On Saturday, the Revolution welcome the Colorado Rapids to Gillette Stadium.
After enduring an up-and-down first half of the season, the Revs (6-12-9, 27 pts.) have spiraled into a freefall, dropping eight of its past 12 matches. In fact, the club hasn’t scored a goal since August 9, a span of four matches.
The Rapids (11-4-10, 43 pts.) have endured a different trajectory, currently occupying the third spot in the Western Conference. Like the Revs, though, the Rapids find itself in a slump, having won just two of its past 10 matches. The club sports the most efficient defensive unit in soccer (league-low 22 goals conceded); the attack, on the other hand, has produced just 28 goals, second-fewest in MLS.
Here are four storylines to follow ahead of tonight’s match:
1. Revolution Without Kei Kamara and Je-Vaughn Watson. Two core Revolution players will not suit up at Gillette Stadium Saturday night, as both Kamara (Sierra Leone) and Watson (Jamaica) recently joined their international teams. This will leave room for Jay Heaps to tinker with a Starting XI that has not produced a goal since August 9. Look for Juan Agudelo and London Woodberry to earn a spot in the Starting XI. Femi Hollinger-Janzen, who has not appeared since July 16 due to injury, is also likely to make an appearance.
2. Will Homefield Advantage Continue to Play a Role? The Revolution last played the Rapids on April 4, 2015, when Lee Nguyen & Co. traveled to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and came away with a 2-0 win. The Revolution had never previously defeated the Rapids in Commerce City. Conversely, the Rapids haven’t won at Gillette Stadium since 2010, with the Revs earning three points during the last meet up in Foxboro (July 30, 2014).
3. Rapids Without Jermaine Jones and Tim Howard. There will be no homecoming for Jones, who will miss his return to Foxboro after initially heading to U.S. Men’s National Team camp and then returning rehab an injury. Howard was also selected for the U.S. squad and remains overseas.
4. Can the Revs Break Down the Rapids’ Back Line? Scoreless in four straight, and without Kamara, the Revs will look to break out of its slump and score against one of the league’s stingiest defenses. The home side will benefit from the absence of Jones and Howard, as well as as defender Mekeil Williams, who recently joined Trinidad and Tobago on international duty.