New England Revolution vs. Colorado Rapids | MLS Match Preview

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs COLORADO RAPIDS
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
July 30, 2014 (WEEK 21, MLS Game #190)
7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; Altitude)

The New England Revolution will looking to avoid making history when they play host to the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution suffered their eighth consecutive defeat – one loss shy of the all-time club record – when they fell 2-1 to the Columbus Crew in Foxborough on Saturday evening. The Rapids head East off a 3-0 victory against Chivas USA on Friday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, which moved them into a tie for third place in the Western Conference.

REFEREE: Juan Guzman. SAR (bench): Claudio Badea; JAR (opposite): Scott Kachmarik; 4th: Alan Kelly
MLS Career: 45 games; FC/gm: 25.3; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 15; pens: 12

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NE: Lee Nguyen, Chris Tierney
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Scott Caldwell, A.J. Soares … COL: Carlos Alvarez
DISABLED LIST: NE: Andy Dorman
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (40 meetings): Revolution 12 wins (2 shootout), 52 goals … Rapids 19 wins (1 shootout), 66 goals … Ties 9
AT NEW ENGLAND (30 meetings): Revolution 9 wins (2 shootout), 35 goals … Rapids 6 wins (0 shootout), 28 goals … Ties 5

LAST YEAR (MLS)
7/17: COL 2, NE 1 (LaBrocca 62; own goal 67 – Toja 15)
• This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
• The Revolution defeated the Rapids in 2012 in the last meeting in Foxborough, their first win in the all-time series since the 2007 season.
• The Revolution haven’t won in Colorado in a decade, since a 2-1 win June 15, 2002, the Rapids winning 2-1 last July 17 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the only meeting between the teams.
• Coaches record: Jay Heaps vs. COL: P2 W1 L1 T0 … Oscar Pareja vs. NE: first game

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution saw their losing slide stretched to eight games, the Columbus Crew hitting for a late winner for a 2-1 victory on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 23 points from 20 games.

LAST MATCH

• The Crew took the lead in the 43rd minute. After Ethan Finlay was taken down just outside the top of the box, Federico Higuain whistled the resulting free kick over the wall, finding nothing but the back of the net.
• The Revolution drew even five minutes after the second-half restart. Kelyn Rowe sent in a corner kick from the right and A.J. Soares met it with a snap header at the near post to make it 1-1.
• But the Crew found the decider six minutes from the end. Justin Meram collected the ball at midfield and drove a long pass up the center of the field through to Finlay, who held off a defender before slotting past 'keeper Bobby Shuttleworth for the eventual match-winner.
• Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made five changes to the team that fell 2-0 to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium. A.J. Soares and Jose Goncalves came into central defense, Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe started in midfield and Patrick Mullins returned up top, in place of Darrius Barnes, Stephen McCarthy, Daigo Kobayashi, Steve Neumann and Charlie Davies.
• NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Andrew Farrell, A.J. Soares, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney (Darrius Barnes 21) - Scott Caldwell - Diego Fagundez, Kelyn Rowe, Lee Nguyen, Teal Bunbury (Daigo Kobayashi 81) - Patrick Mullins (Dimitry Imbongo 67).

TEAM NEWS

• The Revolution lost their eighth game in a row in the 2-1 home loss to Columbus. The Revolution club record is nine losses in a row, set in both 1997 and ’98; it’s the longest losing slide in MLS since Toronto FC lost nine games in a row at the start of the 2012 season.
• “You have to roll up your sleeves and keep going forward. It’s awful and tough, but at the same time, you have to keep a perspective and keep going forward,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “We have a really young team – and we know we can win games in this league; it’s just a matter of finding a way quickly.”
• A.J. Soares scored his second goal of the season in the Columbus match. Soares has matched his single-season career high for goals in MLS, also done in 2012; he now has six career league goals.
• “It was big time from A.J., he had an excellent game. He came through for us and that goal was very important. I felt like we had a very dominant game and unfortunately we didn’t get the win,” said forward Teal Bunbury. “But, that goal from A.J. was big-time. It lifted all of our spirits and I think in our mind we thought, hey we’re going to win this game now, no question.”
• All of Soares’ goals have been headed goals off set pieces. His goal vs. Columbus was the second from a Kelyn Rowe service (one free kick, one corner kick); his other four goals are headers off of Chris Tierney’s services (three free kicks, one corner kick).
• The Revolution conceded multiple goals in a game for the seventh time in their eight-game losing slide which started May 31. They have not scored more than one goal in any game during the skid, netting four goals total.
• “It comes down to, as much as the play is in the middle of the field and back and forth, it comes to down to what happens at each end of the field, and we’re not doing well enough at each end and we’ve got to change that,” said midfielder Scott Caldwell. “Wednesday night can’t come soon enough. We all want to get back out on to the field and turn it around.”
• Chris Tierney was forced off the field after just 21 minutes after suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.
• “When things don’t go well for you, you lose certain little things along the way. In this circumstance, Chris was a big loss for us because he helps us offensively a lot,” Heaps said. “While he works hard defensively, it is his offensive technique that spreads the game for us and helps us get forward.  It hurt not having his left foot.”
• Dimitry Imbongo made his second appearance of the season, coming on as a substitute in the 67th minute, replacing Patrick Mullins. Imbongo’s last appearance came on March 22 against Vancouver, when he came on as a second-half substitute.

