The 2016 season is finally upon us as the New England Revolution are down in Texas to play the Houston Dynamo. Soccer Sunday is right around the corner! Both teams will be looking to get things off on the right foot and eventually take the Cup from your 2015 MLS defending champion, Portland Timbers. The Rev’s will be taking on the Dynamo March 6th (3pm et) at BBVA Compass Stadium. New England will be looking for it’s fourth straight win vs Houston and is 6-3-1 all time in Houston. Heaps and company will be feeling confident going in having just come off a cup victory in the Desert Diamond preseason tournament. The Rev’s quality in Arizona included a 2-1 victory against the Dynamo (2/24). The Dynamo managed just one win in five games on the other hand but coach Owen Coyle, now in his second year, will be putting all that aside. The club has brought in Cristian Maidana and Agustin Garcia, who will join the likes of Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres and G. Barnes. Cubo’s 3 goals in preseason will have fans hoping for more at BBVA Compass Stadium this coming Sunday.
Seems like ages ago but back on the 1st of August the New England Revolution beat Toronto FC 3-1 at Gillette Stadium. Charlie Davies opened the scoring in the 35th minute and Lee Nguyen scored as well just 9 minutes later from the spot. Davies would go on to score again for his team leading 9th goal of the year. Jonathan Osorio was able to pull one back for the visitors despite being down a man after Jozy Altidore was red carded in the 39th minute. The home victory was the Revolutions last game since they had a bye week. However, they are back in action this Saturday August 15th, once again at Gillette Stadium and will be facing the Houston Dynamo. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 kickoff, arrive early and you may get a bobble-head if your lucky.
Currently New England are 5th in the Eastern Conference with ten games remaining in the regular season. Major League Soccer has restructured the playoffs for this year and the top six teams qualify. The top two seeds get a bye in the 1st round while the 6th and 5th place teams travel to the 3rd and 4th place teams respectively for a 1 game play-in match. The winners then go on to host the top seeded clubs in a 2 game series with the higher seeds hosting the second match. Houston are currently 7th in the West and sit just outside the playoff picture.
Both teams enter the match on three game undefeated streaks. Most recently Houston beat San Jose 2-1 at BBVA ( Highlights) . The Rev’s went 2-1 against the Dynamo in 2014 and are 3-2-5 all time against them at home. The Dynamo made two recent additions in July starting with defender Rasheed Olabiyi (7/9) and Boston native, Sheanon Williams (7/23). Will Bruin leads the club in scoring with nine goals so far. Right being him is Jamaican international Giles Barnes with six.
In a rare Thursday match last week on national television, the New England Revolution were able to come from behind and beat the Houston Dynamo by a score of 1-2. Lee Nguyen scored both goals for NE (65′,87′) and in the process boosted both his league and team MVP credentials. Giles Barnes scored an unassisted goal for the home side (37′) who were bidding farewell to head coach Dominic Kinnear. Kinnear will be joining the San Jose Earthquakes in their new stadium for the 2015 MLS season after having lead the Dynamo the last nine years. The three points earned for NE gives them 52 on the season heading into their own home finale against Toronto this Saturday. Entering the match NE occupies 2nd place in the Eastern Conference while TFC, who are already eliminated from playoff contention, are in seventh place. NE have five wins in nine attempts all time versus Toronto at Gillette stadium and carry a four game undefeated streak into the match in all competition. Toronto are win less in their last four and will be without Jonathan Osorio, Dwayne De Rosario (suspensions) and Jermain Defoe (groin injury). All indications point toward another victory for the Revolution. However, with their position locked up it’s possible but unlikely that coach Jay Heaps puts out a weak starting eleven. The match is not only on fan appreciation night but also will have a potential home field advantage on the line should the club make the MLS Cup. Should Dallas lose their match and make the final they would have to travel to Gillette Stadium should the Rev’s manage three point versus Toronto. Aside from the large crowd expected on hand and future speculations, coach Heaps may not want to risk tainting the current form of the club by altering his starting eleven too much and thus enabling TFC to escape New England with a moral or psychological victory.