Preview: Crew look to continue road domination of Revs

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs COLUMBUS CREW
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.

7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; ONN)
October 15, 2011 (WEEK 31; MLS Game 293)

The New England Revolution conclude the Gillette Stadium portion of their schedule when they take on the Columbus Crew on Saturday night. Officially eliminated from playoff contention, the Revolution are coming off a 2-1 home loss to the San Jose Earthquakes. The Crew are within range of securing a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs, sitting in third place in the Eastern Conference after their 2-1 home win against D.C. United.

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REFEREE: Mark Geiger. SAR (bench): Anthony Vasoli; JAR (opposite): Chris Strickland; 4th: Abbey Okulaja
MLS Career: 86 games; FC/gm: 26.5; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 16; pens: 30

INJURY REPORT: NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION - OUT: FW Ryan Kinne (nasal fracture); FW Rajko Lekic (L ankle sprain); MF Stephen McCarthy (L shoulder surgery); MF Sainey Nyassi (R hamstring strain); GK Matt Reis (R hamstring strain); DF A.J. Soares (L ankle surgery); QUESTIONABLE: MF Zak Boggs (R hip impingement) ... COLUMBUS CREW - OUT: MF Tony Tchani (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: FW Tommy Heinemann (lower back strain); DF Chad Marshall (L ankle sprain); MF Danny O'Rourke (L knee tightness); MF Robbie Rogers (R hamstring strain); DF Rich Balchan (abdominal strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS:

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NE: Milton Caraglio, Ryan Cochrane ... CLB: Dejan Rusmir

SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph, Rajko Lekic, Kenny Mansally, Stephen McCarthy, Pat Phelan ... CLB: Kevin Burns, Emmanuel Ekpo, Tommy Heinemann, William Hesmer, Julius James, Sebastian Miranda, Tony Tchani

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (53 meetings): Revolution 16 wins (1 shootout), 66 goals ... Crew 27 wins (4 shootout), 84 goals ... Ties 10
  • AT NEW ENGLAND (26 meetings): Revolution 10 wins (0 shootout), 36 goals ... Crew 12 wins (3 shootout), 31 goals ... Ties 4
  • In the first meeting this season, goals from Julius James and Emilio Renter"a capped a second-half comeback as the Crew overcame a first-half Benny Feilhaber strike for a 3-1 victory, Aug. 13 at Crew Stadium.
  • The Revolution haven't defeated Columbus at home since 2006, a 1-0 win on Oct. 14. The Crew have won three of the five meetings since in Foxborough, with two draws.
  • Coaches record: Steve Nicol v CLB: P30 W10 L11 D9 ... Robert Warzycha vs. NE: P7 W3 L2 D2

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • 8/13: CLB 3, NE 1 (own goal 54; James 75; Renteria 81 - Feilhaber 45)
  • The Revolution took the lead just before the break. Pat Phelan shook off a challenge in the area and laid the ball square in a return pass for Benny Feilhaber, and he lashed home a low shot past William Hesmer.
  • The equalizer came in the 54th minute when New England defender Kevin Alston stuck out a foot to prevent a chip from Andrés Mendoza reaching fellow forward Tommy Heinemann, but the ball flew over the head of onrushing goalkeeper Matt Reis.
  • On 75 minutes, the Crew took the lead when Julius James powered home a header from close range at the near post after a corner kick from Josh Gardner.
  • Emilio Renteria then finished off the scoring six minutes later when he turned home a shot all alone in front of goal from a rolling cross by Robbie Rogers from the right corner.
  • COLUMBUS CREW  (4-1-3-2): William Hesmer - Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Julius James, Josh Gardner - Kevin Burns - Justin Meram (Bernardo Anor 72), Emmanuel Ekpo, Robbie Rogers - Tommy Heinemann (Emilio Renteria 58), Andres Mendoza (Dilly Duka 66).
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes, Chris Tierney - Pat Phelan - Benny Feilhaber, Stephen McCarthy (Zak Boggs 79), Shalrie Joseph, Zack Schilawski (Kenny Mansally 68) - Milton Caraglio (Diego Fagundez 79).

