Preview: D.C. United vs. New England Revolution
D.C. United returns to RFK Stadium for tonight’s game against the New England Revolution (7:00 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet). After a draw in League play and a U.S. Open Cup victory from earlier this season, the Black-and-Red will look to remain unbeaten against a Revolution side that’s pushing for an Eastern Conference playoff spot.
New England’s last League action came in a 2-0 win over the Columbus Crew on July 20, a victory that kept the Revolution in sixth place. Jose Goncalves and Diego Fagundez, the team’s leading scorer with six goals, both scored in second-half stoppage time to set New England back on track after consecutive losses. Fagundez, Kelyn Rowe and Lee Nguyen have formed a lethal midfield partnership over the team’s last ten games, combining for seven goals and ten assists during a 5-2-3 stretch. The New England defense and goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth also lead the League with nine clean sheets on the season.
D.C. comes into the game after a tough 4-1 loss at the Chicago Fire that was marked by Luis Silva’s first goal for the Black-and-Red. Despite dominating possession against the Fire, United was unable to cope with Chicago’s Chris Rolfe and Joel Lindpere, who contributed a goal and two assists on the night. Still, D.C. will take confidence from its previous encounters with the Revolution, including a 0-0 draw at Gillette Stadium on June 8 and a 3-1 Open Cup quarterfinal victory on June 26. Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Pontius and Lionard Pajoy each netted for the Black-and-Red in the Open Cup encounter while Juan Toja scored for the visitors. All-time, United has a 28-23-9 record against New England and a mark of 18-8-4 in games at RFK Stadium.
After last Saturday’s loss to Chicago, United head coach Ben Olsen expressed his desire for the team to move forward despite its difficulties.
“We’ll regroup. We’ve had a lot of losses this year. We will continue to regroup, and continue to try and get better. Again, I think the positive is for some of our young guys tonight that went into a tough place to play and learned some lessons. As long as we can learn from that stuff, I think we’ll move forward.”
Midfielder Luis Silva also looked ahead to tonight’s game and what the team needs to do to be successful.
“We have the right tools; we just have to put them together. We have to work as a team, defending as a team, and attack as a team as well. We know it’s 11 versus 11, and if we do our job, if everyone does their job, we’ll be fine.”
Tonight’s game will also be United’s first match since revealing a new stadium deal with the city. On Thursday, the club announced that Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the organization had signed a public-private partnership term sheet to build a 20,000-25,000-seat, world-class soccer stadium in the Buzzard Point area of Southwest. The new stadium, to be located adjacent to the Fort McNair Army base, will be bounded by Half Street and Second Street SW, between R and T Streets, and is anticipated to be complete in time for the 2016 season.