The fires of rivalry are rekindling this week at MAPFRE Stadium as Columbus Crew SC (4-6-5) welcomes the New England Revolution (6-5-6) in what is surely to be a fiercely contested matchup.
New England currently ranks second in the Eastern Conference with 24 points, coming off the heels of a 2-1 defeat by D.C. United this past weekend. After letting a first-half lead slip away, the Revolution now are winless in eight of their last nine matches across all competitions.
It’s been a back-and-forth type of season for New England thus far. After losing their first two matches, the Revs went on a tear. They went undefeated in 11 of their next 12 games, including a nine-match unbeaten streak that saw them to the top of the Eastern Conference table. At home, New England has yet to lose, tallying 17 points in nine games for a 4-0-4 record.
However, it’s been a different story outside of Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are 2-5-1 on the road. They are winless in their last three road games and have been outscored 5-1 in those matches.
New England looks to right the ship in Columbus, but MAPFRE Stadium hasn’t served as the most welcoming place for the Revs, historically speaking. The Revolution are 8-17-6 all-time in Columbus and haven’t won a regular season matchup in the Arch City since October 27, 2013. The most notable exception of course is last season's playoff match at MAPFRE Stadium, which New England won 4-2.
Despite their road struggles, the Revs are likely to bring firepower to Columbus. New England is tied for first in MLS in goals scored (23), while sporting the third-most shots to shots-on-target ratio at 37.8 percent. Forward Charlie Davies is New England’s leading goal scorer with seven, while midfielder and University of Akron graduate Scott Caldwell leads the team in assists with four.
With a playing style that looks to aggressively attack the outside wings, New England favors playing with width, looking for quality crossing opportunities. Of the Revs’ 23 goals, 17 have come from open play, while five have come from set pieces and one from a penalty conversion.
After bowing out early in 2015 U.S. Open Cup competition with a 1-0 loss to the Charlotte Independence a week ago, Wednesday’s match is the third in seven days for the Revs. It’s bound to be a great matchup as the two Eastern Conference rivals face off for the 65th time—the most games Columbus has played against any opponent in Major League Soccer.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. Get your rickets here.