Preview: Revolution welcome Crew in return to MLS play
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs COLUMBUS CREW
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
June 16, 2012 (WEEK 15, MLS Game #126)
7:30 p.m. ET (FS-OH)
The New England Revolution and Columbus Crew meet on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium in a key Eastern Conference clash for both clubs. The Revolution have had two weeks off since a 2-0 home win over the Chicago Fire on June 2. The Crew are playing a league game for the first time since May 26, also coming off a win against Chicago, a 2-1 victory at Crew Stadium.
REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. SAR (bench): Chris Strickland; JAR (opposite): Eric Proctor; 4th: Sorin Stoica
MLS Career: 66 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 14; pens: 11
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION – OUT: FW Zak Boggs (R ankle sprain); MF Ryan Guy (R calf tightness); GK Tim Murray (L knee arthroscopy); MF Clyde Simms (L ankle tendonitis); QUESTIONABLE: MF Sainey Nyassi (R hamstring strain); FW Alec Purdie (L adductor strain)
- COLUMBUS CREW -- OUT: FW Tommy Heinemann (L knee surgery); GK William Hesmer (R hip surgery); DF Chad Marshall (concussion); MF Kirk Urso (R adductor tendonitis); MF Danny O'Rourke (L ankle sprain); DF Rich Balchan (sports hernia rehab); MF Dilly Duka (L hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Shaun Francis (R ankle sprain); FW Aaron Schoenfeld (R plantar fascia rupture); DF Julius James (lower back strain); DF Carlos Mendes (R foot contusion)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Chris Tierney, Benny Feilhaber
ALL-TIME (54 meetings): Revolution 16 wins (1 shootout), 66 goals … Crew 28 wins (4 shootout), 87 goals … Ties 10
AT NEW ENGLAND (20 meetings): Revolution 10 wins (0 shootout), 36 goals … Crew 13 wins (3 shootout), 34 goals … Ties 4
RETURN MATCHES: 8/25: Columbus Crew vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. ET; 9/5: New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew, 8 p.m. ET
LAST YEAR (MLS):
8/13: CLB 3, NE 1 (own goal 54; James 75; Renteria 81 – Feilhaber (45)
10/15: NE 0, CLB 3 (Mendoza 31, 63; Duka 59)
• The Crew have won three of the last four meetings between the teams. The Revolution’s last win in the series came Oct. 25, 2009 at Crew Stadium, a 1-0 win.
• The Crew have come away with points on their last six trips to Gillette Stadium. Since New England’s last home win in the series – a 1-0 win Oct. 14, 2006 in Foxborough – the Crew have won four of the last six games at New England, with two draws.
• Coaches record: Jay Heaps v CLB: first game … Robert Warzycha vs. NE: P8 W4 L2 D2
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution extended their home unbeaten streak to four games, recording a 2-0 win against the Chicago Fire in their last league match, June 2 at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution currently sit in a tie with the Houston Dynamo for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 16 points from 13 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: NE 2, CHI 0
• The Revolution took the lead in the 69th minute. Saer Sène quickly located an open Benny Feilhaber in the middle third, and his pass hit substitute Kelyn Rowe in stride as he cut in front of Gonzalo Segares and stabbed the ball inside the near post with a flick from the outside of his boot.
• Rowe connected with Feilhaber again four minutes later to double the advantage. The duo combined on the right side of the penalty area and a neat one-two slid Feilhaber in behind the line with the U.S. international midfielder polishing off from inside the area.
• Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made two changes to the team that suffered a 3-2 loss to D.C. United at RFK Memorial Stadium. Fernando Cardenas came into the midfield in place of Ryan Guy, and Jose Moreno started up top in place of Blake Brettschneider.
• NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney - Fernando Cardenas (Kelyn Rowe 64), Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph, Lee Nguyen - Jose Moreno (Blake Brettschneider 77), Saer Sene.
• Rookie Kelyn Rowe scored his second goal and added his first professional assist, while Benny Feilhaber also had a goal and an assist (his first of the season for both) in the Revs’ 2-0 win vs. Chicago on June 2.
• “He’s been pushing hard lately,” Heaps said of Rowe. “I think you saw when he came into the game, there was a different buzz about him. He almost scored the first time. It was a great run … Then the first and second goals were beautiful from Kelyn. He’s smart, he’s played quickly. We like getting him in those situations where he can be a dynamic attacker for us.”
• Rowe came on for Fernando Cardenas, who was making his third start of the season, and had come off the bench in each of the previous four league games.
• "It felt good to be able to have a guy like Kelyn [Rowe] on the bench, who’s a guy who can impact the game. And a guy like Fernando [Cardenas] who can go 60-plus minutes … it’s good that our guys, when given the chance, took it,” said Heaps.
• After playing wide in the midfield for most of the season, Feilhaber was moved into central midfield against Chicago, playing in a free-flowing attacking role with Shalrie Joseph tucked in behind.
• “I thought it was good,” Feilhaber said. “I haven’t been in [central midfield] in a while. It’s my most comfortable spot and me and Shalrie have played plenty together with last year and all, so I think we fell into it pretty quickly.”
• Said Heaps: “Benny’s going to drift to the middle no matter where you put him on the [team] sheet. I joke about changing his number to No. 10 and playing him anywhere we want, but I think that it’s good. Benny forces your coach to make decisions and you love that when you’re a coach – when you have to make sure a guy goes out there and performs when he plays a position when he’s comfortable. And certainly, Benny showed he wants to be in the mix [for a central midfield spot].”
