New England Revolution coach Brad Friedel didn’t mince words when asked what he hopes to see from his team, which has suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season, in Saturday night’s road game against the New York Red Bulls.
“A win,” Friedel said. “It’s very, very simple.”
The Revolution (7-6-7, 28 points) have never won a regular season game in nine tries (0-8-1) at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., although they did claim a 2-1 victory there in the first leg of the 2014 Eastern Conference championship en route to the conference title and a berth in the MLS Cup. New England also won the first meeting between the two teams on June 2 at Gillette Stadium, 2-1, behind a goal and an assist by forward Teal Bunbury.
The Revolution are clinging to a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after the back-to-back losses at Minnesota United (2-1) on Wednesday and at home to the LA Galaxy (3-2) last Saturday, a game that saw New England allow two goals in stoppage time to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The Revs enter Saturday’s contest in fifth place, just one point ahead of the Montreal Impact for the final playoff berth and four points in front of the Philadelphia Union, who have a game in hand.
“Now is the time to really test the mental strength,” Friedel said.
The third-place Red Bulls (11-5-2, 35) have won four of their last five MLS games and are 7-1-1 in nine home games this season, outscoring their opponents by 17 goals at Red Bull Arena. New York trails first place Atlanta United (12-4-5, 41) by six points in the Eastern Conference standings but have three games in hand.
“It’s an Eastern Conference opponent, we’re in the back end of the season, all these points matter,” goalie Luis Robles told MLSsoccer.com. “We know they came off a tough loss midweek and they traveled here. I feel like that’s going to bring a little more bite to the game because they understand what’s at stake and the points that they need to get.”
The Red Bulls come in off a 3-2 victory over Sporting Kansas City last Saturday at Red Bull Arena behind two goals by midfielder Marc Rzatkowski, including the game-winner in the 79th minute.
New England, playing its third game in the span of eight days, should receive a boost with the return of three starters who were suspended for the Minnesota United loss - forward Cristian Penilla (eight goals, five assists), midfielder Luis Caicedo and defender Antonio Delamea.
—Field Level Media