Sporting Kansas City-Revolution Preview
The New England Revolution and Sporting Kansas City were each
shut out last weekend.
There’s reason to believe both clubs will have better success as
they square off Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
The Revolution (1-2-3) will have midfielders Shalrie Joseph and
Pat Phelan back after each served a one-match suspension in last
Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Houston for receiving red cards the previous
The two are big parts of New England’s offense. Joseph leads the
Revolution with two goals, while Phelan had played a team-high 445
minutes prior to sitting out last week.
Joseph also had the lone score in New England’s 1-0 win over
Kansas City on Oct. 16, the last meeting between these teams. The
clubs split last season’s two-game series, with each team winning
In addition to getting two of their top offensive players back,
the Revolution will also be going up against a Sporting Kansas City
team that has allowed a league-worst 2.25 goals per game.
Sporting KC’s defense got a little break last Saturday facing a
Columbus team mired in an offensive funk.
Although the Crew have had some trouble scoring, they’ve had no
problems shutting down opponents. Sporting KC suffered a 1-0 loss
last week as Columbus set a team record with a fourth straight
Sporting KC (1-2-1), which had scored eight goals in its first
three games, managed just two shots on goal against the Crew’s
“I thought we played pretty well in the first half. I felt like
we created the chances we usually create and in the back we were
pretty solid and didn’t give anything away,” defender Matt Besler
said. “We wanted to come out in the second half and raise the level
and keep playing the way we were, but we may have dropped just a
Sporting KC likely should have better luck versus the
Revolution, although Matt Reis has been solid in goal.
Reis, who has stopped 20 of 24 shots on goal in four games this
season, returned to action Sunday after sitting out New England’s
previous two matches because of a right adductor strain. The
14-year veteran made a season-high six saves, and the Dynamo’s lone
goal came on a fluky play in the 86th minute.
After Houston’s Cam Weaver’s header deflected off the crossbar
and straight up, Hunter Freeman managed to beat Reis for position
and tap the ball in. New England was convinced the ball hit
Freeman’s hand during the process.
“There were a lot of chances on both sides, and unfortunately
it’s just a questionable decision that’s the result of the game,”
Revolution defender Ryan Cochrane said. “The ball just didn’t
bounce our way. I think we were a bit unlucky to not come out with
a tie in the game.”
Newly acquired Danish forward Rajko Lekic made his MLS debut
last week for New England and played all 90 minutes. The Revolution
also could have midfielder Benny Feilhaber available for this
Feilhaber, a member of last year’s U.S. World Cup team, was
added Tuesday through Major League Soccer’s Allocation Process.