FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution have adopted a rather cautious approach on the road at times during this season. Do not expect Sunday's match at Chicago (4 pm ET, watch LIVE online) to follow the same pattern.
“We need to go and try and win the game,” Revolution coach Steve Nicol told MLSsoccer.com earlier this week.
The dire nature of the Revolution's playoff prospects – the right (or wrong) series of results could eliminate them from the picture this weekend – means that no less than a victory will do against a Fire side that has won its last three games at Toyota Park.
In order to secure full honors, the Revs must send additional numbers into the attack to bolster their offensive efforts, according to midfielder Chris Tierney.
“We need three points,” Tierney said. “There's no two ways about it. We have to go for broke. I don't think we're going to be out there, playing conservatively for the tie. We have to defend hard, but then we have to go forward with everything we've got. We have to score goals. That's the bottom line.”
Chicago's arsenal of speedy attacking options may actually facilitate the Revs' approach in this match. The likes of Sebastián Grazzini, Patrick Nyarko, Dominic Oduro and Marco Pappa combine to offer more than enough creativity and pace to test New England's back four.
That’s a concern, since the Revs will be without the injured A.J. Soares, who’s been ruled out with a left adductor strain. But Chicago’s commitment to attack can also leave spaces for opposing teams to exploit in certain situations.
“They've got some dangerous players, that's for sure,” Tierney said. “You have to have each other's backs, be in good spots and try to limit those one-on-one, isolated type plays because they have guys that can hurt you. At the same time, they leave a bunch of holes throwing all those guys forward. If you use the space they give you well, you can hurt them.”
Even though the Revs need to push extra numbers forward in their quest to snatch a rare victory in Bridgeview (New England are just 1-4-2 all-time at Toyota Park), they still must mind their defensive shape and negate the problems the Fire will inevitably pose in the final third, according to Nicol.
“We have to be smart,” Nicol said. “We have to keep a good line. We have to be smart about it and make it hard for them. If they're going to get in behind us, they'd better be clever and make some good movements and some good play.”