New England Revolution
A BIT OF REVENGE AT STAKE ...
The Crew needed two positive results last weekend to stay afloat in the run for the MLS Cup Playoffs and unfortunately were eliminated from postseason contention ... the Crew fell 3-2 to the Revs on Saturday night and then Chicago defeated Toronto just after the final whistle in the Crew match ... even with a Crew win at New England, the Black & Gold would have been eliminated ... however, the loss to the Revs leaves the Crew with a feeling that New England kept the Crew from the postseason, giving plenty of motivation this weekend to return the favor.
DESPITE TWO LOSSES THIS YEAR, BLACK & GOLD HAVE REVS’ NUMBER ...
Sunday’s meeting will be the 60th regular-season meeting between the two teams, the Crew’s most-faced opponent during the season since 1996 ... the Crew’s 29 wins (29-19-11) against the Revs are the most versus any opponent in Black & Gold history, more than D.C. United (23 wins against), New York (24 wins against) or Sporting KC (21 wins).
... AND A STRONG STRETCH AGAINST THE REVS HAS HELPED
Although the Revs have won the regular-season series in 2013 with a pair of wins on July 20 and October 19, the Black & Gold have found success against the Revs over the last six seasons ... in the last 17 meetings, dating back to 2007, the Crew is 8-5-4 against the Revs ... during that stretch, the Crew has won the regular-season series four times and the two teams have split results two other times ... from 1996 through 2000, and again from 2002 through 2006, the two conference foes met four times a year.
Due to a nagging hip injury suffered in the Crew's 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City on October 5, Federico Higuaín will miss Saturday night's Eastern Conference clash against the New England Revolution. Though the Argentine playmaker began jogging once again during the week, Interim Head Coach Brian Bliss and the team's medical staff ruled Higuaín was not fit for game action.
Ethan Finlay will replace Higuaín in the lineup as Dominic Oduro will join Jairo Arrieta on the Crew frontline.
"We said it yesterday that the decision regarding Federico traveling would be a flight-time call," Bliss explained. "After consulting with Federico and the medical staff, we determined that he would be unable to go tonight and so it made sense that he would not travel with us yesterday."
Following the Montreal Impact's 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union, the Crew needs a win in New England tonight coupled with a Toronto FC win or draw against the Chicago Fire. Higuaín will be re-evaluated and could return with a berth a chance to clinch an MLS Cup Playoff berth next week against the Revolution in Columbus.
"We'll re-evaluate his availability next week, but for now, we believe we have what it takes to get three crucial points tonight," Bliss said.
On Saturday, the Crew hosts New England Revolution in the first of three matches this season between the two sides in 2013. The Black & Gold went 1-1-1 against the Revs last season in 2012, here is a look back at the series last season.
Andy Gruenebaum made six saves to extend the Crew's unbeaten run to begin the summer of 2012 to six matches as the Crew battled the Revolution to a 0-0 draw at Gillette Stadium. While the Black & Gold attack only mustered three shots on target, the team's stellar defensive play was enough to earn the road point.
After surrendering two goals within the first 23 minutes, it seemed the Crew was headed for certain defeat in its second meeting of the season with the Revolution. But two Federico Higuaín free-kick tallies with a Jairo Arrieta counter-attack strike saw the Black & Gold head into halftime with a 3-2 advantage. The Revs would draw level in the 81st minute following a Lee Nguyen penalty kick, but Arrieta would net his second goal of the match five minutes later to lift the Crew to victory.
Playing its sixth match in 18 days, the Crew traveled to New England in search of a fifth-straight win. However, fatigue was a factor as the Black & Gold allowed an early second-half goal followed by an own goal to hand the Revolution its first win in two months.