Preview: Revs, Fire look to rebound after tough losses
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs CHICAGO FIRE
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
June 2, 2012 (WEEK 13, MLS Game #121)
7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; CSN-Chi)
The only game in Week 13 in Major League Soccer is an Eastern Conference showdown at Gillette Stadium, where the New England Revolution take on the Chicago Fire. Both clubs come into the match off losses to conference opposition last weekend, with the Revolution losing 3-2 at D.C. United, and the Fire losing 2-1 at Columbus. Both teams also saw their U.S. Open Cup runs end at the hands of lower-division opposition away from home at midweek.
REFEREE: Fotis Bazakos. SAR (bench): Craig Lowry; JAR (opposite): Greg Barkey; 4th: Jorge Gonzalez
MLS Career: 1 game; FC/gm: 27.0; Y/gm: 5.0; R: 0; pens: 0
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION – OUT: FW Zak Boggs (R ankle sprain); MF Ryan Guy (R calf tightness); DF Flo Lechner (R foot fifth metatarsal fracture); MF Sainey Nyassi (R hamstring strain); FW Bjorn Runstrom (R knee inflammation), MF Clyde Simms (L ankle tendonitis); QUESTIONABLE: GK Tim Murray (L knee inflammation); PROBABLE: DF John Lozano (R adductor tightness); DF Jeremiah White (concussion) …
- CHICAGO FIRE – OUT: DF Cory Gibbs (R knee meniscus repair); MF Steven Kinney (R Achilles tendinitis); DF Arne Friedrich (R hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: FW Chris Rolfe (L ankle sprain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHI: Sebastian Grazzini
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Chris Tierney, Benny Feilhaber … CHI: Pavel Pardo, Marco Pappa
ALL-TIME (40 meetings): Revolution 13 wins, 54 goals … Fire 18 wins, 58 goals … Ties 9
AT NEW ENGLAND (20 meetings): Revolution 9 wins, 29 goals … Fire 8 wins, 24 goals … Ties 3
RETURN MATCHES: 8/18: Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. CT; 10/20: New England Revolution vs. Chicago Fire, 7:30 p.m. ET
LAST YEAR (MLS):
6/18: NE 1, CHI 1 (Lekic 48 – Oduro 32)
9/25: CHI 3, NE 2 (Grazzini 5; Oduro 9; Nyarko 30 – Guy 90, 92+)
• The Fire have a 10-game undefeated streak against the Revolution in league play. New England’s last victory in regular season play came May 6, 2007 at Gillette Stadium.
• The Revolution did defeat the Fire in the 2009 SuperLiga competition, a 1-0 victory on July 17 at Toyota Park. It was the first victory in Chicago for the Revolution since July 8, 2006, a span of eight games in all competitions.
• The teams met five consecutive years from 2005-09 – and eight times in all since 2000 – in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Three times (2003, ’05, ’07) they’ve faced each other with a trip to MLS Cup on the line. Each team advanced on four occasions.
• Coaches record: Jay Heaps v CHI: first game … Frank Klopas vs. NE: P2 W1 L0 D1
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution suffered a fourth consecutive loss on the road, with D.C. United stemming a late comeback for a 3-2 victory Saturday evening at RFK Memorial Stadium. The Revolution are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 13 points from 12 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: D.C. 3, NE 2
• United went ahead in the 15th minute through a header from center back Brandon McDonald, who rose high to flick Branko Boskovic’s long-range free kick up and over goalkeeper Matt Reis.
• On the stroke of halftime United added a second, as United's second center back, Dejan Jakovic, poked home a rebound from a scramble following a corner kick.
• Immediately after the break, however, the Revolution sprung to life, led by hard-charging forward Saer Sène. First, in the 48th minute, Benny Feilhaber unleashed a long shot that United 'keeper Bill Hamid parried away. Sène was in the right place to calmly side-foot the rebound into the lower corner.
• The Revs then snatched the equalizer in the 50th minute, when center back A.J Soares beat his marker to the near post on a corner kick and glanced a header into the far side netting.
• But Maicon Santos hit for the winner in the 61st minute, moments after he came on. After playing the ball wide to Dwayne De Rosario on the left, Santos ran into open space for a perfectly weighted return ball and one-timed the ball into the lower corner.
• Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made no changes to the team that played to a 2-2 draw with the Houston Dynamo at Gillette Stadium.
• NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney - Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph, Ryan Guy (Fernando Cardenas 28), Lee Nguyen (Kelyn Rowe 65) - Blake Brettschneider (Jose Moreno 69), Saer Sene.
• Two of the three goals conceded by the Revolution came on set pieces. The Revs have now allowed seven of 18 goals on standard situations – by far the most in MLS (next are D.C. United and Toronto FC with 5).
• “The second [goal] to me is unforgivable, quite frankly. It was five minutes before half, just textbook of what you don’t want to give up,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “Not only was it an indirect free kick, but [the ball] also bounced and was kicked around in the box. That was a play that we need to be better on.”
• The Revolution’s second goal, the header by A.J. Soares from a corner kick, was the club’s first scored from a set piece this season. Only the Montréal Impact have yet to score from a dead ball situation this season.
• “It was disappointing to give up those goals in the first half. We’ve been talking about not conceding set pieces and they scored two goals right away,” said defender Chris Tierney. “On the back foot, the response was really good in the second half. Unfortunately we broke down there one more time and they made us pay for it.”
• For the first time this season, Heaps maintained the same starting lineup for consecutive games.
• “We wanted the win and you could tell by seeing our guys’ faces that there was a belief that we could do it, they kept coming and coming,” said Heaps. “Unfortunately, we just gave the ball away and couldn’t keep it on the last goal. If we did a little bit better defending on that one play we could’ve at least had a draw.”
