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Final

New England Revolution vs. Seattle Sounders | MLS Match Preview

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
May 11, 2014 (WEEK 10, MLS Game #91)
6 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; KCPQ-13 FOX)

Two of the hottest teams in Major League Soccer meet when the New England Revolution play host to Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are undefeated in four games, returning home off a 2-1 win at Toronto FC. Sounders FC won their club-record tying fifth game on the trot at midweek, coming back for a 2-1 win against FC Dallas at CenturyLink Field.

REFEREE: Jose Carlos Rivero. AR1 (bench): Peter Manikowski; AR2 (opposite): Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho; 4th: Mark Kadlecik
MLS Career: 22 games; FC/gm: 27.3; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 6; pens: 11

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NE: Andy Dorman
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: A.J. Soares … SEA: Osvaldo Alonso
DISABLED LIST: SEA: Damion Lowe; Kevin Parsemain
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Revolution 3 wins, 10 goals … Sounders FC 3 wins, 11 goals … Ties 2
AT NEW ENGLAND (4 meetings): Revolution 2 wins, 8 goals … Sounders FC 1 win, 6 goals … Ties 1

LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/13: SEA 0, NE 0

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • The Revolution last won in the series in 2010, a 3-1 win at Gillette Stadium. In four meetings since, Sounders FC have won twice, both during 2011.
  • The teams have played to draws in each of the last two seasons, including a scoreless result last April 13 at CenturyLink Field.
  • Coaches record: Jay Heaps vs. SEA: P2 W0 L0 D2 … Sigi Schmid vs. NE: P31 W13 L11 D7

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution stretched their undefeated run to four games, coming back for a late 2-1 victory against Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. The Revolution are in a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 9 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Toronto FC struck early, taking the lead in the sixth minute as Jackson drilled an audacious, low shot from 30 yards out that deflected off the foot of Revs defender A.J. Soares and into the back of the net.
  • The Revolution were level in the 24th minute. A misplaced pass was intercepted by Daigo Kobayashi, and he fed rookie Patrick Mullins, who then lashed a left-footed missile that beat goalkeeper Julio Cesar with a well-placed shot into the top corner.
  • The decisive goal came eight minutes from time. Mullins fired a shot toward goal which was deflected in the box by TFC defender Doneil Henry's raised arm and referee Mark Geiger pointed to the spot. Lee Nguyen easily beat Julio Cesar, who went the wrong way on the penalty attempt.
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made two changes to the team that scored a pair of late goals for a 2-0 win against Sporting Kansas City at Gillette Stadium. Kevin Alston came in at right back for Chris Tierney, and Patrick Mullins started up top in place of Jerry Bengtson.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Darrius Barnes, Andrew Farrell, A.J. Soares, Kevin Alston (Chris Tierney 35) - Andy Dorman - Teal Bunbury, Daigo Kobayashi (Scott Caldwell 57), Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez (Steve Neumann 77) - Patrick Mullins.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Revolution extended their undefeated run to four matches with victories in three, and have lost just once since dropping the opening two matches of the season.
  • Patrick Mullins appeared in his first league match since starting and playing the first half in the season-opening 4-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo, and scored his first professional goal.
  • “Tactically we’ve been working with Patrick and he has a really good sense of how to play forward,” said Heaps. “That was one thing last week that was missing a little bit ... We really need someone to hold up the ball. He’s got good feet, he’s also a goal scorer, but for us the pace of the league is strong and physical and Patrick did a nice job doing that.”
  • Mullins, the MAC Hermann Trophy for both 2012 and 2013 with Georgetown University, played in the lone striker role after featuring as a wide midfielder in his only other MLS appearance.
  • “I think your role changes as it’s about holding the ball up for your team and dictating where we are going to press and how we are going to play defensively. I have the skills and confidence to play at this position and know that I can do well,” Mullins said.
  • Lee Nguyen scored a goal in a third consecutive match – all from the penalty spot – and now leads the Revolution with four goals this season.
  • “He’s working extremely hard,” Heaps said. “He’s making it very difficult [for other teams] to play. When a team is trying to build, he’s taking away one or two options with his pressure and that really helps the backs get set, it helps the other midfielders gets set.”
  • Another rookie, Steve Neumann, had his longest shift in his three MLS appearances, coming on the final 11 minutes. “I thought Neumann did a nice job, and Mullins the same thing,” said Heaps. “These rookies are chomping at the bit and it’s starting to show.”
  • Kevin Alston returned to the starting lineup after missing the Sporting KC match through suspension, but lasted just 35 minutes before he had to come off in favor of Chris Tierney, who had started vs. SKC.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC ran their winning streak to five matches, again coming back, this time for a 2-1 win against FC Dallas on Wednesday evening at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are in first place in the Western Conference with 22 points from 10 games.