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

The New England Revolution had their losing streak hit four games, the San Jose Earthquakes scoring a late winner for a 2-1 victory Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution have 27 points from 32 matches, in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • San Jose got off to a perfect start after just eight minutes. Goalkeeper David Bingham thumped a clearance from his own penalty area over the Revolution defense. Chris Wondolowski scampered past the last man into the box, brought down the service with a slick first touch and coolly slotted home inside the far post.
  • The home side pulled even 10 minutes into the second half. After a scramble following a free kick that was blocked at the edge of box, Ryan Guy forced Bingham into a fine diving save. Milton Caraglio headed the rebound off the crossbar, but Benny Feilhaber tucked the rebound into the vacated net with a neat leaping finish.
  • But the Quakes snatched the winner with eight minutes to play. The ball swung from left to right for Simon Dawkins to feed Sam Cronin's overlapping run down the right, and he lofted in a cross to the back post where Wondolowski climbed to nod home his 14th goal of the season.
  • Revolution head coach Steve Nicol made two changes to the team that fell 2-1 to Seattle Sounders FC at Gillette Stadium. Bobby Shuttleworth came in between the posts for the injured Matt Reis, and Darrius Barnes replaced A.J. Soares in the back four.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Bobby Shuttleworth - Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane (Kheli Dube 87), Darrius Barnes, Chris Tierney - Ryan Guy, Shalrie Joseph, Benny Feilhaber, Monsef Zerka (Zack Schilawski 75) - Milton Caraglio, Diego Fagundez.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Revolution need victories in their final two games this season if they are to avoid a club record for the fewest wins in a season. The Revolution recorded seven wins in 27 games in 2001.
  • "It's not a case of motivation, to be honest; it's people making mistakes," Revolution head coach Steve Nicol said. "We certainly had four or five occasions in which we might have scored and we could be sitting here with four or five goals behind us, but we haven't. And we've lost the game because we make basic errors defensively."
  • The Revolution have allowed 14 goals in the final quarter-hour of games, most in MLS this season.
  • "It's kind of been the same story for most of the season. We've done the same things. We've made chances, not taken them and then given up bad goals and we end up losing games," Nicol said.
  • Bobby Shuttleworth made his fifth league start of the season, replacing the injured Matt Reis. It was his third defeat (to go with two draws) in those starts.
  • "Throughout the season, you can see that the effort is there," said Shuttleworth. "Everyone is really busting their tails, guys are giving 100 percent effort all the time and the passion is there. It's just mental lapses at important times that have really killed us this year. That's what we have to focus on these last two games: not giving away one or two mental errors that cost us goals that we end up losing the game on."
  • Ryan Guy made his third consecutive start in a wide midfield role, his second with Monsef Zerka manning the other side.
  • "We're both pretty comfortable using either foot - playing on either side - so it was basically just if either of us feel uncomfortable or frustrated at any time, we just switch over," Guy said. "Or if it's easier and there is a corner and we find ourselves over there, we just switch back and forth, no problem.

COLUMBUS CREW

The Columbus Crew put an end to their winless streak at six games, coming back for a 2-1 win against D.C. United on Oct. 2 at Crew Stadium. The Crew have 44 points from 32 games on the season, now in third place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • United took the lead in the 37th minute. Dwayne De Rosario served a free kick from near the right touchline and Daniel Woolard was able to sneak through the Crew back line before volleying home with a classy redirect with his left foot.
  • But three minutes into the second half, the Crew were even. A Shaun Francis shot hit a goalmouth scrum and fell to Crew forward Andres Mendoza. He spun and fired on goal, and while Woolard tried to clear, the carom squibbed past goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
  • The home side then hit for the eventual winner on the hour mark. Sebastian Miranda broke down the right touchline and put in a low cross from the edge of the area, and Eddie Gaven flung himself headlong at the ball, sending a diving header into the back of the net.
  • Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made two changes to the team that dropped a 2-1 decision to Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park. Danny O'Rourke came into central defense for Chad Marshall, and Eddie Gaven returned to the lineup in place of Robbie Rogers.
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-1-3-2): William Hesmer - Sebastian Miranda, Danny O'Rourke, Julius James, Shaun Francis (Rich Balchan 64) - Kevin Burns - Eddie Gaven, Emmanuel Ekpo, Dilly Duka (Bernardo Anor 77) - Andres Mendoza, Emilio Renteria (Tommy Heinemann 67).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Crew could clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs with a victory, and wins by either Houston or Portland, and by Kansas City.
  • "It's all about us," midfielder Eddie Gaven said. "We have our destiny in our own hands, so to speak. It's not like we need help from other teams to make the playoffs. ... Right now it's just to get into the playoffs. Once you're there, we've seen the last two years pretty much anything can happen."
  • The Crew will conclude their season with a trip to Chicago on Oct. 22. They were 9-3-5 at Crew Stadium this season; on the road, they are 3-9-3.
  • "Nothing's going to change what we want to do," head coach Robert Warzycha said. "We're trying to get as many points as we can."
  • Eddie Gaven made his first appearance for the Crew after missing eight games to a leg injury and scored his fifth goal of the season. "I wasn't sure if I was going to go 45, 60, 90 [minutes]," Gaven said. "It was all about whatever the team needed me to do and tonight it was to go the whole game."
  • Said defender Danny O'Rourke: "You always want to have Eddie Gaven on the field. He brings so much to the game that goes unnoticed. He makes good runs. You wouldn't know he's been out a month doing a little bit of fitness here and there. He's running all over the place. He's a smart player. He rarely makes a bad decision."
  • Chad Marshall was supposed to be in the starting lineup, despite an ankle injury, but after pre-game warmups he was scratched. Danny O'Rourke, who was supposed to play as a holding midfielder, moved to center back; Kevin Burns took O'Rourke's place in the midfield.
  • "I found out 45 minutes before that I was playing center back, which I really don't like," O'Rourke said. "It definitely took a while to get used to it at the beginning. Once I settled down it was better. I was looking forward to playing in the middle against [Dwayne] De Rosario - he's an old teammate - but whatever it takes to get a victory."
  • The Crew will have Julius James, who was called into Trinidad & Tobago's national team for World Cup qualifiers, and Emmanuel Ekpo, called in by Nigeria for the friendly vs. Ghana in London, England.
  • The Crew will qualify for a playoff spot with a victory, and if three of Houston, Portland, Kansas City and Chicago win over the weekend.
  • "Every team goes through the ebbs and flows, especially with the injuries," Danny O'Rourke said. "We may be one of the most decimated teams with injuries this year but once we get everybody back, hopefully for this playoff push and into the playoffs, we can be a very good team."