Preview: New York Red Bulls at New England Revolution

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

BY MARK FISHKIN

The Red Bulls start a foreboding stretch of the young campaign on the road at Gillette Stadium, where New York has won all of five times in twenty seasons.

The team will have to contend with the Revolution without four starters (Veron, Lawrence, Baah, and Zubar) who are still recovering from the hamstring pulls the trio suffered against Houston thirteen days ago. Thrust into the starting lineup will be draft pick Zach Carroll, who will make his first MLS appearance on the plastic pitch in Foxboro.

Can an untested centerback pairing improve on what’s been a sloppy defensive performance to date?  Can New York’s attack pick up where they left off from the Dynamo match?


Match Information:

Friday, April 1st at Gillette Stadium. 7:00p ET kickoff
TV/Streaming: UNIMAS/Deportes App
Red Bulls Radio: TuneIn App and www.newyorkredbulls.com/matchday/radio
Referee: Mark Geiger

Regular Season Record, GF/GA, Division and League Position, Recent Form

New England, 6 points from 4 matches, 4GF/7GA, t-6th in the East, t-15th in MLS, DDLD
New York, 3 points from 3 matches, 4GF/8GA, t-6th in the East, t-15th in MLS, LLW


Projected Lineups:

New England

Revs v NY

New York

Red Bulls v Revs


New England’s front line vs. the Red Bull defense:
Charlie Davies vs. Connor Lade, Karl Ouimette, Zach Carroll, and Sal Zizzo (and Luis Robles)

The Revolution attack is struggling more than New York’s, having scored only four times in the club’s four matches.  Charlie Davies has one of New England’s markers this young season, in the season opener at Houston.  Down three centerbacks, the Red Bulls add rookie Zach Carroll (Michigan State) to the lineup. The 6’3”, 190 lb. defender will be paired with Karl Ouimette, who did not see action in Canada’s two recent World Cup Qualifiers with Mexico. New York’s Kemar Lawrence did play in both of Jamaica’s qualifiers, though, and the left back picked up a knock in the Reggae Boys’ second match, sidelining him for Friday. Connor Lade, who was quite impactful off the bench against the Dynamo, gets the start. Zizzo will once again man the right back position. Luis Robles’ outsized GAA (2.67) is no indication of his play to date this season. Tonight will be the New York keeper’s 110th straight start.

Advantage: New England


New York’s attack vs. the Revolution defense:
Bradley Wright-Phillips vs. Chris Tierney, Jose Goncalves, Andrew Farrell, and London Woodberry (and Bobby Shuttleworth)

The Red Bulls and Revolution have similarly struggled to generate goals this year, and Bradley Wright-Phillips (0G/0a) seems a bit snake-bit in front of opponents’ nets to date.  The New England back line has at times looked strong (shutout vs. DC, 1-1 draw at NYCFC) and at times hapless (3 goals conceded to both Houston and Philadlephia). Tierney (1G) picked up the Revs’ lone goal in the Bronx last week. Goncalves and Farrell have 190 MLS caps between them in the center. A former homegrown of FC Dallas, Woodberry is in his second season at Foxboro. Shuttleworth stopped two penalty kicks in a three-nil loss at Philadelphia on March 20th, becoming only the fourth MLS goalkeeper to accomplish that feat.

Advantage: Even


The Midfields:
Diego Fagundez, Kellyn Rowe, Lee Nguyen, Scott Caldwell and Teal Bunbury vs. Mike Grella, Dax McCarty, Sacha Kljestan, Felipe, and Lloyd Sam

Both these midfields are filled with MLS veterans that know the opposing squad very well. New England’s Gerson Koffie, newly acquired from Vancouver, was shown red against New York City and will miss Friday’s match.  The Revs will be buoyed by the return of Lee Nguyen, who didn’t leave the US bench for either match against Guatemala. Fagundez has both of the Revs’ only two assists this season. Rowe filled in for Nguyen in the attacking mid spot last week, but will shift to defensive mid for Friday. Homegrown Scott Caldwell will be next to Rowe in his familiar spot. Bunbury, who opened the scoring in the 2014 Eastern Finals at Red Bull Arena, is always a threat.  For New York, the four goals scored against Houston should give confidence heading into tonight. Player of the Week Felipe (2G) will surely be given more dead-ball opportunities from Sacha Kljestan (1G/1A). Mike Grella (1G) will once again try to make a statement, and Lloyd Sam looks to pick up his first point of the season. McCarty’s mission will be to shut down Nguyen.

Slight Advantage: New York


The Coaches:

Jay Heaps, like Jesse Marsch, has virtually the same squad he had last season (minus Jermaine Jones), when New England finished fifth in the East and lost in the knock-out match to DC.  His team has looked anywhere from dangerous to inept in the early going, but four goals scored in four matches isn’t good enough. Marsch got his team into the win column the last time out, but without four starters, no one would begrudge him for poor result on Friday, in a place where New York rarely finds success.

Advantage: Even


Intangibles:

New York is 5-23-9 all time at New England, and has only a single victory at Gillette since 2007. Last season, the home team won every match between the two, with the Red Bulls outscoring the Revs 6-5 over three matches. Luis Robles is only three ninety-minute performances away from matching Kevin Hartman’s all-time MLS Iron Man mark. Friday’s forecast will be for 62 degrees a chance of drizzle, which could make Gillette’s plastic pitch even more slippery and treacherous. The Revs and Red Bulls only meet twice this season, with the match at Red Bull Arena on August 28th. Friday marks the start of a tough run for New York, including a home date with unbeaten Kansas City, followed by a west coast trip to San Jose and Colorado.

Advantage: New England


Prediction:
The Red Bulls, with their makeshift centerback pairing, will need a complete defense effort from all eleven players to improve on their miseries in the back. Playing at home on the slick turf, New England, lifted by the return of Lee Nguyen, will be the aggressors all night. Wright-Phillips will break through, but it won’t be enough in a 2-1 loss.

  • Phill

    Another lousy game.
    Did they forget to open the gates for this game?
    What is going on with attendendance in “boston” on a friday night???
    Are you watching garber???