The New England Revolution are taking on the defending MLS Cup Champions tonight as they play host to the Colorado Rapids at Gillette Stadium. Neither team is off to the start their fans had hoped for this season, meaning that both teams should be going all-in for the three points. The British influence on both squads (from opposing managers Steve Nicol and Gary Smith) should be readily apparent, so expect a fairly physical affair with no shortage of full-blooded challenges.
The key for the Revolution, as I stated in yesterday's match preview, will be shutting down the midfield pairing of Jeff Larentowicz and Pablo Mastroeni. The Rapids are without starting forwards Omar Cummings and Conor Casey, two of the most prolific in MLS of recent years. However, if Jeffy and Mastroeni are allowed to maintain possession in midfield they will be able to feed the wings and the forwards with chances that even an amateur could score, and it will be another long day at the office for the Revs.
Some game notes:
- Saturday’s match marks the 37th all-time meeting between two of the founding teams of MLS … Colorado leads the all-time, regular-season series between the two clubs, 18-11-7
- New England is 8-6-4 at home against Colorado, including a 5-3-3 mark at Gillette Stadium … on the road, the team is just 3-12-3 in matches played in Colorado, including an 0-2-2 mark at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
- New England is winless in the last three seasons against Colorado, going 0-3-3 against the Rapids since the start of the 2008 season
- Saturday night’s match is the first of two meetings during the 2011 season … the teams will wrap up the two-game 2011 series on Saturday, July 23, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
- The teams last met on Sept. 18, 2010, a 3-0 Rapids victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
- The Revolution has not won the season series against Colorado since 2001, which was the first time the club won since the first two season series in 1996 and 1997
- The Revolution’s last win came in 2007, when the Revs took a 1-0 win at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 29, 2007, behind Khano Smith’s 88th-minute goal
- The Revolution and Rapids have yet to meet in a match outside of the MLS regular season
Lineups and your comments after the jump.
Revolution: Reis; Alston, Cochrane, Soares, Tierney; McCarthy, Joseph, Dabo; Mansally, Lekic, Feilhaber
Bench: Shuttleworth, Barnes, Dube, Mansally [inserted for Boggs late], Nyassi, Coria, Schilawski
Rapids: Pickens; Wynne, Marshall, Moore, Palguta; Kimura, Mastroeni, Larentowicz, Thompson; Folan, Amarikwa
Bench: Cues, Wallace, Earls, Nane, Smith, LaBauex, Akpan