Volkswagen Keys To The Match: New England Revolution

We take a look at some of the keys to Saturday’s showdown at RFK

Maicon Santos - 2012

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The New England Revolution visit RFK Stadium Saturday night for an Eastern Conference showdown with D.C. United.  We take a look at some of the keys to the critical contest:
 
BANG WITH BIG BOYS
 
In Jerry Bengston and Dmitry Imbongo, New England have two of Major League Soccer’s most physical forwards.  Imbongo will shoot from anywhere and can do so with either foot, so D.C.’s defense will have to be careful not to allow him much space even beyond their penalty area. Bengston is a worker, and whether his runs are rewarded with service or not, he rarely seems to stop his movement off the ball.  Tight communication between United’s central backs will be important, especially in the moments when they are switching off marking responsibilities for the Honduran striker.  
 
SANTOS RETURNS
 
Sure he played ten minutes against Real Salt Lake, and nearly a half-hour in Tuesday’s reserve league contest – but Saturday should mark Maicon Santos’ full return to Ben Olsen’s plans.  The big Brazilian was an all-out bully in his reserve appearance and believes he can provide a spark to D.C.’s attack.  Chris Pontius – who hasn’t scored since August 4 – loved playing with Santos earlier this season, and if the two can create some quick chemistry again it could lead to a breakthrough day at RFK.  
 
OVERLAPPING RUNS
 
In a recent match between New England and Philadelphia, the Union found success sending outside backs forward on overlapping runs.  With the possibility that two of D.C.’s fastest players – Chris Korb and Andy Najar – could be deployed at outside back on Saturday, the Black-and-Red may have a great opportunity to continue their recent run of creating plenty of wide service.