Orlando City kicks off its four-game road trip this Saturday night against the New England Revolution. The Revs are two points behind the Lions ahead of this critical Eastern Conference matchup.
Here’s what you should know about City’s next opponent:
New England (8-12-5, 29 points) is coming off a road defeat against D.C. United. The Revs fell 0-1 to D.C. and have scored just two goals in their last four matches. Before losing at the nation’s capital, New England lost to NYCFC at Yankee Stadium. New England led 1-0 courtesy of a Sean Johnson goalkeeping error, but once David Villa leveled the score in the 77th minute New England bunkered in for a draw on the road. However a goal conceded in stoppage time left the Revs leaving empty-handed from New York City.
The Revolution are led up top by the dynamic combination of Kei Kamara and Juan Agudelo. Both strikers are physically imposing aerial threats and good with the ball. Kamara (8), Agudelo (8) and the Revs primary playmaker, Lee Nguyen (8), have together accounted for 62% of New England’s goals scored in 2017.
The Revs will be missing a key piece to their puzzle: Kelyn Rowe. Rowe was in excellent form before he awkwardly sprained his right knee in the 2-1 stoppage time loss to NYCFC. Revs head coach Jay Heaps had used Rowe in many different roles this season; but the U.S. international is now expected to miss 6-8 weeks after being injured.
New England will also be without defenders Antonio Delamea and Je-Vaughn Watson, who have been called up to their respective national teams.
Saturday’s match at Gillette Stadium will be the teams’ first meeting of the season. In 2016, the Lions beat the Revs once and tied them on two other occasions. Last year’s win came at Camping World Stadium in Jason Kreis’s first match as Orlando City head coach -- Cyle Larin was on the scoresheet as the Lions won the match 3-1. Larin will not be in the team this weekend, though, as he and Yoshimar Yotún were called up to their respective national teams for World Cup Qualifiers.