The Revs Host Minnesota United to Continue This Busy Stretch

The Revs Fans at Pride Night on June 15, 2022
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PREVIEW – Just a few days ago, Orlando City was visiting Gillette Stadium, now it is time for Minnesota United to make the trip. The Revs shared the points with Oscar Pareja’s men, meanwhile, Minnesota has been out of MLS action since late May. Bruce Arena and Adrian Heath are very friendly, but which of them will come out on top on Sunday?

Can the Revs Continue Their Unbeaten Streak This Weekend?

Form Favours the Hosts

After drawing with Orlando earlier this week, the Revs extended their unbeaten run in MLS to seven games. In that stretch, they were knocked out of the Open Cup by NYCFC but were otherwise very impressive. Occasionally, the result trumped the performance but that is the makings of a good side.

In this same time period, Minnesota United has put up a record of two wins, one draw and four defeats in league play. Starting first with the positives and their two victories were over Chicago and Dallas. They left it late against the former with Emanuel Reynoso, Kervin Arriaga and Robin Lod all finding the back of the net in the final twenty minutes.

Lod was also on target in a 1-1 draw at Allianz Field with the Galaxy and in the loss to Seattle, the only Minnesota goal across the four defeats. Heath’s side came up short on home soil against NYCFC and Cincinnati whilst goals from Ryan Hollingshead and Jose Cifuentes made the difference for LAFC at Banc of California Stadium. Along with the Revs exiting the Open Cup, the Loons suffered the same fate. Their defeat was far more embarrassing though as it was at the hands of USL side Union Omaha. The team from Nebraska eliminated the Fire via penalties before then getting past Minnesota too.

The History of This Fixture

With how many expansion teams there have been in recent seasons, it is hard to forget that Minnesota United is relatively new to MLS. Due to this, and the lack of cross-conference games, the Revs have hardly played Minnesota to date, something coach Arena pointed out. “This is my third year here in New England and we’ve never played Minnesota, so that should be fun.”

Bruce also cracked a joke: “[Minnesota Head Coach] Adrian Heath and I drank about six bottles of wine with [Portland Timbers Head Coach] Giovanni Savarese a couple of years ago at a preseason tournament, so it’ll be great to see Adrian again. But all kidding aside, they’re a good team. It’s always interesting to see the teams from the other conference.” He certainly isn’t undermining this weekend’s opponents.

On the three occasions that the Revs have clashed with the Loons in MLS, two of the three games have gone the way of the Boston boys. Juan Agudelo bagged a brace with legends Kei Kamara and Lee Nguyen also getting in on the act in a 5-2 thriller at Gillette. That was in 2017 and the following year, Brad Friedel’s New England side lost 2-1 on the road. The third of the three meetings also came back when corona was nothing more than an alcoholic drink. This game was also under the stewardship of Friedel and Brandon Bye scored the winner in a 2-1 win.

Matt Polster Will be Absent for the Revs

Matt Turner’s departure from the Revs for Arsenal has now been finalised and so in comes Djordje Petrovic. The outgoing shot-stopper spoke about what he has seen from his successor: “I was not like that when I was 22 that’s for sure, so I think he’s got a bright, bright future. Obviously, I tried to help him as much as I could with the time we had together.” Turner’s namesake Polster is the big absentee for this weekend’s game, a head collision against Orlando forcing him off of the field.

Onto the opponents for the Revs, this weekend and Arena highlighted where Minnesota can be most dangerous. “Reynoso is one of the best players in the league, he’s their playmaker. [Robin] Lod, their striker, has seven goals to date. So, those are two players that you certainly need to be aware of. Their goalkeeper [Dayne] St. Clair is an outstanding young goalkeeper.”

This is the trio catching Arena’s eye and his consensus is as follows: “They have good speed on the flanks and they’re a good team so it’ll be a really challenging game for us.”

Minnesota can sneak above the playoff line in the west if results go their way this weekend. The Revs meanwhile, achieved that the other day and so have something to defend and build on now. it will be fascinating to see how life without Adam Buksa and Turner continues for Arena and co!