The New England Revolution return home for their home opener on Saturday as they host Sporting Kansas who are 1-1-1 on the season. Despite World Cup qualifiers taking place this weekend, the MLS still has scheduled games, which means that the Recs will be without Jerry Bengtson and SKC will be missing Graham Zusi and Matt Besler. One player who will be playing is midfielder Benny Feilhaber who will be making his first return to Gillette after a very disappointing 18 months as a Rev.
It has been a mixed start to the season for the Revs. They opened up with a 1-0 win in Chicago . but were brought back to earth as they lost 1-0 in Philadelphia with a performance that brought back memories of last seasons struggles. If the Revolution earns the win on Saturday against Sporting Kansas City, it will mark the first time since 2010 that the Revs produced wins in two of the their first three games
Sporting Kansas have struggled themselves this season. Tipped by many to reach the MLS Cup, SKC got off to a good start by beating the Union 3-1 in Philadelphia, but then struggled against the MLS’s lesser-lights, Toronto and Chicago, only picking up one point from those two games. But good news for Sporting Kansas fans is that the Revs are winless in their last four games against Sporting KC, going 0-2-2 since July 2011.
The key to who wins this game could well be what teams backup players can fill the void of those on international duty? Can Chad Barrett or Diego Fagundez replace Jerry Bengtson for New England and score? And will CJ Sapong and Bobby Convey be as effective as Graham Zusi and CJ Sapong?
HEAD TO HEAD
- Kansas City leads the all-time, regular-season series between the two teams, 22- 13-10
- Saturday’s match will be the first of two games between the teams this season … the Revs will travel to Sporting Park on Aug. 10 for the return match
- The Revs are 7-11-5 all-time against Kansas City in Foxborough, including a 3-8-5 record at Gillette Stadium
- Kansas City won the three-game series last year, going 2-0-1 against the Revs, in- cluding a 1-0 win at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 4 … the Revs were held scoreless last year in all three meetings, losing 3-0 on March 17, drawing 0-0 on July 21, before the 1-0 loss at home on Aug. 4
- Rajko Lekic is the last Revs player to score a goal against Sporting, coming on July 30, 2011, at Sporting Park
- 31 matches between the clubs have been determined by one goal or fewer … 12 games have been decided by a two-goal spread, while just two matches – including the 3-0 KC victory last March – have been decided by three or more goals
- The teams have also met twice outside MLS regular-season competition: once in SuperLiga (a 1-1 draw in 2009), and once in the U.S. Open Cup (a 5-0 KC win on May 25, 2011)
Kansas City 1, New England 0
August 4, 2012 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
Teal Bunbury scored the only goal of the game midway through the first half and Jimmy Nielsen recorded his league-leading 10th shutout of the season as Sporting Kansas City claimed a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Bunbury’s goal arrived in the 20th minute when the Sporting KC forward pounced on a defensive error and calmly finished his breakaway chance to register his fourth goal of the season. Nielsen recorded three saves to make the slim margin hold up.
Sporting Kansas are a better side than New England. They will be challenging for the Supporters Shield this season while New England will be trying to make the playoffs. Jerry Bengtson is the one piece of quality in this New England side and with him missing, I cannot see anything but a SKC win.
Score: New England 0 SKC 2