COLORADO RAPIDS

The Colorado Rapids recorded their first victory after three matches without a win, rolling to a 3-0 victory against Chivas USA on Friday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids are in third place in the Western Conference with 30 points from 20 games.

LAST MATCH

• The Rapids took the lead in the 16th minute. After Vicente Sanchez’s initial shot was blocked, Nick LaBrocca took the rebound from just outside the area and curled a left-footed effort off the post and to the back of the net.
• Ten minutes later, the Rapids doubled their lead. A perfectly-placed corner from Dillon Powers went straight to Drew Moor, who made no mistake with his open header, blasting it straight into the back of the net.
• The home side completed the scoring in the 75th minute when Gabriel Torres cut back inside and beat Chivas ‘keeper Dan Kennedy with a left-footed curling blast from the left corner of the area.
• Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni made four changes to the team that fell 2-1 to the Portland Timbers at Providence Park. Marc Burch came into the back four for Thomas Piermayr, and Nick LaBrocca, Vicente Sanchez and Gabriel Torres all came into the team in place of Marlon Hairston, Carlos Alvarez and Deshorn Brown.
• COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Clint Irwin - Christopher Klute, Drew Moor, Marvell Wynne, Marc Burch - Nick LaBrocca, Jared Watts (Marlon Hairston 42), Dillon Powers, Dillon Serna - Vicente Sanchez (Carlos Alvarez 70), Gabriel Torres (Edson Buddle 76).

TEAM NEWS

• The Rapids won for the first time since June 28, when they defeated Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-0, snapping a three-game winless run (0-1-2).
• “I think defensively we were really tight and didn’t allow anything. I’ve been saying all year, if you’re good defensively, you’re going to get good attacking opportunities,” said Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni. “I think we relished those moments in the first half going forward, and could have had a few more. But again, the defensive effort, the mindset, the mentality - it was spot on.”
• Panamanian international Gabriel Torres scored his first goal of the season His last goal in MLS league play came last Oct. 19, when he scored twice vs. Vancouver; Torres was making his first start in league play since May 7.
• “For strikers it’s all about scoring goals, and I think [Torres] took a big burden off his shoulders with that goal he scored,” Mastroeni said. “That’s the kind of quality he has and has shown in training, and now to translate that into games is really an important piece for this team moving forward.”
• Said Torres: “The truth is that today, after not getting a lot of minutes, I felt really good. I feel like I can do well and keep helping the team.”
• Nick LaBrocca put an end to a long goal drought when he netted. It was LaBrocca’s first league goal since last July 17; he has scored at least one goal in each of his last seven MLS seasons.
• Defender Drew Moor scored his second goal of the season, his first coming May 17. Moor has scored at least one goal in each one of his seasons in MLS, with the exception of his rookie campaign in 2005.
• It was the ninth shutout of the season for the Rapids as a team, the seventh for goalkeeper Clint Irwin, moving him into a tie for the MLS league lead with Sporting KC’s Eric Kronberg.
• “One thing that we’ve really stressed the last couple weeks is to not lose possession in dangerous spots. Don’t mess around with it in the back in our defensive half. If we have to play ugly sometimes and put it up into their half and go play in there, that’s fine,” said Moor. “We’ve really tried to limit those turnovers where they’re coming at us in transition, with numbers up or whatever the case may be. We’ve tried to lock down set pieces.”
• Rookie midfielder Jared Watts was forced out of the game before the first half was over, suffering a right shin contusion. Striker Deshorn Brown (groin) and defender Shane O’Neill (knee) were both also forced to miss Friday’s match through injury, while midfielder Vicente Sanchez is unlikely to travel to New England.
• “He’s not one guy to come out for anything, so if he’s coming out, he’s hurt,” Mastroeni said. “It’s unfortunate, but those things happen a hundred times in a game.”