Preview: New York City FC vs New England Revolution

by JACK HAZZARD

Having enjoyed a restful nine days off due to the international break, New York City FC will travel to Foxborough late Saturday night to take on fellow Eastern Conference club, the New England Revolution.

As the current MLS table stands, NYCFC are barely holding on to the top spot in the Eastern Conference, doing their best to hold off the in form New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC. On the other hand, NYCFC opponents the New England Revolution are struggling to grab a spot in the upcoming playoffs. Being only two points below the playoff line in the East with a minuscule six matches left to play, the Revolution have everything to put on the line in these final few weeks of regular season play.

This weekend’s match should prove to be an exciting spectacle for supporters and viewers alike. With both clubs prepared to give it their all, Saturday night’s match will prove to be full of energy and creativity.

Can New York hold off Toronto FC for another week or will New England make that final jump into a playoff position?


Match Information

Saturday, September 10th at Gillette Stadium, 8:00pm ET Kickoff

Watch: YES Network, MLS Live

Listen: 660 WFAN, 1280 WADO

Stream: nycfc.com/radio

Referee: JUAN GUZMAN
AR1: Kermit Quisenberry
AR2: Anthony Vasoli
4TH: Geoff Gamble

2016 MLS Records:

NYCFC: 44 points (12 wins, 8 draws, 8 losses)

New England Revolution: 30 points (7 wins, 9 draws, 12 losses)

Projected Lineups:

NYCFC: Josh Saunders; Jason Hernandez, Frederic Brillant, Jefferson Mena, R.J. Allen; Andrea Pirlo, Andoni Iraola, Frank Lampard; Steven Mendoza, David Villa, Thomas McNamara

New England Revolution: Brad Knighton; Andrew Farrell, Goncalves, London Woodberry, Chris Tierney, Scott Caldwell, Lee Nguyen, Gershon Koffie, Juan Agudelo, Kelyn Rowe, Kei Kamara


The NYCFC Attack v Revolutions’ Defense

Steven Mendoza, David Villa, and Thomas McNamara vs.  Andrew Farrell, Goncalves, London Woodberry, and Chris Tierney (and Brad Knighton)

Having the best offense in Major League Soccer is a characteristic many teams wish and hope for. Add the fact that theoffensive powerhouse is set to take on the worst defensive team in the league, then you will have a resounding offensive show to watch. This little trailer is what NYCFC fans should expect this weekend. Having scored eight goals in their last three matches, New York’s offense is flying high. In addition to their attacking success, Spanish captain David Villa is currently tied with the New York Red Bulls Bradley Wright-Phillips in the Golden Boot Award race, resulting in both currently tallying an astounding 17 goals this season. Taking on New York this weekend is the New England Revolution, who are tied with NYCFC as the worst defenses in the Eastern Conference. With David Villa leading Vieira’s side into battle Saturday night, many should expect a thrilling goal tally from the boys in blue.

Advantage: NYCFC


New England’s front line v the NYCFC back line

Kei Kamara, Juan Agudelo, and Kelyn Rowe vs. R.J. Allen, Frederic Brillant, Jefferson Mena, and Jason Hernandez (and Josh Saunders)

A main concern for the New England Revolution this season is their offense. Discluding last weekend’s win against the Colorado Rapids, the Revs went four matches in a row without scoring a goal, aggregating a goal differential of -7 in that time. Upon joining the New England Revolution after a wacky and controversial trade with Columbus, striker Kei Kamara has shown glimpses of creativity. However, three goals in 10 matches is not enough to help lead a side to the playoffs. In addition to Kamara’s struggles, the New England Revolution currently rank as the worst offensive team in the Eastern Conference, tallying a small total of 31 goals. With the Revs upcoming match this weekend being against New York, who are currently tied with the Revolution for the worst defense in Major League Soccer, Jay Heaps and his side may find the back of the net — a few times.

Advantage: New England Revolution


Midfielders

Andrea Pirlo, Andoni Iraola, and Frank Lampard vs. Scott Caldwell, Lee Nguyen, and Gershon Koffie

Apart from New York’s intense offense and the Revolution’s sloppy attack, much of both sides offensive firepower comes from their midfield. NYCFC are led in the center by international legends such as Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard while the Revolution are led by former MLS MVP runner-up Lee Nguyen. On both ends, these midfielders are completely well rounded. As Pirlo and Lampard look to attack, Spanish midfielder Andoni Iraola is always there to support the defense in case of a counter attack. On the opposite team, star dribbler Nguyen tends to join the attack while being supported both positionally and defensively by Scott Caldwell and Gershon Koffie. With both clubs offenses and defenses lopsidded this weekend, fans and pundits should look for an interesting match up in the center of the field, which could potentially end up as the deciding factor in the game.

Advantage: Even


The Coaches

Patrick Vieira vs. Jay Heaps

Since joining the New England Revolution in 2011, head coach Jay Heaps has developed a young and skillful squad who has struggled to earn success. Even though Heap’s first two years with the Revolution was considered a rebuilding period, the following three brought nothing but a runner-up medal. With the Revolution set to potentially miss out of this year’s playoffs, Revs owner Robert Kraft may throw Heaps in the hot seat. As New England continues to fall, Patrick Vieira and his NYCFC side continue to grow. With the MLS regular season coming to a close, Vieira’s club is set to make their first ever playoff appearance in their short two-year period. Having the best away record as well as the top spot in the Eastern Conference, Vieira has enjoyed a much more successful season than this weekend’s counterpart, Jay Heaps.

Advantage: Patrick Viera


Intangibles

Heading into Saturday night’s match, NYCFC still has the best away form in the MLS with an impressive 6-5-3 record, which includes a previous 1-0 win against the Revolution at Gillette Stadium on July 6th. On the other hand, the New England Revolution are in desperate need for three points this weekend. Being two points below the playoff line, Jay Heaps and company will need look to give it their all this Saturday as the Eastern Conference club makes their final playoff push. Furthermore, with the Revolution recently breaking their six-match winless streak with a 2-0 against Colorado last weekend, they will look to continue their winning ways for as long as possible.

Advantage: Even


Prediction

This weekend’s match will impact both clubs. With NYCFC struggling to gain distance at the top of the Eastern Conference, a win this weekend will help the New York club leave encroaching rivals Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls in the dust. On the other hand, with the playoffs looming, the New England Revolution can not afford to miss out on three points.

Overall, both clubs will give it their all this weekend, battling it out for their respective reasons. Although NYCFC may have the best away record, it will not be enough as both clubs will disappointingly draw 2-2.