Kansas City Wizards got one crucial road victory earlier this
week to aid their improbable pursuit of a playoff berth.
The Wizards will need another against the New England Revolution
and some help to stay alive in the postseason race through Saturday
After three consecutive losses, Kansas City (10-12-6) topped
Chicago 2-0 on Tuesday to pull within six points of Colorado for
the league’s final playoff spot.
The Wizards, though, have just two games left to make up that
ground, and they need a win over New England as well as a Rapids
loss later Saturday night to keep their hopes alive.
“We know the situation that we’re in. We know that anything less
than three points in each of these games isn’t good enough,” said
captain Davy Arnaud, who has scored twice in the past two games.
“We approach it the same way. We can’t control what Colorado is
doing, and we have to focus on ourselves. We’re going to come out
in New England the same way.”
It may help that Kansas City is 5-0-1 in its last six matchups
with the Revolution, who will miss the playoffs for the first time
since 2001. The Wizards are also 2-0-1 in their last three trips to
Gillette Stadium during league play and 7-1-5 there in franchise
New England (8-15-5), however, appears to have to regained its
scoring touch with seven goals in its last four games, including
three from captain Shalrie Joseph. Joseph and Kheli Dube scored
Sunday at Houston, helping the Revolution snap an 0-3-2 skid with a
With 31 goals this season, the Revs need two more to avoid
finishing with the fewest in franchise history. New England scored
33 times last year.
“This weekend we’re just going to start creating chances and
push a lot of people forward, start putting balls in the box and
hopefully one goes in early,” Joseph told the team’s official
website. “Then we (can) start pushing more and more and get that
The Revolution got their only goal from Kenny Mansally in a 4-1
defeat Aug. 21 at Kansas City. Wizards forward Birahim Diop scored
his only two MLS goals in the first 27 minutes and added an assist,
while Kei Kamara and Jack Jewsbury each contributed a goal to the
The Wizards are hoping to get midfielder Ryan Smith back from a
strained right hamstring. Mansally and Sainey Nyassi, meanwhile,
will return from international duty this week for New England, but
midfielder Pat Phelan and defender Cory Gibbs will serve one-game
suspensions. Each player picked up his fifth yellow card of the
season in the first half of Sunday’s win.
Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth is expected to make his fourth
career MLS start for the Revolution after Matt Reis had ankle
surgery on Wednesday.