicago. Five teams in MLS history have used five different goalkeepers in one season, the most recent previously Toronto FC in 2008.
•    After limping off the field three-quarters of the way through the RSL match with a thigh strain, Jan Gunnar Solli completely missed the Chicago match – the first time he’d been out of the starting lineup in league play this season. “I guess Solli will be back,” Backe said. “He should be in for the weekend game.”
•    Stéphane Auvray, obtained in a trade with Sporting Kansas City, made his Red Bulls debut, coming on at the hour mark for Mehdi Ballouchy. Backe said Auvray is a “backup to [Teemu] Tainio … If he shows he’s good enough, he’s a starter. We’ll see how he plays.”