On Saturday night, the Revolution (2-3-4, 10 pts.) will hope to find their third win of the season when they welcome the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1-4-4, 7 pts.) to Gillette Stadium for the first time. The game will start at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet New England. The game will also be broadcast on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Although it will be Vancouver’s first trip to Foxborough, the Revs already have an idea of what to expect from the Canadian club. Back on April 6th, New England faced Vancouver in a sloppy, red card-filled affair at Empire Field, where they settled for a 1-1 draw thanks to a late Ilija Stolica equalizer in stoppage time. During the course of the match, referee Baldomero Toledo issued three red cards, with the first two giving the Revs the man-advantage for the entire second half.
This time around, the Revs, in front of the home crowd, hope to take three points against a Whitecap club that hasn’t won since its debut match back on March 19th.
Here are a few facts surrounding the upcoming Revs-Whitecaps match:
-- Saturday night’s match will mark the Revs second and final regular match against the Whitecaps this season. In fact, the Whitecaps are the first opponent the Revs will play twice in league play in 2011.
-- Ilija Stolica, who scored the lone Revs goal against the Whitecaps on April 6th, has since been loaned to USL-PRO side FC New York.
-- Backup keeper Bobby Shuttleworth made his 2011 debut against the Whitecaps. The only goal he allowed was an Eric Hassli penalty strike in the 55th minute.
-- For the second week in a row, the Revs will face a Western Conference opponent coming off a mid-week matchup prior to arriving in New England. This week, the Whitecaps will face the San Jose Earthquakes in Vancouver on Wednesday before flying east to face the Revs.
-- The Revs will enter Saturday’s match hoping to snap a 186 minute goal drought. The last goal they scored was Rajko Lekic’s 83rd minute strike against Kansas City on April 23rd.
-- Midfielder Ousmane Dabo, who made his league debut against the Rapids last week, is listed as “out” due to an adductor strain, according to the team’s May 10th injury report.
-- Although Saturday night’s match will be the first time the Whitecaps will play at Gillette Stadium, it will not be the first time a team called the Vancouver Whitecaps will play in Foxborough. Back on June 7, 1978, the Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League dropped a 2-0 loss to the New England Tea Men at the now-demolished Foxboro Stadium.
While Revolution manager Steve Nicol is never shy to tinker with his starting XI from game to game, the following should resemble the lineup unleashed against the Whitecaps Saturday night:
GK: Matt Reis
D: Chris Tierney
D: A.J. Soares
D: Franco Coria
D: Kevin Alston
M: Kenny Mansally
M: Stephen McCarthy
M: Shalrie Joseph
M: Benny Feilhaber
M: Zak Boggs
F: Rajko Lekic
REVOLUTION INJURY REPORT (as of May 10th):
Probable: Rajko Lekic (R knee sprain)
Questionable: Otto Loewy (L & R gastric strain), Pat Phelan (L shin contusion)
Out: Ousmane Dabo (R adductor strain), Didier Domi (L quadriceps strain), Marko Perovic (L knee sprain)
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.