Andrew Farrell - Revs – against orlando

Andrew Farrell has no problem calling this Saturday’s trip (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info) to face Orlando City a "six-pointer" and the "biggest one of our season", acknowledging the playoff implications in the Eastern Conference.


“It’s huge,” the New England Revolution center back said. “They’re trying to get in. They’ve got only a couple more games. I think we have a game in hand, so they’ve got four games left. So, every game for them is going to matter, and also for us. We need to get these three points to make up for these results that haven’t necessarily gone our way. But again, I think we have a team that can do it, so we’re just going to get rest and recover this week, and get ready for them.”


As Farrell explained, Orlando have just four games left in their season and four points out of a playoff spot. Meanwhile, the Revs have five matches left and hold the No. 7 in the East with 39 points, two points above the Montreal Impact and four more than the Lions in ninth. The result at Exploria Stadium, one way or another, is going to have massive implications.


But fellow defender Jalil Anibaba is used to this sort of pressure, pointing to how New England started the 2019 season with a 2-8-2 record. After an 11-game unbeaten streak in late spring and early summer, they’re 1-2-3 across their last six matches. 


“For us, it’s been like that since May probably because we dug ourselves into such a big hole,” Anibaba said. “So, this is pretty normal for us. We obviously know it’s coming down towards the end, but we’ve put that pressure on ourselves since the beginning of the summer.”



To combat that, New England will be without midfielders Juan Agudelo and Wilfried Zahibo on account of yellow-card accumulation. However, center back Antonio Delamea will be available for selection after seeing his early red card in last weekend’s 2-1 loss at New York City FC rescinded.


There’s also a chance that striker Teal Bunbury returns from a hamstring injury, as he’s back in training. The 29-year-old went down in an Aug. 24 home match against the Chicago Fire, though hasn’t scored since July 17. 


If Bunbury is ready to go or not, it’s a continued next-man-up mentality from New England.


“I think like we’ve been doing the past few months – it’s just guys step up when they need to,” Bunbury said. “Everybody is locked in during training, everybody’s focused. It’s going to be different. Usually around this time every year – it’s the last few games of the season -- everything’s really tight in both conferences, so guys have just got to really take care of their bodies right now.”


New England and Orlando have already met twice this season, splitting the results. Bruce Arena’s group emerged as 4-1 victors July 27 at Gillette Stadium, while James O’Connor’s side won 2-1 on June 19 in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16.



That breeds some familiarity, Arena said.


“It’ll just be a grind,” Arena said. “Both teams know each other. We know the key players, the way both teams play, so it’s going to be a battle for 90 minutes.”


To get a result and stave off a fellow playoff contender, New England will also hope Designated Players Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou impact the boxscore. Last weekend’s loss to NYCFC marked the first time they’ve both been held without a goal or assist since Aug. 3.


They’ll need to step up.


“We’re excited for the opportunity,” Farrell said. “We have five more games, so excited for that, but Orlando’s a big game."