BOSTON (CBS) — Fresh off earning three points in their home opener last Saturday, the New England Revolution are back at Gillette Stadium this weekend for a home tilt against Atlanta United FC.
The Revs will be looking for their first win against Atlanta — ever. New England is winless in its seven matchups with Atlanta United, going 0-5-2 overall against the club. That includes a 1-0 defeat in the 2019 postseason — the last time these two clubs met — when Atlanta won the first-round matchup with a goal in the 70th minute.READ MORE: Taylor Hall Is The Gift That Keeps On Giving For Boston Bruins
Atlanta comes to New England sitting at 1-0-1 on the season, with the 5 Stripes picking up their first win with an impressive 3-1 victory over the Chicago Fire in Atlanta last Saturday. Much like the Revs last Saturday against D.C. United, Atlanta got its game-winner against Chicago off an own goal. They kicked off their 2021 MLS campaign with a 0-0 draw against Orlando City.
But more recently, Atlanta fell 3-0 to the Philadelphia Union on Tuesday night in the Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinal. Atlanta actually controlled possession for most of the match and outshot the Union 16-8, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Now they head to Gillette Stadium for a matchup with the Revolution, with both teams sitting with one win and one draw in MLS action.
“Atlanta is one of the more talented teams in the league, and they’ve looked good at the start of the season,” said Revs head coach and sporting director. “I know they’re coming off a disappointing loss to Philadelphia in Concacaf, but I think they’re a very good team, very good attacking team, some quality players, very well organized with their new coaching staff. I think they’ll be a real challenge for us.”
Who Is Hot
Brandon Bye: The Revs defender was responsible for last Saturday night’s only goal. His cross in the 48th minute went in off D.C.’s Brandon Hines-Ike, which was the difference in the match. Bye also paced the New England defense with three tackles.
Carles Gil: He leads the team with five shots on goal, but currently has just one assist to show for it. Gil is always involved in a play, and head coach Bruce Arena commented that D.C. sent plenty of defensive attention to the midfielder, with Arena adding that he felt that Gil was fouled every time he touched the ball.READ MORE: Mullins' Bizarre Triple Helps O's Beat Red Sox 4-1
Arnor Traustason: The winger from Iceland made his MLS debut last weekend, slotted into New England’s starting lineup at left wing. Traustason played 81 minutes and put one shot on target.
Henry Kessler: The defender has been everywhere to start the season. Kessler tied a career-high with 10 clearances on Saturday, adding six recoveries and four duels won for the New England D against D.C. United.
Christian Mafla: The 28-year-old defender also made his MLS debut on Saturday, logging 54 minutes at left back. Malfa finished the match with a team-high four interceptions.
Matt Turner: The goalkeeper logged his first clean sheet of the season last weekend, though he only needed one save in the victory over D.C. United. It was Turner’s 25th victory and 17th clean sheet of his career.
Bruce Arena: The New England head coach was none too happy with the officials after Saturday’s game, after his team was hit with four yellow cards during the match. (D.C. United was hit with three.) Arena said it was hard to get into any flow with 39 fouls called throughout the match.
Keep an eye on Bruce. If he isn’t please with the officiating on Saturday night, he will in no way hide those feelings.
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You can catch Saturday’s Revolution-Atlanta FC match on TV38. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. If you’re heading to the Gillette, parking lots open at 4 p.m. and gates open at 5:45 p.m.