• Saer Sène has now scored in three consecutive games (with four goals in that time) and in four of the last five. In the month of May, Sène scored five goals and added one assist in six games.
• Ryan Guy was forced off the field after 28 minutes with a calf strain; he was sidelined for four games with the same injury earlier this year (April 28-May 12).
• On Tuesday, the Revolution were dumped out of the U.S. Open Cup in remarkable fashion, losing on penalty kicks to the USL PRO Harrisburg City Islanders after a 3-3 draw over 120 minutes.
• After a scoreless opening 90 minutes, the Revolution took a 3-0 lead by the end of the first extra-time period on goals by Kelyn Rowe (95), Lee Nguyen (100 pen) and Benny Feilhaber (103). But improbably, over the final 10 minutes of overtime, the Islanders' J.T. Noone, Sainey Touray and Brian Ombiji combined for three unanswered goals to push the match into penalties, where Harrisburg won the shootout 4-3.
• Here’s the Revolution team: Bobby Shuttleworth – Tyler Polak, John Lozano, Darrius Barnes, Alec Purdie, Mike Roach, Fernando Cardenas (Benny Feilhaber 79), Kelyn Rowe, Jeremiah White (Lee Nguyen 63), Diego Fagundez, Jose Moreno (Blake Brettschneider 70)
• “We said to them – and we know from the history of this team – that [Harrisburg] are never going to give up, they can score goals and they're going to get numbers in the box,” Revolution assistant coach David Vaudreuil said. “Unfortunately, it was a pretty drastic last 12 minutes or so to give up three goals. Penalty kicks are penalty kicks, but managing the game and making good decisions is something that has cost us in the past. We have to continue to find the people who have the right mentality to keep the ball and kill that game off. At 3-0, there is no excuse.”
The Chicago Fire weren’t able to make it back-to-back victories again this season, as the Columbus Crew recorded a 2-1 victory Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Fire are in a tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 18 points from 12 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: CLB 2, CHI 1
• The Crew opened the scoring after nine minutes. Eddie Gaven wheeled after a pass from Shaun Francis, dribbled to the upper left corner of the penalty area and placed a shot under the legs of defender Jalil Anibaba and past Chicago ‘keeper Sean Johnson.
• Shortly before halftime, Emilio Rentería received a Gaven pass in the goal area, threw rookie defender Austin Berry off his shoulder, turned and buried the ball past Johnson to double the Columbus lead.
• Berry pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute with a powerful header from about eight yards off a corner from second-half substitute Daniel Paladini, but the Crew held from there.
• Fire head coach Frank Klopas made two changes to the team that recorded a 2-1 win against FC Dallas at Toyota Park. Pavel Pardo came into the midfield for Sebastian Grazzini, and Federico Puppo started up top for Dominic Oduro.
• CHICAGO FIRE (4-1-4-1): Sean Johnson - Dan Gargan, Austin Berry, Jalil Anibaba, Gonzalo Segares - Rafael Robayo - Patrick Nyarko, Pavel Pardo, Logan Pause (Daniel Paladini 60), Marco Pappa (Dominic Oduro 46) - Federico Puppo (Orr Barouch 46).
• The Fire allowed the opening goal for the ninth time this season, matching Toronto FC for the most games conceded first in MLS. The Fire have come back to take three wins and two draws in those matches, the 11 points after allowing the first goal second only to San Jose (3-2-3, 12 points).
• “I just think sometimes things go that way, sometimes they don't. I think we're conscious of it. We always have a punch packed though, so it's not like we're going to lay down and you know we're coming,” said Fire assistant coach Mike Matkovich. “That's the true test of a good team I've always felt is that if you go down, you can come back and win games. A lot of teams can't do that. We can.”
• For the first time this season in league play, Sebastian Grazzini was held out of the team, with the Fire facing a third match in a week’s time.
• “We've got a group of very capable guys, not just our first XI. We've got a deep team and we know that on a game that's the third in a week, guys are going to be used and counted on and I think [the subs] came in and did very well,” said Fire midfielder Logan Pause. “It's just unfortunate for us as team and also disappointed that we had such a great group of fans there and we let them down today.”
• For the second time in three games, the Fire matched their season-high with two goals conceded on the game. Rookie Austin Berry has partnered Jalil Anibaba in central defense for those three games in the absence of the injured Arne Friedrich.
• “He’s got that experience factor that me and Jalil just don’t quite have,” Berry said. “He’s obviously been playing the game for such a long time at a high level, that there are things that he sees differently than me and Jalil do. We think at some point we’ll get there.”
• Berry scored his second career goal, both coming since he made his first career professional start May 4 vs. Chivas USA (when he scored his first).
• “I always like to help out, but first and foremost, my job is to try to keep shutouts,” Berry said. “I need to get more in tune with that and get that done on my end. We’re a team that’s good enough offensively that, if we keep a shutout, we’ll be able to win games.”
• Federico Puppo made his first start of the season after nine substitute appearance, playing the first half before he was removed in favor of Orr Barouch.
• On Tuesday, the Fire were dumped out of the U.S. Open Cup at the first hurdle with a 3-2 extra time loss to the PDL’s Michigan Bucks in Pontiac, Mich.
• Tommy Catalano gave the Bucks an early advantage, but the Fire's Corben Bone and Frederico Puppo netted goals early in the second half, before Michigan's Nate Boyden tied the score at 2-2 in the 78th minute. Nermin Crnkic scored the game-winner three minutes into extra-time.
• Here’s the Fire team: Paolo Tornaghi; Tony Walls (Dan Gargan 84), Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry (Kwame Watson-Siriboe 49), Hunter Jumper; Michael Videira, Daniel Paladini, Corben Bone; Rafael Robayo; Federico Puppo, Orr Barouch (Dominic Oduro 84)