Coming off their first win of the 2016 season (albeit controversially), the Revs look to continue their winning ways on Saturday as they face Toronto FC. Toronto is in the midst of an eight-game road trip to begin their season as their home stadium undergoes renovations, and it seems like their nomadic ways have gotten the best of them. They have fallen short in two consecutive games and have earned just four points in four matches. New England supporters let out a collective sigh of relief last week as they came out of a match with three points for the first time in five efforts. Toronto looks to recover from their skid while the Revs look to capitalize on it.
New England: LDW
The Revs have yet to impress this season. Their form has progressed over the last few matches, but when the basis is a 3-0 loss versus the Philadelphia Union, that doesn't say much. The Revolution just barely departed Yankee Stadium with a draw versus NYCFC, a match which very easily could have gotten away from the Revs had New York City capitalized on a few chances. Even last weekend's win took a controversial goal and a man advantage to take down the team that currently occupies 8th place in the Eastern Conference.
Although they have fallen in the standings, the results of Toronto FC's pair of losses do not do their respective matches justice. Sporting Kansas City did outplay them, however their lone goal came with complaints from the Reds towards the officiating (which I guess has become commonplace in MLS). Last week's matchup in Colorado manifested a similar result. A controversial early red card given to Toronto's Benoit Cheyrou was all the Rapids needed to use the man advantage to contain Sebastian Giovinco and keep Toronto scoreless. It may be a bad look to blame refs for results, but Toronto's L's could be D's or even W's had they received the benefit of the doubt.
Player to Watch:
Throughout the first five games, the Revs have managed to score just five goals, three of which came in the season opener. They were blanked by Philadelphia and D.C. United, neither of which contain overwhelming back lines. Clearly, something isn't clicking within the Revs attacking core, and it may be time for Head Coach Jay Heaps to make changes. My player to watch this week is Femi Hollinger-Janzen. Femi has become a fan favorite after receiving consistent minutes and impressing in substitution appearances. Hollinger-Janzen won't be up front to start, but look for him to come off the bench if the Revs remain goalless in the latter part of the game.
Whoever starts alongside Sebastian Giovinco in Toronto's 4-3-3 formation will have an impact on the game, especially if Giovinco's scoring drought is to continue. Toronto may opt to use a 4-2-3-1 which they have frequently. Either way, whether it be at a forward position or an attacking midfield position, this player may be any of Toronto's breadth of options including Marco Delgado, Jonathan Osorio, and rookie Tsubasa Endoh.
Ed.: this article previously reflected that Jozy Altidore was out, which was incorrect.
Although it is still early in the season, the Revs have been underwhelming so far, to say the least. They have one of the best collections of talent in the league, but they have failed to put on a convincing performance to this point. This is the perfect week to prove to fans what they can do with that talent. The Revs are set up perfectly for a victory, having settled in at home for two consecutive weeks playing a team on an extensive road trip missing one of their stars. Heaps and Co. will use that to their advantage as they look for a second consecutive win.
The Revolution host Toronto FC at 4 PM EST on Saturday.