ExLink - 04/28/18 - NEvSKC

New England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City | 2018 MLS Match Preview

New England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City
2018 MLS Regular Season - Week 9
Gillette Stadium - Foxborough
April 28 - 7:30 pm ET
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The New England Revolution are looking to start a new unbeaten streak at Gillette Stadium But to do so, they will have to halt one of Major League Soccer’s hottest teams, as Sporting Kansas City come to Foxborough on a stretch of seven straight games without defeat.

The Revs bounced back from a rare home loss to FC Dallas to rally for a tie with Columbus Crew SC, 2-2, last week, while Sporting demolished nine-man Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 6-0, at home.

The home team has won each of the last three meetings between the two clubs. Sporting have not earned a result in New England since a 0-0 draw on March 23, 2013, per Opta.

New England Revolution

Twice New England (3-2-2) dug themselves out of a deficit and responded with immediate equalizers to tie Crew SC last Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium.

Teal Bunbury netted his third goal of the year five minutes after Crew SC took the lead on an own goal by Andrew Farrell, and Cristian Penilla struck in first-half stoppage time three minutes after Gyasi Zardes put the hosts back in front.

“It showed a lot of character, and really from our first game against New York Red Bulls [in the preseason] we’ve shown resilience in the games. And all the players have shown it in training, no one ever wants to lose a game,” Brad Friedel said after the match. “The boys do have that in abundance and that’s character.”

Friedel made one change to his starting XI in a 1-0 home loss to FC Dallas the previous week, inserting Juan Agudelo for Scott Caldwell and slotting Luis Caicedo centrally in the midfield.

Claude Dielna was named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi for Week 8.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Isaac Angking (illness), M - Kelyn Rowe (knee)

Projected Starting XI
(4-1-4-1, right to left)
GK: Matt Turner — Andrew Farrell, Jalil Anibaba, Claude Dielna, Gabriel Somi — Wilfried Zahibo — Cristian Penilla, Luis Caicedo, Diego Fagundez, Juan Agudelo  — Teal Bunbury

  • Notes: Matt Turner has saved 75.8 percent of shots this season, the third-highest save percentage in MLS (min. two appearances). Additionally, he has saved 11 shots from outside the box, tied for the second most in the league. … The Revolutions’ 1-0 loss to FC Dallas on April 14 snapped an 11-game home unbeaten run in league play. They’ve lost back-to-back league matches just twice since the start of 2015.

Sporting Kansas City

There were plenty of fireworks Friday night at Children’s Mercy Park as, led by a Johnny Russell hat trick, Sporting Kansas City (5-1-2) trounced Vancouver, 6-0.

The Scottish forward netted a brace inside of 20 minutes and added a third three minutes into the second half. Jimmy Medranda, Cristian Lobato and Yohan Croizet each added a goal for SKC, which punished a Whitecaps FC team that was reduced to nine men after Yordy Reyna and Efrain Juarez were sent off for their part in a 40th-minute skirmish.

Peter Vermes made just one change to his starting XI from a 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders FC the previous week, with Emiliano Amor making his debut for Ike Opara (illness) in the center of the SKC defense.

“I think that he was very aggressive in his movements going forward,” Vermes said of Russell. “He’s starting to like this place and that’s a good thing. He’s getting his rhythm so it’s good. He was excellent tonight.”

Russell was voted Alcatel MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR), and he and Croizet were named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi for Week 8.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: QUESTIONABLE: M - Felipe Gutierrez (hip), D - Ike Opara (illness)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3–3, right to left)
GK: Tim Melia — Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Jimmy Medranda — Roger Espinoza, Ilie Sanchez, Yohan Croizet — Johnny Russell, Khiry Shelton, Daniel Salloi

  • Notes: Sporting Kansas City had 34 shots and 14 shots on target last weekend, both tied for the most in a MLS game since the start of the 2010 season. Their 4.77 xG in that game is the third-highest for a team in a match (including playoffs) since 2015. … Kansas City are in the midst of a seven-game unbeaten run (5W-2D) in which they have scored 20 goals, as many as they had scored in their last 20 MLS games.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: New England Revolution 17 wins, 68 goals … Sporting Kansas City 25 wins, 85 goals .. 11 ties
  • At New England: Revolution 10 wins, 39 goals … Sporting 11 wins, 41 goals … 6 ties
  • Last meeting at New England: New England Revolution 3, Sporting Kansas City 1 (Oct. 1, 2016)


Referee: Dave Gantar
Assistant Referees: Philippe Briere, Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho
4th Official: Drew Fischer
VAR: Geoff Gamble