New England Revolution Phase I Opponents Preview

Photo Credit: Matthew Stith

The New England Revolution are expected to play 18 regular season matches from August 21st to November 8th. For now, the only matches that have been revealed are the first six matches that start on August 21st and run through September 12th in what MLS is calling Phase I of their return to market plan.

In New Englands six matches they will play five different opponents every 3.66 days with tight turnarounds behind every corner for Bruce Arena’s team. Fortunately for the Revolution, they will have three home matches and the three road matches in this stretch will be day trips. In Phase I MLS has built a schedule that will have teams arrive and depart away matches on matchday which will limit the need for hotels and things of that nature. In addition, teams will be either flying charter or driving buses to road matches.

All five of New England’s opponents in Phase I are ones that are very familiar to the franchise.

Philadelphia Union: Plotting Revenge

  • Union 2020 Record: 2-1-2
  • Revolution vs Union All-Time Record: 7-16-5
  • Revs vs Union Home Record: 4-5-3
  • Revs vs Union Away Record: 3-10-2
  • Revs vs Union Last Time Out: 0-1 loss in the round of 16 in MLS is Back Tournament

Phase I Match: August 21st at 8:00 p.m. at Gillette Stadium, broadcast on NBC Sports Boston and 98.5 The Sports Hub.

September 12th at 7:30 p.m. at Subaru Park, broadcast on NBC Sports Boston and 98.5 The Sports Hub

New England will be looking for revenge against Philadelphia. The Union defeated New England 1-0 in the Round of 16 in the MLS is Back Tournament. Philly ended up being one of the stronger teams in MLS is Back making their way to the Semifinals before falling to the Portland Timbers 2-1 on August 5th.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Union

You can go back to that round of 16 loss and see that the Revs were right in that match. The lone goal of the match came on a mistake by Gustavo Bou who turned the ball over in the middle of the pitch that led to a beautiful goal by Sergio Santos. New England wanted more stoppage time added at the end of the match and following the final whistle Head Coach Bruce Arena was issued a Red Card for “abusing the referee”.

This will be a match the Revolution will want to come out on top in. For me seeing if they have improved their finishing touch will be critical in the August 21st match. Getting out on the right foot and showing they can win matches without Gil is going to tell a lot about how resilient this group is and where their ceiling maybe in 2020.

D.C. United: Ben Olsen‘s Robot Army

  • D.C. 2020 Record: 1-2-2
  • Revs vs D.C. All-Time Record: 31-39-16
  • Revs vs United Away Record: 11-28-6
  • Revs vs United Last Time Out: 1-1 draw in group stages of MLS is Back match

Phase I Match: August 25th at 7:00 p.m. at Audi Field, broadcast on NBC Sports Boston and 98.5 The Sports Hub

Flashback to the July 17th match and the end result wasn’t pretty. New England has earned itself a reputation of a team that cannot hold late leads and this match has aided that storyline. After holding a 1-0 lead Antonio Delamea ill-advised pass-back to Matt Turner was picked off by super-sub Federico Higuain who easily blasted the ball in for the equalizer.

Overall the July 17th match was one that lacked energy and was one that New England should have easily scored two or three goals but Bill Hamid was very solid in net for D.C.. New England fell apart following Carles Gil‘s 62nd-minute injury-related departure. D.C. struggled to create chances against the Revs and the only way they scored was by a gift from New England. Have to feel confident in being able to take away points on the road against this team.

New York Red Bulls: I-95 Derby

  • New York Red Bulls 2020 Record: 2-2-1
  • Revs vs NYRB All-Time Record: 37-31-19
  • Revs vs NYRB Home Record: 26-7-9
  • Revs vs NYRB Last Time Out: 8/17/19 1-1 draw at New York Red Bulls

Phase I Match: August 29th at 8:00 p.m. at Gillette Stadium, broadcast on FS1 and 98.5 The Sports Hub

The last time New England played it’s Eastern Conference rival was last September where they came back to save a point at Red Bull Arena. New England conceded an 18th-minute goal but were able to net the equalizer with Gustavo Bou scoring a 65th-minute goal. The Revolution are a very different team than they were last September with many key departures and arrivals on the player side of things.

New York has had a solid season thus far and their chaotic playstyle continues into 2020. The Red Bulls opened up the MLS is Back Tournament with a 1-0 win over Atlanta but then went on to lose 2-0 to both the Columbus Crew and Cincinnati FC. Tough one to read but this match has the chance to be a thriller.

NYCFC: New England Versus The Disappointment

  • NYCFC 2020 Record: 1-4-0
  • Revs vs NYCFC All-Time Record: 6-4-3
  • Revs vs NYCFC Home Record: 4-1-1
  • Revs vs NYCFC Last Time Out: 9/29/19 2-0 win at Gillette

Phase I Match: September 2nd at 8:00 p.m. at Gillette Stadium, broadcast on NBC Sports Boston and 98.5 The Sports Hub.

New England in their last match against NYCFC came away with a 2-0 victory which clinched the final playoff spot for the 2019 MLS Audi Cup Playoffs. In the stands was a season high 28,602 fans and leading the way for the Revs was a chip by Gustavo Bou and then Matt Turner in net making six saves.

Photo Credit: Katie Cahalin

NYCFC has had a very disappointing start to the 2020 season but was able to escape the group stages and then defeat Toronto FC in the Round of 16 in the MLS is Back Tournament. New York went on to fall to the Portland Timbers 3-1 in the quarterfinals.

This match could go either way, NYCFC is a talented team. New England hasn’t lost at home to NYCFC since 7/6/16 in a 1-0 final.

Chicago Fire: We didn’t start the fire

  • Chicago 2020 Record: 1-3-1
  • Revs vs Fire All-Time Record: 31-37-15
  • Revs vs Fire Away Record: 6-25-9
  • Revs vs Fire Last Time Out: 1-1 draw at Gillette Stadium on 3/7/20

Phase I Match: September 6th at 7:30 p.m. at Soldier Field, broadcast on NBC Sports Boston and 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Chicago is one of two teams the Revolution played prior to the suspension of the 2020 MLS season back in March. One of the storylines early on with the 2020 Revolution has been their lack of finishing touch and the March match was no different. Chicago came out on the front foot in the last meeting but the Revs were able to build confidence throughout the match and cashed in with a 28th-minute goal by Adam Buksa. A number of chances were squandered as they tried to get a two-goal led and in the 70th minute, the Fire netted their equalizer.

That March match is a tough one to read given it was a cold windy Spring day on artificial turf which created tough conditions for both teams. Chicago failed to make it out of the group stage in Group B of the MLS is Back Tournament. Historically the Revs have had a tough go of it in Chicago but this match is at Soldier Field. New England at Soldier Field is 1-2-1 in Regular Season Play. Compare to their 2-11-6 record at Chicago’s most recent home venue SeatGeek Stadium.

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