Categorized | Game Previews

Revs face Chivas with home stand on the line

Posted on 05 May 2010 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution return to the pitch on Wednesday night to face Chivas USA in the final game of a three game home stand.

This is the third game in 11 days for the Revs, and the fourth game in a row without team captain Shalrie Joseph.  In Shalrie’s absence, the team has managed to salvage only one point in all games.  Without their talismanic midfielder managing the game, the Revolution have struggled to maintain possession and failed to dictate the run of play.

Things are not going to get easier for Head Coach Steve Nicol.  Including Wednesday’s game, the Revolution will play 6 games in the next 17 days. This Saturday the Revolution will face Columbus on the road, and then return to prepare for their US Open Cup match next Wednesday against the Red Bulls in New York. The Revs then face San Jose at home the following Saturday the 15th, followed by an international friendly against Portuguese super-club Benfica on wednesday the 19th before traveling to face Toronto FC on May 22nd.

That’s two games a week for the next three weeks with a roster that has already been besieged by injuries.  Kevin Alston is listed as questionable as he is suffering from an undisclosed illness. Joining Shalrie, Matt Reis and Taylor Twellman on the players not available list are Emmanuel Osei (leg infections) and Mike Videira (ankle injury).  Videira’s absence will come as a real blow as the team is already short on central midfielders without Shalrie and Joseph Niouky who was ejected from last week’s game and is serving a one game suspension, as is forward Kheli Dube.

However, returning to the team, after sitting out Saturday’s game, is midfielder/defender Chris Tierney, whose much improved performance early this season impressed Steve Nicol enough to give him the starting spot on the left wing for the first three games.  Tierney may return to the starting lineup against Chivas on Wednesday if Nicol decides to play Marko Perovic in an attacking role in place of Kheli Dube.

Chivas USA comes into Foxboro with the same record as New England, having salvaged a draw against Chicago last Saturday, but have a -3 goal differential.  The Goats will likely start the same line-up as they did against the Fire, but they will be without the services of Midfielder Michael Lahoud, who was fined and suspended by the league after the match for a tackle on Chicago’s Justin Mapp.  With Lahoud out, Sacha Kljestan may return to the midfield and either Maicon Santis or Chukwudi Chijindo will join Justin Braun up front. Defensive midfielders Blair Gavin and Ben Zemanski will hold up the middle with Jonathan Bornstein and Zach Thornton anchoring the team.

The Revolution defense will once again be put to the test if their team fails to win the battle of the midfield.  However, the Revs have been scoring opportunistic goals, and if they can break through the midfield on the counter attack, New England could manage to win the whole three points.

Prediction: This game has 0-0 draw written all over it, but Revs will scrape out a 1-0 win.

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