LAST MATCH

  • FC Dallas took the lead in the 16th minute. While chasing a ball over the top, Brad Evans got his feet tangled up with FCD striker Blas Pérez and referee Baldemero Toledo pointed to the spot. Michel then coolly finished from the spot.
  • Sounders FC drew level in the 62nd minute. Obafemi Martins split a pair of defenders with a pass from the right flank to Lamar Neagle at the near post, and he sent a neat, quick touch past FCD 'keeper Raul Fernandez from the edge of the six-yard box.
  • The game-winner came in the 88th minute from almost identical circumstances. This time, Martins worked the ball down the left channel and sent in a cross to Kenny Cooper, who was unmarked in front of goal, and he side-footed home first-time from the top of the six.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made two changes to the team that came back for a 2-1 win against Philadelphia Union at CenturyLink Field. Zach Scott and Marco Pappa came into the team, in place of Djimi Traore and Dylan Remick.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott, Chad Marshall, Brad Evans - Lamar Neagle (Kenny Cooper 86), Gonzalo Pineda, Osvaldo Alonso, Marco Pappa (Chad Barrett 74) - Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey (Jalil Anibaba 94+).

TEAM NEWS

  • Sounders FC equaled their MLS club record with their five consecutive win. They had set it previously on three occasions, including last year from Aug. 25-Sept. 13.
  • For the fourth time in five games when they’ve conceded the opening goal, Sounders FC came back to win. The Chicago Fire led MLS last season with 5 wins after allowing the opening goal over the entire season.
  • “We don't want it to always come to that but it's nice at least to know that we have it in us. We keep kind of saying the same thing-we always know we can score goals no matter what, so if we're down 1-0 or if it's 0-0, I think we're confident until the 90th minute,” said Lamar Neagle.
  • Obafemi Martins recorded his second 2-assist game of the season, and the third in his two seasons in MLS. He now leads MLS with 6 assists.
  • “That's his unselfish play for the team. He'll run the channels, he'll post up when he needs to post up, he'll drop off and find the ball. He will chase and battle and fight for the ball. He has just been a great teammate this year and this is something good. ... If we can get him on the ball and if we can get Dempsey on the ball in the final 20 yards of the field, it's problems for the opponent,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said.
  • Martins has 3 goals and 2 assists over the last 4 games; he has a goal and/or an assist in eight of the last nine Sounders FC matches.
  • “He's playing what we expected of him. Last year was a difficult year, moving back and coming all the way over. Playing in-season in Russia, playing in-season in Spain, to a season with us, he eventually broke down physically,” Schmid said. “When you look back on that, in 12 months’ time he played 40-plus games, so we knew he could do that but it just ended up being too much and he broke down at the end of last year.”
  • Kenny Cooper came off the substitutes’ bench for a third consecutive match, netting his third goal of the season – his first since April 5, the second of back-to-back games where he had scored.
  • Neagle scored his third goal in the last four matches. Over those four games, Neagle has three goals and one assist.
  • “No matter what I’m going to make good runs and Oba finds everybody,” Neagle said. “That’s what happened with Kenny, that’s what happened with me. We have confidence in our guys’ passing, especially [Martins and Clint Dempsey]. I know if I just make good runs, they are going to find me.”
  • After making his first start since March 15 at the weekend, Brad Evans started a second consecutive match – this time at left back, after playing wide in the midfield vs. Philadelphia.
  • Zach Scott made his first start of the season in central defense. He had made his first appearance of the year at the weekend, coming off the substitutes’ bench for the final 2 minutes.
  • “I thought (Brad) Evans did a good job filling in at left back in the second half of last game, so we put him back there again at left back,” Schmid said. “We came out with Zach Scott because for Djimi (Traore) it's tough to play three games in a week on turf. We felt we needed to make a change there. Zach had been training well and Jalil (Anibaba) was certainly someone we were considering as well.”