New England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City | MLS Match Preview
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs SPORTING KANSAS CITY
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
April 26, 2014 (WEEK 8, MLS Game #67)
7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; KMCI-38)
Reprising their Eastern Conference Semifinal Series matchup from a year ago, the New England Revolution and Sporting Kansas City meet for the first time this season when the clubs face off Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are coming off a 1-1 draw at the Chicago Fire last weekend, while Sporting have returned to their championship form of a year ago, extending their undefeated run to five games last weekend with a dominant 4-0 win against the Montreal Impact.
REFEREE: Alan Kelly. AR1 (bench): Brian Dunn; AR2 (opposite): Matthew Nelson; 4th: Jorge Gonzalez
MLS Career: 2 games; FC/gm: 31.0; Y/gm: 2.5; R: 0; pens: 1
SUSPENDED: NE: Kevin Alston (through April 27)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Andy Dorman, A.J. Soares
DISABLED LIST: KC: Peterson Joseph, Ike Opara
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (47 meetings): Sporting 23 wins (1 shootout), 74 goals … Revolution 13 wins (1 shootout), 54 goals … Ties 11
AT KC (23 meetings): Sporting 12 wins (1 shootout), 36 goals … Revolution 6 wins (0 shootout), 34 goals … Ties 5
RETURN MATCHES: 9/3: New England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7:30 p.m. ET; 9/26: Sporting Kansas City vs. New England Revolution, 7 p.m. CT
LAST YEAR (MLS):
3/23: NE 0, KC 0
8/10: KC 3, NE 0 (Kamara 27, 50; Feilhaber 92+)
- 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.
- In league play, Sporting are unbeaten in their last six meetings with the Revolution, and have a 502-minute shutout streak alive vs. the Revolution, their last goal conceded in the series coming 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.
- Coaches record: Peter Vermes vs. NE: P10 W5 L2 D3 … Jay Heaps vs. KC: P5 W0 L3 D2
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution stretched their undefeated run to a modest two games, reaching a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire on Saturday afternoon at Toyota Park. The Revolution are in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with eight points from seven games.
- The Fire took the lead in the 16th minute when Harry Shipp’s incisive ball from near midfield found Quincy Amarikwa between defenders, and he slid the ball under an advancing Bobby Shuttleworth out of the New England goal.
- But the Revolution drew level just after the hour. Patrick Nyarko clumsily bundled over Kevin Alston over in the box, and Lee Nguyen converted the resulting penalty low to Sean Johnson’s left.
- The Fire were dealt a blow in the 73rd minute when Amarikwa, who was booked in the first half for diving, was shown a second yellow card for a reckless challenge on Andy Dorman.
- But it was the home side that had the glorious chance for the winner, when Alston handled Victor Pineda’s rebound shot in the box, and referee Sorin Stoica pointed to the spot and sent off the Revolution defender. Yet Juan Luis Anangono's shot was far too close to Shuttleworth and the goalkeeper saved it to leave the teams deadlocked.
- Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made one change to the team that defeated the Houston Dynamo 2-0 at Gillette Stadium. Darrius Barnes came into the back four for Jose Goncalves.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Darrius Barnes, Andrew Farrell, A.J. Soares, Kevin Alston (ejected 89) - Andy Dorman - Saer Sene (Jerry Bengtson 69), Daigo Kobayashi (Steve Neumann 88), Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez (Chris Tierney 46) - Teal Bunbury.
- Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth saved a penalty kick for the first time in his MLS career to secure the draw at Chicago. In his first 49 career MLS appearances, Shuttleworth was unable to stop four penalty kicks.
- “He came up high on set pieces and crosses and he owned the box,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps of Shuttleworth. “He didn’t have a ton of work to do but when he was called upon to make a penalty save he did it right. That’s a huge one.”
- There are some injury concerns coming out of the Fire match. Diego Fagundez had to come off at halftime with back tightness, but is expected to be available for the Sporting KC match.
- Jose Goncalves was unable to feature vs. Chicago after he was forced off before halftime of the Houston match with a right quadriceps strain and had not yet returned to full training during the week.
- “With Jose, we’re still kind of how we were last week: seeing how we’re doing day-by-day. You never want to lose a guy [like that], and now we’ll see how it works this week,” said Heaps. “… [Diego’s] was an issue of high back tightness. Unfortunately, it was inhibiting the way he played. He was in a lot of pain, so we took him out.”
