Foxborough, MASS– Coming off of a tough road stretch, the New England Revolution are back in front of their home fans. The visitors this weekend are a new look Toronto FC side. This weekend will be very different to what would have taken place if the pair met a month ago. Bob Bradley has a few new faces on the field and they, like the Revs, have a lot of work to do if they want to be competing in the post-season.
Can the Revs Get Back to Winning Ways Against Toronto?
Bob Bradley and TFC Have a Lot of Work to Do!
All of the press around these Hollywood style arrivals in Toronto is positive and understandably so. At the same time though, they have to hit the ground running if the Canadians are to get above the playoff line. Bob Bradley is of course a veteran in Major League Soccer and he will need to prove that this season. Last time out, there was heartbreak as his side lost to the Whitecaps on penalties in the Canadian Championship final.
They currently sit thirteenth in the Eastern Conference with only DC United below them. That being said, due to the competition that the conference provides, they are only six points behind FC Cincinnati who are in the final playoff berth. It was an explosive opening in the Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi with TFC 4-0 up at half time against Austin FC in their last outing. Both Italians were on target too!
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) July 24, 2022
The Revs have a lot of transfer dealings of their own on the radar. Whilst Bob Bradley has signed the Italian duo as well as Canadian Mark-Anthony Kaye, with Alejandro Pozuelo joining Inter Miami, Bruce Arena has been busy too. Matt Turner and Adam Buksa have gone out of the door, meanwhile, the new arrivals are Djordje Petrovic, Dylan Borrero and Giacomo Vrioni.
Vrioni made his debut in the last outing, a 0-0 draw at Lower.com Field versus the Columbus Crew. Prior to that, there were losses shrouded with defensive instability against NYCFC and the Philadelphia Union. Arena spoke on the improvement shown in that goalless tie with Caleb Porter’s men: “I think the team got a lot of confidence by the way they played and the result, because we’ve had such a poor time this year protecting leads and/or getting a point, or three points.”
The History of the Fixture
There is a historic relationship between the two managers, Bob Bradley and Bruce Arena, but that will be covered later. In the meantime, the history of the fixture is the topic of conversation. As seems to be the case more often than not with the Revs, there is a balance there between the two. Of the last five results, two were draws and two went the way of Toronto.
The pair in September and August of last year with the away side winning by a single goal on both occasions. Chris Armas was in charge of the Canadian outfit at the time and side flew into a 3-0 lead in the 3-2 win at Gillette Stadium. Bruce’s men bounced back with a 2-1 victory, Gustavo Bou and Tajon Buchanan finding the back of the net at BMO Field.
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) April 10, 2020
Fitness issues have particularly plagued the backline but Bob Bradley won’t be too enthused to hear that Henry Kessler is feeling healthy. In his own words, “I’m feeling good now and hopefully all the injuries are in the past.” The Revs defender also gave his thoughts on this weekend’s fixture: “It’s an important game for sure. I think both teams could use a win. We know that we want to get all three points at home.”
MLS Stalwarts Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley
Moving onto one of the most enticing storylines that this game throws up, the battle of the two managers. Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley both have a huge legacy in the game and the pair have a lot of respect for each other.
“I’ve known Bob [Bradley] obviously for a long time. I don’t necessarily look forward to coaching against him, because I know his team is going to be well prepared. But we’ve known each other for 40-some-odd years and he’s a good person and good coach. So, I look forward to seeing him, not coaching against him.”
Toronto have a number of positions to climb if they are to make the playoffs. New England themselves have work to do if they want to turn their season around. It will be a fascinating encounter between two iconic US managers, Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley. Can the new arrivals in Toronto make the difference at Gillette?
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