NEvSKC ART, 03 Sept 2014

New England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City | MLS Match Preview

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs SPORTING KANSAS CITY
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
Sept. 3, 2014 (WEEK 26, MLS Game #242)
7:30 p.m. ET (UDN; CSN-NE; KMCI-38)

The New England Revolution and Sporting Kansas City meet in a crucial match for both clubs when they face off for a second time this season Wednesday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution took their second shutout victory in a row last weekend, winning 3-0 at Toronto FC to pull back into playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Sporting are nine points further ahead in the division, starting a two-game East Coast trip after their second successive loss, a 3-1 defeat by the Houston Dynamo last Friday evening at Sporting Park.

DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE (PDF)

REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. AR1 (bench): Craig Lowry; AR2 (opposite): Scott Kachmarik; 4th: Alan Kelly
MLS Career: 36 games; FC/gm: 25.2; Y/gm: 3.1; R: 11; pens: 11

SUSPENDED: NE: Scott Caldwell (caution accumulation; through Sept. 3) … KC: Dom Dwyer (caution accumulation; through Sept. 3), Benny Feilhaber (caution accumulation; through Sept. 3)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NE: Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares … KC: Paulo Nagamura
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Lee Nguyen, Teal Bunbury … KC: Antonio Dovale, Eric Kronberg, Kevin Ellis, Lawrence Olum, Seth Sinovic, Igor Juliao
DISABLED LIST: NE: Andy Dorman … KC: Peterson Joseph, Ike Opara, Chance Myers (season-ending injury)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: KC: Erik Palmer-Brown (U.S. U-20)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (47 meetings): Revolution 13 wins (1 shootout), 54 goals… Sporting 23 wins (1 shootout), 74 goals… Ties 11
AT NEW ENGLAND (25 meetings): Revolution 8 wins (1 shootout), 33 goals … Sporting 11 wins (0 shootout), 39 goals … Ties 6
FUTURE MATCH: 9/26: Sporting Kansas City vs. New England Revolution, 7 p.m. CT

2014 (MLS):
4/26: NE 2, KC 0 (Bunbury 92+; Nguyen 95+)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Teal Bunbury and Lee Nguyen each scored in second-half stoppage time as the Revolution took a 2-0 victory, April 26 at Gillette Stadium.
  • The Revolution victory ended a six-game Sporting undefeated streak in league play, and the goals were the first in 592 minutes against SKC, their first scored in the series since July 30, 2011.
  • New England haven’t won in Kansas City since 2008, a 3-1 win April 9. Sporting have six wins in eight home matches in all competitions since, with two draws.
  • The teams met in a thrilling Eastern Conference Semifinal Series a year ago. After the Revolution won 2-1 at Gillette Stadium in the first leg, they pushed Sporting to extra time in the return match, before SKC took a 3-1 victory on their to an eventual MLS Cup championship.
  • Coaches record: Peter Vermes vs. NE: P11 W5 L3 D3 … Jay Heaps vs. KC: P6 W1 L3 D2

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • The visitors were put in difficulty in the 74th minute when Sporting went down to 10 men after Aurélien Collin earned a red card for a hard tackle on Diego Fagundez.
  • But two minutes into second-half stoppage time, Diego Fagundez whipped in a long pass from out of the right and Teal Bunbury swooped in to redirect it into the goal.
  • Two minutes later, a handball was called on Sporting midfielder Oriol Rosell as the Revs raced into the box on a 2-on-1. Lee Nguyen buried the penalty shot, his second in as many weeks, to seal the victory.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Bobby Shuttleworth - Darrius Barnes, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Chris Tierney - Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen, Andy Dorman (Steve Neumann 79), Daigo Kobayashi (Scott Caldwell 71) - Teal Bunbury, Jerry Bengtson (Charlie Davies 57).
  • SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Eric Kronberg - Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin (ejected 74), Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Oriol Rosell - Antonio Dovale (Alex Martinez 44 / Lawrence Olum 76), Benny Feilhaber - Sal Zizzo (Jacob Peterson 55), Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi.

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution won their second consecutive game by shutout, easing to a 3-0 win against Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. The Revolution are in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with 33 points from 25 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Revolution had the lead after just the second minute. When fullback Mark Bloom misplaced a pass towards Michael Bradley, Lee Nguyen pounced at the chance, pushing forward towards the box and cracking a rocket of a shot past TFC goalkeeper Joe Bendik.
  • In the 21st minute, New England punished Toronto’s makeshift backline once more. Bradley Orr’s pass forward was intercepted by Kelyn Rowe, who cut in from the left wing before hitting a curling, dipping shot past Bendik from outside the box.
  • The scoreline was complete in the 59th minute. From a counter, Charlie Davies picked up a through ball and pushed through the Toronto back line, before slipping a pass into the box that Teal Bunbury finished with ease.
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made two changes to the team that defeated Chivas USA 1-0 at Gillette Stadium. Teal Bunbury came into the midfield in place of Diego Fagundez.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes - Scott Caldwell - Teal Bunbury (Steve Neumann 65), Daigo Kobayashi (Jermaine Jones 65), Lee Nguyen (Diego Fagundez 76), Kelyn Rowe - Charlie Davies.

