Preview: Red Bulls look to rebound, Revs eye spoiler role

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs NEW YORK RED BULLS
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
September 22, 2012 (WEEK 29, MLS Game #276)
7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; MSG)

The I-95 rivalry between the New England Revolution and the New York Red Bulls will once again be contested on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium, with each club having won on their own home ground once this season. The Revolution are coming off a 2-1 loss at D.C. United last weekend that sealed their elimination from playoff contention. The Red Bulls are coming off a midweek home loss, their first league loss at Red Bull Arena in more than a year, that kept them in third place in the Eastern Conference.

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REFEREE: Sorin Stoica. AR1 (bench): Kermit Quisenberry; AR2 (opposite): Bill Dittmar; 4th: Mathieu Bourdeau

MLS Career: 7 games; FC/gm: 26.4; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 0; pens: 4

INJURY REPORT:

  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION -- OUT: FW Saer Sene (L knee ACL tear); QUESTIONABLE: DF Chris Tierney (L hamstring strain) ;
  • NEW YORK RED BULLS -- OUT: GK Ryan Meara (L hip surgery); DF Roy Miller (groin strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NY: Joel Lindpere
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Kevin Alston, Benny Feilhaber, Lee Nguyen, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares ; NY: Kenny Cooper, Connor Lade, Victor Palsson

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (57 meetings): Revolution 26 wins (3 shootout), 100 goals ; Red Bulls 19 wins (2 shootout), 93 goals ;Ties 12
  • AT NEW ENGLAND (27 meetings): Revolution 18 wins (1 shootout), 57 goals ; Red Bulls 2 wins (0 shootout), 33 goals ; Ties 5

2012 (MLS)

4/28: NY 1, NE 0 (Henry 7)

7/8: NE 2, NY 0 (Nguyen 24; Bengtson 84)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Lee Nguyen and Jerry Bengtson scored in a 2-0 Revolution victory July 8 at Gillette Stadium, after New York's Thierry Henry scored the only goal in the April 28 meeting at Red Bull Arena.
  • New York has not won in New England since 2002. The Revolution have won 13 of 17 meetings in league and MLS Cup play since that last New York win. The Revolution haven't won in New Jersey since 2007.
  • The Revolution haven't won in New Jersey since 2007, now winless on their last seven trips to face the Red Bulls. The first four of those were draws; New York has won all three league meetings at Red Bull Arena.
  • Coaches record: Hans Backe vs. NE: P5 W2 L2 D1 ; Jay Heaps vs. NY: P2 W1 L1 D0

LAST MEETING

  • The Revolution capped a fine start by taking the lead after 24 minutes through Lee Nguyen. Receiving a return pass from Chris Tierney just outside the area, Nguyen stepped into the space and swerved a shot around two defenders and inside the left post.
  • Revolution debutant Jerry Bengtson doubled the lead six minutes from time. Shalrie Joseph sent Saer Sene in alone on the New York goal, and 'keeper Ryan Meara did well to repel Sene, but he could do nothing to stop Bengtson from collecting the rebound and coolly slotting it home from close range.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-3-1-2): Bobby Shuttleworth - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney - Kelyn Rowe (Diego Fagundez 89), Clyde Simms, Lee Nguyen - Benny Feilhaber (Shalrie Joseph 73) - Blake Brettschneider (Jerry Bengtson 60), Saer Sene.
  • NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-4-1): Ryan Meara - Brandon Barklage, Stephen Keel (Victor Palsson 82), Wilman Conde, Roy Miller - Dax McCarty - Dane Richards, Joel Lindpere, Mehdi Ballouchy, Connor Lade - Kenny Cooper.

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

The New England Revolution couldn't build upon their first win in 11 games, dropping a 2-1 decision to D.C. United on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. The Revolution are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 28 points from 29 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Revolution took the lead in the 29th minute. Kelyn Rowe snuck behind United left back Chris Korb and ran onto a through ball from midfielder Diego Fagundez. In alone on goal, Rowe sent a rising shot off the underside of the crossbar and into the goal.
  • United answered three minutes later. Branko Boskovic, given all sorts of time outside the area, carried forward before dropping a ball for Chris Pontius, who blasted a low right-footed shot from outside the box past Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis.
  • The game-winner came in the 63rd minute. Pontius cut his way through a couple of defenders and centered the ball back to substitute Lewis Neal, who quickly sent a left-footed shot by a diving Reis.
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made one change to the team that defeated the Columbus Crew 2-0 at Gillette Stadium. Jerry Bengtson came back from international duty in place of Dimitry Imbongo.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Florian Lechner (Juan Toja 73), Stephen McCarthy, Darrius Barnes, Kevin Alston - Kelyn Rowe, Clyde Simms, Ryan Guy, Lee Nguyen - Jerry Bengtson (Dimitry Imbongo 61), Diego Fagundez (Benny Feilhaber 73).

