Back in Foxborough to begin a three-game homestand, the reeling Revolution (5-13-12, 27 pts.) will face the sizzling Seattle Sounders (15-6-9, 54 pts.) on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
The opening whistle is set for 7:30pm and will be televised on Comcast SportsNet New England. A radio feed is available on The Sports Hub 98.5.
Saturday night’s match will wrap up the two-game season series between the squads. On June 26th, the Revs succumbed to a 2-1 loss at CenturyLink Field after conceding a pair of first half goals.
-- Even after Sunday’s deflating 3-2 loss in Chicago, the Revs remain mathematically eligible for the playoffs after Portland and New York failed to get four points from last week’s mid-week and weekend matches. However, the Revs will be officially eliminated if they fail to beat Seattle, or D.C. defeats Philadelphia on the road on Thursday night, or New York wins or ties Toronto on the road on Saturday night, or Portland defeats Vancouver on the road on Sunday. Needless to say, the odds aren’t favoring New England surviving the weekend with its playoff hopes in tact.
-- Center back Franco Coria, who had a forgettable performance during Sunday’s loss, will be unavailable for Saturday’s match due to yellow card accumulation. The Argentine defender received his fifth caution of the season in the 28th minute of the Chicago game, and as a result, received an automatic one-game suspension. Center back Ryan Cochrane is expected to take his spot in the lineup.
-- Although giving up three goals in the first 30 minutes of last week’s game may not have been encouraging, the Revs managed to escape Chicago without picking up any additional injuries. But, with starters Rajko Lekic, A.J. Soares, and Monsef Zerka still nursing injuries, Steve Nicol will likely be required to shuffle his lineup for the balance of the season.
-- After scoring his first and second career MLS goals last week in only his second start of the season, Ryan Guy is expected back in the lineup against Seattle with Zerka listed as “doubtful” on the team’s September 27th injury report. Interestingly, Guy’s first MLS start came against Seattle on June 26th, when he started on the left wing.
-- While the Revs’ record may be frown-worthy, the organization’s Youth Academy certainly provided some smiles after it recently received high marks by U.S. Soccer. The Revolution Academy was among only seven youth academies to receive a 3.5 star rating (out five) by U.S. Soccer in its 78-club Development Academy. The evaluation criteria consisted of seven key components: player development, style of play, training environment, administration, facilities, funding and respect.
-- Quote of the Week: “The reason we lost the game was because we gave three bad goals away. Well, they weren’t bad goals, but ridiculous goals.” – Revolution manager Steve Nicol after Sunday’s 3-2 loss in Chicago, where the Revs allowed three goals of the easy variety in the opening half hour of the game.
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.