Hello friends, and welcome to the Columbus Crew vs. New England Revolution live game thread. This match will be a true test for the Revs as they head toe Crew stadium, in the heart of Ohio State University, and look to extend their recent unbeaten road streak, despite a hard fought loss to Chivas USA last weekend at Gillette Stadium. The Columbus Crew is currently perched at the very top of the Eastern Conference table, one point ahead of the Philadelphia Union and four ahead of the New York Red Bulls. As has been the case for most of the season, the Revs are still battling their way up from the basement and will not be able to afford anything less than 3 points tonight if they plan on making a respectable last season push for a playoffs spot.
This will be the Revs' first meeting with the Crew this season, and will want to make sure that they capitalize on any and all opportunities that they are presented with. The Crew have only lost once all season at home, making Crew Stadium a truly formidable challenge for opposing teams. The Revolution, however, have been no slouches this season when playing away against big teams at the top this season namely a pair of notable draws against Salt Lake and Colorado.
Here are some game notes to start you off:
- The Revolution's all-time record against the Crew is 16-26-10... in 2010 they went 0-1-1 against the Crew, the loss taking place at Crew Stadium
- The Revs will be seeing the return of A.J. Soares to the starting lineup after he sat out against Chivas last week due to the red card he picked up in Kansas City. Soares will most likely be joined on the back line with the usual suspects-Darrius Barnes, Kevin Alston, and Ryan Cochrane-although we'll have to wait until game time to see just what formation Coach Nicol will decide to put out tonight
- Despite the return of Soares, a key injury storyline tonight will be Sainey Nyassi who is listed as out with a right knee MCL sprain. This will leave a hole open that can only forseeably be filled by either Zak Boggs or Ryan Guy. Boggs seems the obvious choice to get the start, but you never know, right?
- Other injuries for the Revs include Kheli Dube who is still out with whiplash, defender Franco Coria with a left knee MCL sprain, and the Dane, Rajko Lekic, who will be out 2-4 weeks with a toe fracture. Lekic's injury will likely amount to another start for Zach Schilawski who will paired with new designated player Milton Caraglio who started his first game for the Revs last weekend and showed a great deal of promise, despite some need for improvement as far as match fitness goes.
- On the other side of the ball, Columbus's injury report is far more extensive, rounding out at about 11 different names. Notable injuries include midfielder Eddie Gaven who has been trouble for the Revs in the past, forward Jeff Cunningham with a problematic right knee issue, and forward Robbie Rogers who is returning from a midweek friendly with the US National team against Mexico during which he scored the tying goal and reportedly hurt his ankle shortly thereafter.
- The Revs have the fewest goals in all of Major League Soccer at 23. The Crew are just ahead with 24 of their own, making them the team with the second fewest goal in MLS.
Anyway, enough small talk. Lineups and your live game comments after the jump.
New England - Reis; Tierney, Soares, Barnes, Alston; McCarthy, Joseph (c), Phelan; Feilhaber, Caraglio, Schilawski
Bench - Shuttleworth, Mansally, Guy, Fagundez, Sousa, Boggs, Cochrane
Columbus - Hesmer; Miranda, Marshall, James, Gardner; Meram, Burns, Ekpo, Rogers; Mendoza, Heinemann
Bench - Gruenebaum, Veeder, Duka, Gehrig, Grossman, Anor, Renteria