Harrison, NJ (Sports Network) - Another edition of the I-95 rivalry will take
place this weekend as Red Bull New York welcomes the New England Revolution to
Red Bull Arena on Saturday.
The two clubs have endured their respective struggles of late. The Red Bulls
kicked off their homestand with a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City on
Wednesday, while the Revs have been held scoreless in their last four league
New England has not won in New Jersey since 2007, a stretch of seven away
matches against the Red Bulls. The first four of those games were draws,
leaving New York with three league wins at Red Bull Arena.
New York's loss to Sporting on Wednesday was the second time in three home
matches that the Red Bulls have been held scoreless.
"I thought we were stepping too late to almost every play defensively, and I
thought we were trying to do way too much offensively when we were on the
ball," said Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke. "Trying to make that perfect pass
every time we went, trying to slide it through two players and then it'd get
picked off and we'd be right back on the defensive again.
"Second half, I thought it was a good response. We had some tired guys out
there that fought until the end. We had some opportunities to go up. Overall
it's an uneasy feeling for me."
While New York's misfiring has come and gone, New England's futility in front
of net has been far more consistent. The Revs saw their scoreless streak
extended to 388 minutes last weekend thanks to a 0-0 draw at Seattle Sounders
Even though New England's offensive output leaves a lot to be desired, the
club's defense has been stout. The Revs have conceded a league-best two goals
through five games, earning glowing praise from head coach Jay Heaps after the
draw with Seattle.
"We did a nice job defensively," said the Revs boss. "We have to continue to
push forward and get chances. As the game went on, we got stronger and had
more chances that were dangerous toward the end. We just have to get those
earlier in the match."
The return of striker Saer Sene should help. The Frenchman was a real coup for
the Revs last year until an ACL injury derailed his season. He is not at full
fitness, but he adds some clinical finishing ability that could help the club
snap its drought in front of goal.
"He helped us," Heaps said. "It was something we've seen in training and how
he keeps it for us. It was important that he got [the minutes]. ... He's not
100 percent yet. But you can see some of the things he can do. He kept the
ball for us, he made some good runs. His fitness is going to come along. His
body looks good, but we just have to get his fitness up."
The Sports Network