On May 6, Crew SC downed the Revolution, 2-0, in Columbus. Sunday afternoon, the Revs have a chance to avenge that loss when Ola Kamara & Co. visit Gillette Stadium.
Here are four storylines to keep an eye on ahead of the week 12 matchup:
1. Will Diego Fagundez stay red hot?
Twice named to mlssoccer.com’s Team of the Week, Fagundez has played with overwhelming confidence this season. That has shown in his willingness to challenge defenders on the dribble, something he has done far more regularly this year (1.7 times per match) than in year’s past (0.5 times per match from 2013-2016).
Last week, he finally made good on his energetic play by scoring his first goal of the season—an uncontested finish from the far post. And though it took him 11 matches to record his first tally, he’s on pace for nine assists, nearly double his career high (five, set in 2013 and 2016).
Can Diego keep it up against a team that has secured three consecutive shutouts against the Revolution?
2. Where will Jay Heaps deploy Kelyn Rowe?
Two weeks ago, Rowe played at left back to keep pace with Crew SC attackers Ethan Finlay and Federico Higuain. Last week against Real Salt Lake, Rowe pulled the strings behind Lee Nguyen and Kei Kamara. Rowe finished the match with an assist and a shot on goal.
Where will Rowe play on Sunday? Conventional wisdom says left back, where he has excelled in several starts this season. With Juan Agudelo likely returning to the Starting XI—he missed last week’s match due to injury—Heaps may opt to put his best players on the field, featuring Agudelo in the No. 10 role and Kamara and Nguyen up top. That would leave room for Rowe to join the back four.
3. Will Federico Higuain join Crew SC’s 40/40 club?
Forty-three goals and 39 assists into his MLS career, Higuain needs just one more assist to join Brian McBride and Jeff Cunningham as the only players in Crew history to score 40 goals and contribute 40 assists. He should have no problem getting there, having collected four assists already in 2017. Will Higuain earn assist number 40 at Gillette Stadium?
4. Who will win the first Kamara derby of 2017?
While anticipating the birth of his son, Kei Kamara missed the May 6 meeting between the Revs and Crew, thus postponing the first Kamara derby—a showdown between Kei and Ola Kamara—of 2017. The two have famously been compared to one another since last May, when Kei was shipped to New England and Ola took over as Crew SC’s center forward.
Since that trade, Ola has emerged as the more productive player. He scored 16 goals last season (including two against the Revs on September 25) and has scored six goals in 2017 (including one against the Revs on May 6). Can Kei, who has yet to fully find his form this season, start to reverse the trend?