Foxborough, MASS – It was just a few weeks ago when the New England Revolution last crossed paths with Inter Miami. To think that, only last year, these were arguably the best and worst teams in MLS. Now though, the tables have turned (for the moment anyway) and it was Miami who prevailed. The Revs haven’t had to wait long to get their own back with Phil Neville and co travelling to Gillette Stadium this weekend.
The New England Revolution Gets a Swift Chance of Revenge Against Miami
How Have the Pair Fared so Far?
It is heavily trodden ground that the New England Revolution has struggled to find its feet since last year. It is night and day between their record-breaking season and the present day. That being said, there have been signs of improvement in recent weeks and it isn’t all doom and gloom. Brandon Bye fired home an early opener beyond managerless DC United last time out and the general play was very positive, to begin with. New England went on to lose that game with DC having Taxi Fountas to thank in his first start. The Greek international netted twice as well as assisting Michael Estrada.
There was a particular flashpoint in that game that peaked a lot of people’s attention. Captain Carles Gil was having a rather heated chat with Bruce Arena after the third goal was scored. It seemed that the Spaniard was unhappy with something tactically, but Arena was certainly unfazed by it all. “I see it probably almost every game in my career. I don’t know how people are making so much of that… I kind of liked the fact that he’s so competitive and he wants our team to be successful, so to me, that wasn’t an issue at all.”
— Seth (@SethMan31) April 24, 2022
A Slippery Slope for the New England Revolution
It has been a slippery slope for the New England Revolution to date and the 2022 MLS season began like that for this weekend’s opponents too. They began the campaign with a 0-0 draw against a new-look Chicago Fire side. Following that though, Neville’s men lost four games on the bounce. Losing to Carlos Vela and LAFC is far from embarrassing but the other three came against teams in Miami’s bracket. Austin put five past Clement Diop with FC Cincinnati and the Dynamo scoring three-a-piece.
It was the win over the Revs that snapped this lost streak and for one reason or another, this sparked a resurgence. It has been a baffling season: a draw, then four losses and then four wins (in all competitions. The two league wins after that over New England saw them bounce Seattle and Atlanta United.
Who Has the Upper Hand Going Into Saturday Night?
As has been mentioned previously, it was the Florida-based side that came out on top at the beginning of this month. The New England Revolution took the lead very early on as Justin Rennicks netted his first professional goal. Adam Buksa and Gustavo Bou have occasionally been missing, meaning these goals from others are even more instrumental. This sentiment was echoed by Bye when he spoke to the media: “it’s important for us and it’s important for other teams to know that it’s not just one guy that they need to shut down.”
Rennicks scored after eleven minutes but by the 24th minute, Miami was leading. Leonardo Campana, the man keeping Gonzalo Higuain out of the team, netted twice thanks to lax marking and generally poor defending. Bye believes he is one to watch out for: “we’ve looked at some film and he’s scored some goals so far this season. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for him on Saturday.”
This touch and finish was 👌
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 28, 2022
The flaws were there for all to see for the New England Revolution down in Fort Lauderdale. None more so than coach Arena who had this to say: “we’ve got to do a better job breaking them down and then obviously, eliminate some of the mistakes we made down in Miami two weeks ago. But they played well, give them a lot of credit.”
As well as coming out on top earlier this year, Miami took the three points from the duo’s meeting on the final day of the 2021 season. Frenchman Blaise Matuidi scored the only goal of the game at the hour mark. This clearly isn’t a team to be undermined, particularly when you consider the form of the Revs.
Who are the Players to Watch for the New England Revolution?
Injuries have plagued Arena thus far in 2022 and so several returning is very ideal indeed. In the words of the head coach: “we’ve had games this year where we weren’t able to dress nine reserves, which is permitted, so now that we have a full roster, it’s going to give us more competition in training, guys can push each other.”
Matt Turner, Henry Kessler and Gustavo Bou have probably been the key trio sidelined. This is along with Andrew Farrell and Adam Buksa at times too. It remains to be seen whether Turner will feature in this one, the safe bet is that Brad Knighton keeps his place in between the sticks. Or who knows, maybe the new signing Djordje Petrovic gets the nod!
Bruce Arena said that all 27 players on the roster trained today #NERevs
— Sam Minton (@sam_minton22) April 28, 2022
On the flip side, it seems too hard to look beyond Ecuadorian Campana as the man to watch. The Wolves loanee of course scored a hat-trick in the reverse fixture and has five on the season. Only three other players have been on target this term: Higuain, Robbie Robinson and Bryce Duke.
The Revolution isn’t expected to continue playing this poorly but nothing can be taken for granted. This is a prime example for Arena and co to get revenge against Miami and get back to winning ways. Who will leave Foxborough the happier party?
The game will start at 7:30 p.m. ET this Saturday. It will be shown live on MLS LIVE on DAZN, WBZ 4 & MyRITV, CBS4, and UniMás.