- Said midfielder Lee Nguyen: “[Diego is] always a dangerous option up top. He’s always constantly moving so it’s tough for opposing defenses to get a read on him. We miss that from him when he’s off the pitch. It’s great if Diego can play the whole game, but if not we do have guys who can come in and help us out a lot.”
- Chris Tierney came on to replace Fagundez in a wide midfield role, his first appearance in two matches after starting the first five matches of the season, all in the back four.
- “He gave us a little more width, a little more service. But it takes away a goal scoring threat, even though Chris did a nice job of attacking. We were also able, I felt, close down that left flank with Chris going in,” said Heaps.
- The Revolution made a significant pickup during the week when they claimed former club icon Shalrie Joseph in a waiver draft after his release by Seattle Sounders FC. Joseph signed with the team ahead of the 2003 season and played 9 1/2 seasons in Foxborough until he was traded to Chivas USA in August 2012. He has made 283 career appearances in MLS ñ including a Revolution record 261 appearances, with 40 league goals and 35 assists.
SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City made it five games in a row without loss in impressive fashion, rolling to a 4-0 win against the Montreal Impact on Saturday evening at Sporting Park. Sporting sit in a tie for top spot in the Eastern Conference with 11 points from six games.
- Sporting were fortunate to take the lead in the 31st minute. From a long throw-in by Sporting's Matt Besler, the ball hit Mallace's head as he tried to clear and looped just inside Troy Perkins' far post.
- SKC finally doubled their lead in the 71st minute. Lawrence Olum won the ball inside the Impact area and sent it back out to Aurelin Collin, and the big center back curled his left-footed shot inside the near post.
- Three minutes later, second-half substitute Jacob Peterson sent in a long cross from the right corner and Dom Dwyer beat two defenders at the edge of the 6-yard box to knock home a sliding shot.
- The rout was complete in the 86th when Dwyer completed his brace, running onto Graham Zusi's looping cross and snapping a header down and into the net.
- Sporting manager Peter Vermes made one change to the team that played to a scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake at Sporting Park. Lawrence Olum came into the team for the suspended Oriol Rosell.
- SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Eric Kronberg - Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin (Alex Martinez 76), Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Lawrence Olum - Paulo Nagamura, Benny Feilhaber - Sal Zizzo (Jacob Peterson 66), Dom Dwyer (Claudio Bieler 87), Graham Zusi.
- Sporting extended their undefeated streak to five games in a row (3-0-2). They have scored seven goals in the last three games; they have recorded shutouts in three of the last four.
- “When you don't give up many goals and you have the kind of players we have in our attack, you can defend and keep clean sheets and get a lot of points over the course of the season. They were very good but I always say that it starts from the front and goes to the back,” said SKC manager Peter Vermes. “Our pressure was very good tonight, it was very difficult for them to find time and space on the ball. I think that's the biggest reason we got a clean sheet.”
- Dom Dwyer scored his first career two-goal game in MLS in the win against Montreal. Dwyer has four goals in his last four games.
- “It was some performance. We are pleased with the clean sheet and a lot more goals than two weeks ago. It was a good result for us and obviously we are pleased. It gives us some momentum going into New England next week. We are feeling good right now and had fun,” said Dwyer.
- Aurelin Collin scored his second goal of the season, his first since March 15 when he scored Sporting’s first goal of the season.
- “It's a great reflection on one of the best qualities of Sporting KC; the winning and the physical aspect that we have. We can run a lot and we are always looking for opportunities to score. We were managing the game very well and at the end found opportunities,” Collin said.
- Collin brought himself off with a quarter-hour to go in the match, as Alex Martinez made his second substitute appearance of the season. “He felt a little twinge in his hamstring, and normally guys will try and go a little bit longer, but he made the right decision coming out and not making it worse,” Vermes said. “Hopefully it'll just be a bit of a strain and he'll take a few days and recover.”
- Graham Zusi recorded his third assist of the season, and has been involved in four of Sporting’s seven goals over the last three matches.
- With Oriol Rosell suspended after being sent off in the RSL match, Lawrence Olum slotted into the holding role in central midfield, his first start since March 22.
- “I thought he was very good and at the end, we pushed him back to central defender and that's the great thing about him ñ he's very versatile,” said Vermes. “The second half he had a very great game because he was a lot more disciplined. Sometimes when your team has the ball a lot you can get excited and get out of position and he did that a bit in the first half.”