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Revs face Crew for first time this season

With last weekend’s 3-2 home loss to Chivas USA in the rearview, the Revs (4-10-9, 21 points) travel to the Buckeye State to face the conference-leading Columbus Crew (9-7-7, 34 points) on Saturday night at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

The game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet New England beginning at 7:30 p.m., and a radio broadcast will be available locally via The Sports Hub 98.5.

Saturday night’s match will be the first time the Eastern Conference rivals will face off in 2011. The last time the Revs and the Crew met, the clubs settled for a 2-2 stalemate at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 25, 2010.

NOTES:

-After sitting out the Chivas USA match due to red-card suspension, rookie center back A.J. Soares will return to action this weekend. The 2011 first-round pick was red-carded in the 82nd minute of the Revs’ July 30 match at Kansas City.

-- Shalrie Joseph, who leads the team with seven goals on the season, is one goal away from tying his career high of eight (2009).

-- According to the latest edition of the MLS Castrol Index, which “use(s) the latest technology to objectively analyze every match in the 2011 MLS season” to evaluate an individual player’s performance, the highest-ranking Revolution player is none other than Shalrie Joseph, who is ranked at No. 71 on the league-wide list.

-- With striker Rajko Lekic listed as “out” on the Revs’ Aug. 9 injury report, Steve Nicol may go with the Zack Schilawski-and-Milton Caraglio tandem up top for the second straight week.

-- On Monday, the Revs announced their U-16 and U-18 Academy rosters for the 2011-12 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season. In addition to last weekend’s star, Diego Fagundez, other players returning for Academy action include Dominik Machado, Peguy Ngatcha and Mitchell Taintor, all of whom saw playing time with the senior team in Reserve League action earlier this season.

-- Former Revolution midfielder Nico Colaluca, who played with the Revs from 2009 to 2010, has returned Stateside after a brief stint with Norrby IF (Sweden). On Aug. 3, the Providence, R.I., native signed with the Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League.

-- Quote of the Week: “Right there, I was like, ‘Oh my God. I can’t believe this.’ [I was] really excited when he told me that. [The] first thing I thought was ‘I’m going to have to try and help the team score a goal,’ and I did.” -- 16-year-old Revolution midfielder/forward Diego Fagundez, on finding out he’d be going into Saturday night’s game and making his MLS debut against Chivas USA

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.