By Tiffany Williams –
New England Revolution Sunday night return to action against Los Angeles FC at BMO Stadium after opening up the season with two straight wins. New England, collected a 3-0 win over Houston Dynamo FC last weekend in the club’s home opener at Gillette Stadium.
Sunday’s match is the third meeting between New England and Los Angeles FC, and the Revolution are coming into tonight’s match looking for their first win in the series.
On Friday, Revolution Sporting Director & Head Coach Bruce Arena, defender Brandon Bye, and goalkeeper Djordje Petrović met with the media via Zoom from Los Angeles.
When asked about the league’s last two Supporters’ Shield winners meeting on Sunday, Arena said “Well, we’re completely different, I think . We’re in different markets. I coached in [Los Angeles] for a number of year and you’re able to attract a different type of player in those markets. LAFC has a great stadium that brings fans in great numbers. We are building our team more with American players and players from different areas like LAFC has. But having said that, there’s not one way to do things. They have the appeal of LA going for them. We are working real hard in our geographical location to build our team and grow it in a different way. But both teams are successful. They’ve won an MLS Cup, that’s obviously an aspiration that our team has. Hopefully, one day we can do that as well. But I think we’re very much different in the way we go about our business.”
When asked about Brandon Bye’s development, Arena said “[Brandon Bye] as well as DeJuan [Jones] on the other side of the field continue to grow. I think this year, I’ve been surprised with his progress. I think he goes out on the field and looks like a veteran player. He’s a really bright guy and he’s doing a good job organizing the players around him as well. He continues to grow as a player and he’s becoming one of the better right backs in the league.”
When asked if LAFC’s attack presents a different challenge for New England’s defense, Brandon Bye said “I think every team in the league has different challenges, different weapons. You’re trying to match up and scout different players every week. So that’s what we’ll do this week. They’re a good team but nothing crazy different from the first couple games. We just have to stay together as a unit and continue to develop our relationships back there.”
When asked if he sees opportunities to join in on the attack against LAFC. Bye said “I think playing away, playing different kinds of attacking styles where they might not drop as many guys in the defensive half as other teams might, we have to understand that as much as we want to attack, we also have to defend. But we have to attack to make them defend, and if they don’t want to defend us, then we’ll have numbers up. I think that all goes into it. Sometimes maybe DeJuan [Jones] is attacking and I’ll be a little more cautious in the attack. But yeah, that’s a really big part of the game is understanding when and where, and how can we exploit them and when we do it.”
Tonight’s match kicks off at 10:30 p.m. ET and can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub, with Brad Feldman and Charlie Davies calling the action.