New England Revolution vs. Minnesota United FC | 2017 MLS Match Preview
New England Revolution vs. Minnesota United FC
2017 MLS Regular Season
Gillette Stadium - Foxborough, Mass.
Saturday, March 25 - 2:00 p.m. ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE
Two weeks after inclement weather forced a postponement, New England Revolution fans will get a chance to see their team in action at home for the first time in 2017. The Revs have yet to pick up a point this year, but both of their losses so far have been by one goal, on the road against tough Western Conference opposition.
Now, they'll get a chance to welcome a team from the West to their house, with Minnesota United flying to the East Coast after picking up their first point as an MLS franchise in Colorado last weekend. Complicating Minnesota's quest to at least match their result in Colorado is a significant list of absences, owing to a combination of injury, suspension, and international duty.
The Revs, meanwhile, will be looking to get a talented attack in gear after netting just once in their first two games, that goal coming from the penalty spot in last weekend's 2-1 loss to FC Dallas. Both Diego Fagundez and Kei Kamara expressed after practice on Tuesday that building chemistry is a constant process, though Fagundez was admittedly hopeful of an offensive breakout in front of the home crowd.
“I think when we play at home, it’s a different style of play that we play,” Fagundez said. “For some reason, we play a lot better at home and we want to see that. I think all of us are excited to be home for the first time and show these fans that these two away games were tough, and now we’re ready to play. We’re going to show them a result.”
New England Revolution
With no suspensions or international absences, the Revs will hit Week 4 with their first-choice line-up and then some. Given that their shorthanded opponents have struggled so far in their expansion year, even with a full complement of players, New England fans will certainly be anticipating a comfortable win on Saturday afternoon.
The Revs can do themselves a favor by finally getting a goal from open play, a feat they have yet to accomplish through 180 minutes of play this season. (Only D.C. United can say the same.) They'll almost certainly have their chances against a team that's averaged 4.3 goals per game through their first three matches, making this game something of a litmus test for a Revs attack that looks great on paper but has yet to produce much in the way of goals.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: None
Projected Starting XI (4-1-2-1-2): Cody Cropper – Andrew Farrell, Antonio Mlinar Delamea, Benjamin Angoua, Chris Tierney – Xavier Kouassi – Scott Caldwell, Diego Fagundez – Juan Agudelo – Lee Nguyen, Kei Kamara
Notes: New England come into Saturday's game looking to extend a four-game home winning streak built at the end of 2016, a stretch in which they outscored their opponents 11-2. … New England had 40.5 percent possession against FC Dallas last weekend. It was their lowest possession percentage in their last 17 MLS games (averaged 49.4 percent possession across the previous 16 games).
- Week 4 MLS storylines
- Lemieux Preview: Revs ready to host Minnesota
- Revs Rewind: Ranking the top five home openers in New England history
- Revs players, coaches say it'll be strange to play against ex-teammate Shuttleworth
- Watch: Heaps, Fagundez, Kamara, Tierney preview home opener vs. Loons
Minnesota United FC
Minnesota head coach Adrian Heath will have plenty of enforced changes to make when he puts together his starting XI for Saturday's game, as a combined nine players will miss out through injury, suspension, and international duty, including six regular starters.
Those absences likely portend a return to the lineup for defenders Jermaine Taylor and Vadim Demidov, who were both benched following Minnesota's 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Atlanta United on March 12. Further up the field, Heath will have to manage without the services of talented attackers Johan Venegas and Kevin Molino, both on duty with their national teams. Though they are certainly losses, their absences will give a further chance to local heroes Christian Ramirez and Miguel Ibarra, both of whom figure to retain their starting spots from the game in Colorado.
- Suspended: D Justin Davis (red card)
- Int’l Duty: D Francisco Calvo, M Johan Venegas (Costa Rica); M Rasmus Schuller (Finland); M Kevin Molino (Trinidad & Tobago)
- Injury Report: OUT – M Bernardo Anor (left lower leg injury), GK John Alvbage (left knee injury), GK Patrick McLain (concussion), D Joseph Greenspan (concussion)
Projected Starting XI (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth – Jerome Thiesson, Brent Kallman, Vadim Demidov, Jermaine Taylor – Collen Warner – Miguel Ibarra, Mohammed Saeid, Ibson, Bashkim Kadrii – Christian Ramirez
Notes: Of the 18 MLS players who have scored at least two goals so far this season, Christian Ramirez has needed the fourth-fewest minutes to do so (201).
This is the first meeting between these two teams in MLS play.
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistant Referees: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho, Cladiu Badea
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga