Revolution-FC Cincinnati Preview
New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena does not believe Saturday's clash between the Eastern Conference's top and bottom sides is a foregone conclusion.
The Revs have defeated Columbus Crew and New York Red Bulls in their last two games to keep hold of top spot in the East.
Next opponents Cincinnati are bottom with four points, but Jaap Stam's side got off the mark with their first win of the campaign last week thanks to a 2-1 triumph at Montreal CF.
That morale-boosting comeback win, plus Cincinnati being desperate to pick up a maiden victory at TQL Stadium, has Arena feeling cautious ahead of Saturday's clash.
"They're coming off a big, big win last weekend," he said. "They'll have momentum and a lot of confidence, plus they're playing in their own stadium, so it will be a difficult match.
"They want to win after losing in their opening game in their stadium, so it will be a case of redeeming themselves by beating the Revolution.
"As for us, we don't talk about finishing top or those types of things at this early point in the year.
"We have a lot of room to grow and focus on each game as they come, not worrying about standings."
Stam was named Coach of the Week for masterminding his side's win at Montreal, coming on the back of successive defeats to New York City FC, Orlando City and Inter Miami.
However, not since July 2020 have the Orange and Blue won successive MLS matches and Stam is not getting carried away just yet.
"It's going well. After the game and result we had last week against Montreal, that of course lifts the spirits," he said.
"But that's not a guarantee for the next game. We have to work hard in every training session and put a shift.
"We're hoping eventually to get more consistent in terms of results. But of course it helps and the players are confident. Hopefully we can have another good weekend."
FC Cincinnati - Geoff Cameron
The veteran defender was part of the MLS Team of the Week for his impressive all-round display against Montreal, which included his first assist for the club to make it 1-1. Cameron also led the way with five tackles, eight clearances and two interceptions. If Cincinnati are to pull off an upset against the Revs, a similar performance will be needed here.
New England Revolution - Gustavo Bou
Adam Buksa had to settle for a substitute appearance last weekend and that is likely to be the case again here on the back of Bou's showing in the win against NYRB. The Argentine forward opened the scoring for the Revs and then unselfishly laid on an assist for Buksa to kill off the game, ending a run of four games without a goal involvement.
- Cincinnati and New England met twice in the 2019 season, with each side winning 2-0 away. Cincinnati has recorded multiple wins against just two MLS teams, beating CF Montreal three times and the Red Bulls twice.
- The Orange and Blue recorded the first comeback victory in club history on Saturday, beating CF Montreal 2-1 after going a goal down. Prior to that game, Cincinnati had collected just one point from 41 games in which they trailed at any point.
- The Revolution's 14 points from seven matches is their best return at this stage of a season since having the same total in 2007. New England has started better just once, collecting 19 points from seven games to begin the 2005 campaign.
- Cincinnati's last three goals have all been scored via headers, including both in their win over CF Montreal on Saturday. Cincinnati had scored only three headers in its first two-plus MLS seasons prior to their match against Inter Miami on May 16.
- Five players have won more than 20 fouls in MLS this season. Two of them play for the Revolution: Carles Gil (22 - 4th) and Tajon Buchanan (21 - 5th).
Updated May 28, 2021