BOSTON (CBS) — The Revolution return home to Gillette Stadium for a mid-week tilt with Toronto FC on Wednesday. The two clubs couldn’t be more different at this juncture of the season.
New England sits atop the Eastern Conference at 7-2-3 and has yet to lose a game at home, sporting a perfect 5-0-0 record at Gillette Stadium. Toronto is a dismal 1-8-2 on the season and is coming off a 7-1 thumping at D.C. United, which prompted the firing of head coach Chris Armas, who was hired back in January. Assistant Javier Perez will serve as Toronto’s interim coach.
Though Toronto has struggled for much of the season, New England’s Bruce Arena said that the club’s coaching change could be the boot in the backside that the team needs to get things going.
“You know the kick you get when you have a new coach and our guys have to be aware of that,” Arena told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche earlier this week. “This Toronto team has five players on their roster who have been on MLS’ All-11 and last year’s MVP [in Alejandro Pozuelo]. This is not a team struggling for talent so we have to be ready to play.”
“After having a loss like that, they’re going to come out all guns blazing,” added defender Andrew Farrell. “It will be a tough game for us, kind of like a trap game.”
New England is winless in its last five meetings with Toronto, going 0-3-2 against the club going back to September 2018. Toronto won 1-0 at Gillette Stadium in their last meeting last October.
The Revs will look a lot different than they normally do on Wednesday, as the club will be without Matt Turner and Tajon Buchanan, who are off having some Gold Cup fun. Turner will be keeping goal for Team USA, while Buchanan is set to hit the pitch for Team Canada during the Concacaf Gold Cup over the next month.
Gustavo Bou: He’s found the back of the net in five straight appearances, which is pretty darn good. Bou scored his sixth goal of the season against Columbus on Saturday, which gave the Revs a 2-0 lead at the time.
DeJuan Jones: The Revs defender showed off some fancy footwork on his first-half assist to Buchanan for New England’s first goal in Columbus, with the helper coming off his left foot. After the 2-2 draw, the 24-year-old said that he’s been working on that quite a bit this season.
“Every single day I try to get better and improve. I’m a right-footer playing on the left side, but I think my left foot is just as good as my right foot,” said Jones. “Just working hard every day, continuing to improve, and varying my crosses, whether it’s a dink, hard cross on the ground, or finding somebody’s head.”
Jones has a goal and an assist in his last three matches, and he also leads the Revs with 22 interceptions in his 11 appearances on the season.
Andrew Farrell: The defender had an unfortunate own goal on Saturday, one that he really couldn’t do much about. But then Farrell totally redeemed himself by preserving the tie with an incredible kick save after a shot got by Turner in extra time.
There are ups and downs, but whatever happens, you have to trust and believe in yourself! Go again on Wednesday #88 pic.twitter.com/HVXSsUiYuC
— Andrew Farrell (@2Fast2Farrell) July 4, 2021
New England’s Goalkeeper: Arena has been coy on who will be in net for New England on Wednesday night, and whomever it is won’t really come into the match hot so to speak. They’ll also have the tall task of filling in for the league’s best keeper this season.
But we’re all going to have our eyes on who is in net, and we’ll put our money on veteran Brad Knighton getting the call over Earl Edwards Jr. He has 46 appearances over the last seven seasons with New England — his second stint with the club — and 27 wins under his belt over his 11 MLS seasons.
How To Watch
It’s going to be a warm night at Gillette for Wednesday night’s match. Parking lots open at 4 p.m. and gates open at 5:45 p.m. ahead of the 7 p.m. kickoff. If you’re tuning in from home you can catch the match on TV38, with coverage beginning with a Revolution Kickoff Special at 6:30 p.m.!