TEAM NEWS

  • It was a second win in a row for the Revolution, the first consecutive wins they’ve put together since winning five in a row April 26-May 24.
  • “We started very well; we wanted to be in a good spot defensively. Our shape was really good to start the game and the 2 goals in the first half came from our positioning,” said Heaps. “... Each team is different how you play them so we pivoted our triangle a little bit to put pressure on certain players. Toronto has had some backline injuries and that is tough to deal with; part of our plan was to put them under pressure early.”
  • It was a second consecutive clean sheet and a third in the last five games for the Revolution, who have not conceded a goal in 205 minutes.
  • “We have to give credit to our defense as they have done very well the past couple games,” said Nguyen. “Offensively, we put away our chances and we were able to get a big three points.”
  • Lee Nguyen scored for a second consecutive game and added an assist, moving his single-season career-high to 10 goals. He had nine goals total in his first two seasons in MLS.
  • “Lee has been excellent for us all year. The harder he works and the more plays he breaks up, it gives him the freedom to attack. When he is at his best he is receiving the ball off of turnovers in between their defense and midfield,” said Heaps.
  • Teal Bunbury scored his first goal since May 11, scoring his third goal of the season. Bunbury’s previous two goals came in a three-game span.
  • Charlie Davies collected his second assist of the season. He has all of his two goals and two assists this year over the last five matches. He played a full 90 minutes for the first time since Oct. 2, 2011.
  • Kelyn Rowe scored his second goal in the last five matches, and also collected an assist for a second consecutive game.
  • “We took advantage of some mistakes that they had,” said Rowe. “Lee’s first goal was amazing and it started us off. Charlie [Davies] made some good runs, he held the ball up nicely.”
  • Jermaine Jones made his MLS and Revolution debut, coming on for the final 25 minutes in a central midfield role.
  • “I was happy to be back on the pitch in a game,” said Jones. “It’s always good when you get the minutes and you win them. Everybody was great today. ... I was talking to the coach before. We wanted to go step-by-step. It was a long break for me and I can feel it. I need time on the pitch, of course. Today was 25 minutes, next game a little bit longer, but I will try my best to be 100 percent fast.”

SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City lost for a second match on the trot, dropping a 3-1 decision to the Houston Dynamo on Friday evening at Sporting Park. Sporting are in second place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points from 26 games.

LAST MATCH

  • After a weather delay of more than an hour at the 17th minute, the Dynamo took the lead in the 35th minute. Kofi Sarkodie put in a cross from the right flank that SKC center back Aurelien Collin was unable to clear, teeing up Will Bruin for a finish past goalkeeper Jon Kempin from just behind the penalty spot.
  • Sporting equalized in the 55th minute. A through ball out of traffic by C.J. Sapong's found Benny Feilhaber just outside the area, and he drove in and centered a pass for Dom Dwyer to knock past goalkeeper Tally Hall with the help of a deflection.
  • But seven minutes later Houston regained the lead. From a foul just outside the penalty area, Dynamo center back David Horst was left completely unmarked in the heart of the penalty area and rose to head home a Brad Davis free kick.
  • Five minutes after that, it was 3-1 after another set-piece header. This time it was Ricardo Clark who ran onto Davis' free kick and headed it past Kempin and inside the left post.
  • Sporting manager Peter Vermes made three changes to the team that fell 3-0 to D.C. United at Sporting Park. Kevin Ellis came into the back four for Igor Juliao, and Martin Steuble and C.J. Sapong started in place of Sal Zizzo and Soony Saad.
  • SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Jon Kempin - Kevin Ellis, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Lawrence Olum - Martin Steuble (Jorge Claros 66), Benny Feilhaber (Soony Saad 68) - C.J. Sapong, Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi.

TEAM NEWS

  • Sporting have lost back-to-back league games for just the second time this season after the defeat by Houston, after losing May 14-18 to Philadelphia and Chicago that started a five-game winless run.
  • “We're in a rough patch right now,” center back Matt Besler said. “It's as simple as that. We have to find a way to get out of it. We can talk about a lot of different things, but the bottom line is, we have to come together and figure a way out of it. That's not what we're about, the last two games.”
  • Sporting also conceded three goals for a second consecutive match, their season-high for goals allowed in a game this year. They had not allowed more than two goals in their first 24 league games.
  • “It's not major things that are happening in the game. They're soft goals. They were three soft goals and it's the same as it was last week,” said SKC manager Peter Vermes. “I've been in situation where this has happened away before. You cannot hide away from it. We'll review video. These guys will see it and know it and they'll have to own up to it. They'll just have to work harder. Everybody sees everything nowadays so it's very difficult to hide away.”
  • Dom Dwyer scored his 17th goal of the season, his third goal in the last three games. Dwyer is one goal away from the single-season club record, set in 1996 when Preki scored 18 goals for the then-Kansas City Wizards. Dwyer will miss out on the New England match through caution accumulation.
  • Martin Steuble made his first MLS for Sporting, playing 66 minutes in a central midfield role. Steuble had one appearance as a very late substitute Aug. 1 vs. Philadelphia.
  • “We've had different guys step up all year when others have been out. This game will be more of that. But we've got to be stronger across the board,” defender Seth Sinovic said.
  • Benny Feilhaber collected his sixth assist of the season, his first since July 16. He is one assist from his single-season career-high in MLS, when he had seven assists with New England in 2011.
  • After two starts in the midfield, Graham Zusi started the match in a wide attacking role. But he reverted back to the midfield spot at the three-quarter mark when Soony Saad came on for Feilhaber.
  • “In the first 16 minutes of the game [Feilhaber] had turned his ankle. But at that point, I needed to change the team,” said Vermes. “I thought Graham in the middle might give us a little bit more going forward. So I thought bringing Soony on, someone who can score more goals, would be dangerous going forward in that area of the field.”
  • Kevin Ellis returned to the starting lineup for the first time in four matches as Igor Juliao did not feature in a match for the first time since May 10. “[Juliao] had a bit of a hamstring strain and we just didn't want to force it because we have a big trip on the road coming up,” said Vermes.