* New England (2-4-1) at Columbus Crew (2-0-2)
* The Crew lead the series 25-16-9 and 13-6-6 in Columbus.
What's at Stake?
New England are looking to rebound big time from a 4-0 home drubbing to Chivas USA on Wednesday. That disappointing result saw them drop to 0-3-1 in the past four games, while injuries and suspensions—three reds cards in the last two games—have decimated the club. Jumpstarting their season doesn’t get any easier against one of the two unbeaten teams.
The Crew are coming off a 1-1 tie at Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday. It was Columbus’ second straight subpar performance. After scoring twice in each of the first two games, they have two goals in the past two matches. The defense remains solid but coach Robert Warzycha is looking for a more aggressive midfield attack.
Oct. 25, 2009 – New England needed a win or tie on the last day of the season to snag the final playoff spot. When Jeff Larentowicz scored his first goal of the season on a free kick from 22 yards in the 79th minute, they got what they needed.
The loss was the Crew’s second straight at home after a league-record 24-game unbeaten streak in Crew Stadium.
The Crew’s 4-0 dismantling of visiting New England on Sept. 13, 2008, was a night to forget for the Revs and an important milestone for Columbus. Although the Revolution were short-handed and tired from a busy schedule, the Crew for the first time that season showed the killer instinct that would carry them to the MLS Cup title two months later.
Heroes & Villains:
Zach Schilawski v. Frankie Hejduk – The 23-year-old rookie was still in elementary school when Hejduk, 35, made his MLS debut for Tampa Bay in 1996. But the Revs striker has four goals to his name and a knack for finding good positions. Hejduk has helped lead the Crew’s defense to a .75 GAA.
Referee Ramon Hernandez v. the players – Nothing personal against Hernandez but the man in the middle could be a factor for these red-card prone teams. Marko Perovic’s sending off in the 29th minute on Wednesday against Chivas USA marked the third ejection in two games for the Revolution. Crew defender Danny O’Rourke will also miss out the match through suspension stemming from his red card last week at Seattle. It was his second in three games.
Stat That Makes You Go “Hm”:
The Revolution have played as many home games (four) as the Crew have matches.
He Said It:
“They usually play a physical game here so I don’t expect them to do anything less than that, especially coming off a 4-0 loss at home.” —Crew coach Robert Warzycha.