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New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew SC | 2017 MLS Match Preview

New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew SC
2017 MLS Regular Season
Gillette Stadium - Foxborough, Mass.
Sunday, May 21 - 2:30 pm ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE 

Toronto FC have begun to run away from the rest of the Eastern Conference, but there's a scrum behind them as teams 2-through-11 in the standings are all averaging between 1 and 1.9 points per game, with home/away schedule splits still playing an outsized role in those numbers this early in the season.

To that point: Columbus Crew SC sit second place in the East on total points with 19 points, but have played seven of their 12 contests at home. The New England Revolution are in seventh place on 13 points, but have played just five of their 11 games thus far in Foxborough. Things have a way of tightening as the season wears on and the schedule evens out.

But a win here by the road team would be a huge, not-so-early-season marker. Columbus have a chance to put some distance between themselves and the red line, and both sides have to know it. It's especially important given Crew SC's dominant 2-0 win over New England in Ohio two weeks back.

New England Revolution

The Revs got well last weekend with a 4-0 win over sinking RSL, which came on the heels of a five-game winless skid. New England got goals from four different players and another virtuoso attacking performance from Lee Nguyen, who's been deployed more frequently as a second forward than a midfield playmaker in 2017.

More important was posting the shutout after three consecutive disappointing defensive performances. The Revs' backline has run hot-and-cold all year, and it's clear they'll need "hot" against the potent Crew SC attack. They'll also need better ball security through midfield, as turnovers in that part of the pitch spelled their doom in the two teams' most recent meeting.

  • Suspensions: None
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: QUESTIONABLE – Juan Agudelo (Upper extremity injury)

Projected Starting XI (4-4-2 diamond): Cody Cropper – Andrew Farrell, Antonio Mlinar Delamea, Benjamin Angoua, Chris Tierney – Xavier Kouassi; Scott Caldwell, Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez – Lee Nguyen, Kei Kamara

Notes: Lee Nguyen (one goal, two assists), Diego Fagundez (one goal, one assist), and Kei Kamara (one goal, one assist) all notched a goal and at least one assist against Real Salt Lake. It was the third time since 2010 that the Revolution have had three players score and assist in the same regular season MLS game.

Columbus Crew SC

Crew SC are entering what could be their season's defining stretch, as this past weekend kicked off a month-long odyssey in which they play five of six on the road, four of them being intra-conference six-pointers. It got off to a good start with a 3-2 win at the Montreal Impact thanks to a Justin Meram hat-trick, but there's obviously much work left to be done.

The form of Meram and Federico Higuain are what has propelled Columbus to their current spot in the standings, and the return of central midfield workhorse Artur is surely welcomed. But the defense has been questionable at best, and they've actually lost four of their last seven going back to April 8. 

  • Suspensions: None
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report:  OUT: D - Gaston Sauro (left PCL surgery, out for season), M - Ben Swanson (right ankle surgery, out for season); QUESTIONABLE: GK - Brad Stuver (right elbow strain), M - Ethan Finlay (left knee contusion)

Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Zack Steffen – Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Nicolai Naess, Jukka Raitala – Wil Trapp, Artur – Kekuta Manneh, Federico Higuain, Justin Meram – Ola Kamara

Notes: The Crew have won four out of the last five meetings against the Revolution. Columbus have shut out New England in three straight games, the third time they have achieved that feat, but they have never shut out the Revolution four consecutive games. Columbus have won all nine games during these three streaks.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: New England 22 wins (84 goals) … Columbus 34 wins (104 goals) … Ties 12
  • At New England: New England 14 wins (47 goals) … Columbus 15 wins (42 goals) … Ties 6

Referees

Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Matthew Nelson
4th Official: Marcos de Oliveira

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Current Form

New England
Columbus

Season Goal Leaders

Season Stats

New England RevolutionColumbus Crew SC
11Games Played12
3Wins6
4Losses5
4Draws1
18Goals19
16Goals Conceded17
119Shots108
52Shots on Target57
123Fouls committed139
112Fouls suffered132
17Offside25
73Corners51

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
NE42212181.6
CLB23520191.6
01234+Avg
NE102022.6
CLB024101.9
01234+Avg
NE320100.8
CLB211101.2

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
NE32420161.5
CLB33420171.4
01234+Avg
NE302000.8
CLB222101.3
01234+Avg
NE022202
CLB112101.6
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