New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew | MLS Cup Playoffs Match Preview
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS - SECOND LEG
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION v COLUMBUS CREW
Sun., Nov. 9, Gillette Stadium (5 pm ET | ESPN2, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes)
The New England Revolution hold a commanding lead as they face off against the Columbus Crew in the second leg of their Eastern Conference Semifinal Series on Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution came away from Columbus with a 4-2 victory in the first leg last weekend, paced by two goals from Charlie Davies. The Crew have never defeated the Revolution now in six all-time meetings in the MLS Cup Playoffs, though the Crew did come away from Foxborough with a victory earlier during the 2014 regular season.
- Can Crew come back from two goals down? It's happened before
- WATCH: Crew's MVP in 2014? GK Steve Clark can make the case
- Armchair Analyst: Will Revs sit back and defend lead in Leg 2?
- Last year's playoff disappointment still fresh in Revs' minds
- Will Crew's Ethan Finlay be the X-factor vs. Revs in Leg 2?
- Facing uphill battle, Crew aim to make it "crazy" vs. Revs
- Which visiting team has the toughest challenge in 2nd leg?
- ExtraTime Radio: Does Columbus stand a chance at Gillette Stadium?
- Charlie Davies shining in more ways than one for Revolution
- Armchair Analyst: Should the Revs be MLS Cup favorites?
- New England insist 2nd leg "like a 0-0 game" despite advantage
- Crew may make adjustments, but not major changes
- Crew's Berhalter: We're feeling a little sorry for ourselves
- Revs expecting a physical game vs. Columbus in Leg 2
- How do the Revs spell success? S-E-T P-I-E-C-E-S
- Crew still have faith in mounting a massive comeback
- Charlie Davies leads Revs' attacking charge in series opener
REFEREE: Armando Villarreal
AR1 (bench): Peter Manikowski
AR2 (opposite): Corey Parker
4th: Chris Penso
WARNINGS (suspended next yellow card): NE: Jose Goncalves ... CLB: Bernardo Anor, Waylon Francis
NE 21 wins (1 SO), 80 goals … CLB 31 wins (4 SO), 97 goals … Ties 11
2014 HEAD-TO-HEAD: NE 1 win, 3 GF … CLB 2 wins, 4 GF … 0 ties
AT GILLETTE STADIUM:
7/26: NE 1, CLB 2 (Soares 50 – Higuain 43; Finlay 84)
10/4: NE 2, CLB 1 (Nguyen 20; Jones 67 – Finlay 25)
MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: NE 3 wins, 9 GF … CLB 0 wins, 5 GF … 3 ties
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
- The four goals scored by the Revolution were a club record for its playoff history. They had scored four or more goals twice during the regular season – in back-to-back wins vs. Seattle and Philadelphia in mid-May.
- "I think that is kind of our motto, to go after teams. If we have chances we want to put them away," said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. "I think we were a little bit disappointed we didn’t put them all away. We had enough.
- Charlie Davies became the first player in Revolution history to score more than one goal in an MLS Cup Playoffs game when he netted twice. It was Davies' first multi-goal game in MLS since September 2011, when he scored a hat trick while with D.C. United.
- "Charlie was excellent. I thought he worked hard, I think he could have had more. He was close to putting away a couple of other chances. ... It wasn’t his best week of training. I thought it was kind of interesting because he said that to me, sometimes when he doesn’t train his best he usually performs on the weekend and that is what he did," Heaps said.
- Lee Nguyen has now scored a goal in five consecutive games in all competitions after tallying the third goal in the Revolution victory; Nguyen led the Revolution with 18 goals in the regular season.
- Two of the Revolution goals came on set pieces, the openers both coming on free kicks (one direct). The Revs scored six goals from dead-ball situations in the regular season – fewer than just four teams in MLS. “It’s something we’ve spent a lot of time working on in training,” said Chris Tierney. “The last thing Jay [Heaps] said before we went out for the game today was, 'Let’s get a set-piece goal.'”
- Said Heaps: "We needed to finish those. I thought we worked on them all season at different times. This week we knew we had a focus and they are really good defensively, so you have to take your chances and if you get free kicks, when you have opportunities, you have got to take them."
- The Revolution also won a third game in a row across league and cup play, their last loss the 1-0 defeat in Columbus on Sept. 20.
- "When we lost a league game here, we were not sharp and we were not 100 percent concentrated, so we lost it," said Jermaine Jones. "I think you could see that everybody was focused on that game. Since we scored here, we know it will now be difficult for them to come out and win that game in New England.”
- The Crew conceded four goals in a playoff game for the first time since 1999, when they fell 4-0 at D.C. United in the third game of the conference finals. They had allowed four goals just once during the regular season – a 4-1 defeat at New York on July 12.
- “We got stunned,” Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “It’s one of those games where you look back and – not taking anything away from New England – you can’t believe that scoreline. … Collectively, it wasn’t a good performance from our group. We know that, and you move on.”
- The Crew are aiming to become just the third team in MLS history to overcome a two-goal deficit after the first leg of a two-game series.
- "It's an elimination game, and you need to be aggressive early and you need to try to get a goal early," Berhalter said. "Having said that, you have 90 minutes to score three goals and prevent the other team from scoring one. It's possible. It's not an easy task, but it's certainly possible."
- The Crew are winless now in six meetings all-time against the Revolution in the MLS Cup Playoffs, with three losses and three draws. The teams also met in the postseason in 2002 and ‘04.
- "Leading up to the game, we were training well and we were pretty sharp," Tyson Wahl said. "But I think we showed all-around, top to bottom a little bit of immaturity. They came in and set the tone and physically outplayed us. They deserved to win." Added Ethan Finlay: "We disappointed everybody. Giving up four goals, it's just unacceptable, especially in the format where away goals count. That killed us."
- The Crew will need to score at least three goals to advance, something they did seven times during the season, including a season-high four in a win vs. LA on Aug. 16.
- "Getting two goals, maybe that gave us some slight chance," Meram said. "I still believe, and we still believe, that we can go there and get a win." Added defender Tyson Wahl: "Looking ahead, there's obviously a chance to win. We've scored three goals before, and we know we can beat this team. We just have to be better than we were."