TEAM NEWS

  • With the defeat, the Revolution became the second team officially eliminated from playoff contention, joining Toronto FC. The Revolution have finished out of the MLS Cup Playoffs now for three consecutive seasons.
  • "It's obviously news none of us want to hear or take in, but it's all about moving forward," said Kelyn Rowe. "We are definitely going to play for pride. We need to get wins and make sure this club reclaims its glory and we are going to work every game and every day to get there."
  • United's opening goal snapped a 255-minute shutout streak for the Revolution dating back to the 3-3 draw against Chivas USA on Aug. 29.
  • "I think we started really well, creating chances. Defensively we were stepping up, winning every second ball. They broke us after a long ball up front, with a great run and strike by Pontius, and then things started settling down. I think we created more chances and that we controlled most of the game but, again, they broke us in a breakaway," said Rowe.
  • Rowe scored his third goal of his rookie season, his first since June 2, in netting the opener. The assist from Diego Fagundez was his second of the campaign, coming in the last two matches.
  • The Revolution unleashed 28 shots at goal, a new season-high for the club. "I thought we created chances but (D.C. goalkeeper) Bill (Hamid) was incredible when he saved the ball that deflected off Benny's face, when he threw in his big body to save Benny's other shot, and then again when he saved Toja's chip. We created a lot of opportunities, but Bill came up big for them," said Rowe.
  • Juan Toja made his Revolution debut, coming on for the final 17 minutes. It was Toja's first MLS appearance since July 19, 2008 when he was with FC Dallas.
  • "I did a couple of nice things, a couple of good movements, but I know myself," Toja said. "I must examine myself after the game to see what I really did or to see what I have done or I am not doing. There were a couple of good balls, but most of the time, I was feeling tired. I'm not feeling very strong. I need to work day by day, step by step. I'm on it."
  • With the introduction of Toja and Benny Feilhaber, Heaps changed to a 3-5-2 scheme for the game's final quarter-hour.
  • "I think once Juan Toja and Benny Feilhaber came on, they really created chances for us," Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe said. "I got the ball a lot more. You saw a lot more one-twos. Ryan Guy and I were able to find stuff out wide. Lee Nguyen was underneath the forward and found the ball a lot. I thought we created chances."
  • Said Heaps: "They allowed us to change our formation a little bit. We had plenty of opportunities after bringing them in. I thought Juan did a nice job at finding space, and had some great vertical balls. Benny played well too, finding nice holes and connecting with Lee (Nguyen). When the three of them were firing we were looking pretty good.

NEW YORK RED BULLS

The New York Red Bulls saw their overall and home undefeated streaks both come to an end, dropping a 2-0 decision to Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls are in third place in the Eastern Conference, with 49 points from 29 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Sporting took the lead 12 minutes in. From a free kick straight out from the Red Bulls goal, Graham Zusi's curling shot clanged off the crossbar. The rebound fell to Matt Besler, who passed the ball to C.J. Sapong, and he quickly turned and rifled a shot past goalkeeper Bill Gaudette.
  • Kei Kamara doubled the lead for SKC seven minutes later. Kamara broke away from Wilman Conde's marking at the near post and headed home a Zusi corner kick with ease for his 11th goal of the season.
  • Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made two changes that got two late goals for a 3-1 win against the Columbus Crew at Red Bull Arena. Teemu Tainio and Joel Lindpere came into the team in place of Jan Gunnar Solli and Kenny Cooper.
  • NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-1-1): Bill Gaudette - Connor Lade, Heath Pearce, Markus Holgersson, Wilman Conde - Dax McCarty (Kenny Cooper 46), Teemu Tainio (Sebastien Le Toux 74), Rafa Marquez, Joel Lindpere (Lloyd Sam 69) - Tim Cahill - Thierry Henry.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Red Bulls saw their home undefeated streak come to an end after 16 games, tied for the ninth-longest in MLS history. It was their first league defeat at Red Bull Arena in nearly a year, since last Sept. 21.
  • "I'm surprised, it's a big game. We're fighting to be No. 1 and win, but they're No. 1. But we played so slow and couldn't come out in our attacking game, of course everyone is disappointed," said Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe.
  • The Red Bulls were also shut out for just the fourth time this season, and the first time at home since a 1-0 loss to D.C. United last July 9.
  • "I thought we created chances, but we didn't score. I said to you so many times, that you're not going to be able to come back sometimes in a game like that and that happened tonight," said Thierry Henry. "Kansas City was better than us. They attacked the game better than us and once again we found ourselves 2-0 down after 20 minutes."
  • The Red Bulls have allowed 11 goals in the first 15 matches this season, the most in MLS, and 18 goals in the opening half-hour, also leading the league.
  • "That's how we've come out every game -- home or away. For the guys that follow us, that's the way we come out," said Henry. "I was here the other day talking about Columbus and everybody was bragging about the goal and about the win. I was talking about one thing: to start better and we didn't."
  • Said Rafa M·rquez: "It's a lack of focus, we're not paying attention to our defensive assignments and we need to keep working. This has been our cancer since the first game of the season, but the one that needs to address that is the head coach."
  • Backe again ran out Tim Cahill as an underneath striker behind Thierry Henry, with M·rquez again in a deep-lying central midfield role with Teemu Tainio.
  • "When you play against a team like Kansas, you need possession, you need to get players up-front to get a hold of the ball and you need midfielders that can get a hold of the ball and hold possession. Because if you get too hectic, they are one of the better teams who can get pressure on the ball and they force you to kick it and that's not our game," said Backe.
  • That changed at halftime as Kenny Cooper came on in attack to partner Henry and Cahill moved back to the center of the park.
  • "At halftime we just needed to do something, it could've been probably any of the midfielders. We needed a striker and we would've liked to play Tim (Cahill) as the second striker to try to get an early goal in the second half," said Backe.
  • Said Henry: "The second half was a lot better. Obviously we had a lot more shape and a bit more continuity and we had our bases again. Maybe we have to look at it again and regroup. To me, it's frustrating mainly conceding goals as a team. Collectively we take the blame together. It's not just about the back four, it's about all of us. That's one thing that we need to do is take responsibility as a team and put it right."