After pulling off a 2-0 upset victory over Western Conference contender FC Dallas last weekend, the Revs (5-11-12, 27 pts.) will board a cross-country flight for an inter-conference match against the expansion Portland Timbers (9-12-6, 33 pts.) on Friday, September 16th at JELD-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon.
The game will kick off at 11pm ET (8pm PT), and will be nationally broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel. The Sports Hub 98.5 will carry a radio broadcast of the match locally.
Friday’s game will wrap up the regular season series between Portland and New England. On April 2nd, the Revs and Timbers settled for a 1-1 stalemate at Gillette Stadium.
-- One of the two goalscorers from the Revs-Timbers April 2nd contest won’t be available for Friday’s game -- or the rest of the season, for that matter. Central midfielder Stephen McCarthy, who scored the Revs’ lone tally in the 22nd minute, underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on Monday. The rookie center half initially injured his left shoulder in the Revs May 21st match at San Jose and, according to the team, subsequently re-injured it on three separate occasions, with the most recent occurrence taking place during the team’s September 4th training session. With McCarthy out for the rest of the season, and Pat Phelan suffering the side effects of a concussion he sustained during last week’s 4-4 draw at Philadelphia, the Revs may need to explore using rookie Andrew Sousa, who has played in the center with the reserve team this year.
-- Should the Revs seek the services of a veteran to bolster their depleted midfielding corps, they’ll have to do so quickly. With the September 15th roster freeze deadline rapidly approaching, the team has no time to waste if they intend to find and sign a central player.
-- With six games remaining in the regular season, the Revs are technically still in the playoff hunt -- albeit by the thinnest of threads. With a seven point gap between them and D.C. United, who currently hold the tenth and final playoff spot, the Revs have a 0.3% chance of qualifying for the postseason according to Sports Club Stats (sportsclubstats.com), a website that track the playoff odds for a number of professional sports leagues.
-- Friday’s trip to JELD-Wen Field marks the first time in Revs’ history that the team will play in Oregon. However, it won’t be the first time a top-flight team from New England has played in the Beaver State. Back on June 16, 1978, the New England Tea Men of the original North American Soccer League fell to the identically-monikered Portland Timbers 2-1 in an overtime shootout out at Civic Stadium (now JELD-Wen Field).
-- Quote of the Week: “I guess I should be ecstatic, but kind of look at it now and think had we not made the mistakes previously, we’d be in a great position.” -- Revolution manager Steve Nicol after Saturday night’s 2-0 win over FC Dallas, which marked the first time in seven tries that his team had taken a lead -- and won -- since their 1-0 victory over D.C. United on July 20th.
Brian O'Connell is covering the Revolution for ESPNBoston.com. He is the co-founder of New England Soccer Today (www.nesoccertoday.com), which covers professional soccer within New England. He can be reached at BOConnell21@aol.com.