• With midfielders Ryan Guy and Clyde Simms both sidelined, Joseph filled the deeper-lying central midfield spot.
• “We asked a lot of [Shalrie Joseph] defensively. It’s a position in the last couple of years, Shalrie has done a lot of forward and back, forward and back and tonight we wanted more side-to-side, moving and plugging the holes,” Heaps said. “It was good. It was a good balance. Offensively, sometimes they were a little tight to each other, and that was one of the corrections we made at halftime. We wanted their spacing a little better offensively.”
• After being forced off after 28 minutes of the D.C. United, Guy was not available for the Chicago game with a calf injury.
• “I'm feeling a lot better,” Guy said. “I think I just slightly re-injured whatever I had in the last couple of weeks. It didn't go all of the way. I didn't let it get to the point where it was a grade-two or grade-three strain. I'm on a quick recovery track and I'm trying to get back to training soon.”
• The Revolution kept a clean sheet for just the second time this season, the first time since a 1-0 win against the Portland Timbers on March 24.
• “I thought A.J. [Soares] and Steve McCarthy were flawless. They really were. If you go back and watch the way they communicated, the way they drop – the entire back line – but A.J. and Stephen were really good tonight,” said Heaps.
The Columbus Crew return to league action off back-to-back wins and a five-game undefeated run, their last MLS game a 2-1 win against the Chicago Fire on May 26 at Crew Stadium. The Crew sit in a tie for fourth place with the Fire in the Eastern Conference with 18 points from 12 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: CLB 2, CHI 1
• The Crew took the lead in the ninth minute. Eddie Gaven wheeled away after collecting 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, the home side doubled the lead. Emilio Renteria received Gaven’s pass into the goal area, threw defender Austin Berry off his shoulder, turned and buried the ball past Johnson.
• Berry gained some redempion and 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.
• Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made four changes to the team that defeated Seattle Sounders FC 2-0 at CenturyLink Field. Shaun Francis came in at fullback for Nemanja Vukovic, while Kevan George, Tony Tchani and Bernardo Anor came into the midfield for Danny O'Rourke, Cole Grossman and Justin Meram.
• COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-1-1): Andy Gruenebaum - Sebastian Miranda, Josh Williams, Carlos Mendes (Eric Gehrig 54), Shaun Francis (Nemanja Vukovic 50) - Dilly Duka (Chris Birchall 66), Kevan George, Tony Tchani, Bernardo Anor - Eddie Gaven - Emilio Renteria.
• The Crew have won back-to-back games and are unbeaten since the start of the May in league play.
• "It was a very difficult game for us because of the two previous games and the travel. Especially going against San Jose and Seattle away from home, we had to travel across the country,” said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. “So yes, I would like to say it was a good week for us.”
• After going the opening 10 games without a goal, Crew striker Emilio Rentería has scored in back-to-back games; he had eight goals a season ago.
• “I feel better, but I’m always under pressure because it’s my job to score goals,” Rentería said. “That’s what I want to do. That’s why I decided to be a forward. The most important thing is the team won [on Saturday] and I helped not only scoring, but doing everything the coach asked. I’m happy for the three points.”
• The time since the last league match has seen the Crew injury fortunes change – for good and bad. Rookie forward Aaron Schoenfeld has returned to full training for the first time since a plantar fascia rupture in his right foot during the match against Vancouver on April 28.
• “He’s a big target forward,” said Crew assistant coach Mike Lapper. “He did well before his injury. In certain games and certain matchups he’d be very valuable for us, so it’s great to see him back out here.”
• In addition, club captain and center back Chad Marshall has been free from concussion symptons for a week and could be returning to practice soon.
• But midfielder Dilly Duka again has injured his hamstring – which forced him to miss six games after suffering the initial injury in the season opener. Fullback Shaun Francis sprained his ankle in the US Open Cup match but should resume training soon while fellow left back Nemanja Vukovic is nursing a sore back.
• Midfielder Milovan Mirosevic also suffered an injury in the San Jose match that forced him to miss the games against Seattle and Chicago and the Open Cup match.
• In his stead, rookie Kevan George was hurriedly pressed into service and made his first professional start against the Fire. “He is a young player but he played like an old pro,” Warzycha said. “He wasn’t nervous at all.” Added right back Sebastián Miranda: “He was perfect. For me, he played a very good game.”
• After the league win, the Crew were shockingly dumped out of the U.S. Open Cup in the third round with a 2-1 loss to the USL PRO Dayton Dutch Lions at Crew Stadium, conceding both goals in the final 12 minutes after Olman Vargas scored the 64th-minute opener from the penalty spot.
• Here’s the Crew team: Matt Lampson, Aubrey Perry (Emilio Renteria 83), Eric Gehrig, Julius James, Shaun Francis (Josh Williams 31), Chris Birchall, Kevan George, Cole Grossman, Justin Meram (Bernardo Anor 83), Ethan Finlay, Olman Vargas.
• Defender Julius James made his first appearance after starting 31 of 34 games a year ago.
• “Julius wasn’t the problem, to be honest with you,” Warzycha said. “It’s not his fault we gave up the goals. It’s absolutely not. We had enough chances to put the game away. Everybody was looking at Julius and what I said. You know what? We had 100-percent chances in the first half and more in the second. We had more than enough chances to win.”