New England will still likely make the postseason even with another loss, but the Revolution are focused on heading in with some momentum.
They’ll try to get that by ending a four-game winless streak in Sunday’s visit to an eliminated New York City FC.
New England (13-12-8) enters the final day of the regular season with a three-point cushion on Orlando City for the sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. That means the Revolution need a tie or a win Sunday, or an Orlando loss or tie against Philadelphia.
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Even if Orlando should match New England on points and wins, it likely can’t overcome a goal differential that’s currently minus-9. The Revolution are minus-1 in the league’s second tiebreaker.
New England has misfired on four previous chances to clinch a playoff berth, going 0-3-1 and taking back-to-back losses to open this month. The Revolution, though, still have a shot to finish as high as fourth in the East if they can win and get some help, giving them a chance to host an opening-round game next week.
"Going into the playoffs, it’s not necessarily how you’ve done in your last five games, but your last game," defender Andrew Farrell said. "You want to get that momentum going. It’s a really important game for us. We’ve got to take care of business. It’s been five weeks that we haven’t, and it’s a big game."
New England beat New York City 1-0 at home July 18 in the latest meeting with the expansion club on Lee Nguyen’s goal in the 12th minute.
The Revolution took a 2-0 loss at Yankee Stadium in their second game this season March 15 but will likely see a different lineup.
New England hasn’t faced former Premier League star Frank Lampard in either matchup as he made his MLS debut Aug. 1, one year after committing to transfer to NYC. The Revolution also didn’t see another ex-European star midfielder, Andrea Pirlo, who played his first game July 26.
Pirlo is considered probable for this game despite an adductor injury that kept him out of last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Orlando City. Lampard failed to score a goal after tallying three goals and an assist in his prior four contests.
New York City (10-16-7) will likely finish its first MLS season in eighth place in the East.
"I think we head into this match feeling that everything we are trying to do is for our fans," coach Jason Kreis said. "We want to give them something back. We want to put on a terrific performance for them.
"We are hopeful that we can do that and give them everything we have, walk away with the three points and our heads held high."
David Villa had a goal and assisted on Patrick Mullins’ 84th-minute tally in New England’s previous visit. Villa has just two of his team-best 17 goals and one assist in the last six matches.
New England’s Diego Fagundez played through an injured shoulder but is expected to be available for the regular-season finale after practicing this week.