By Tiffany Williams –
The New England Revolution, who are unbeaten now in five consecutive matches, will host Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
The Revolution have registered results in their last three encounters with Sporting Kansas City, with two wins and one draw since 2018. New England most recently played against the Western Conference side on June 12, 2022, when Gustavo Bou and Emmanuel Boateng each netted a goal to lead the Revolution to a 2-1 victory.
Following Thursday’s training session, Sporting Director & Head Coach Bruce Arena and Revolution defenders Brandon Bye and Ben Sweat took some time to speak with media.
Arena when asked about Dylan Borrero’s red card suspension and who could replace him this week, said “Well, we’re going to wait until tomorrow before we make any of these decisions. You know the players on our roster, but there’s a variety of guys we can play from Noel Buck, Jack [Panayotou], [Damian] Rivera, Esmir [Bajraktarevic]. There’s a number of players that can fill that spot.”
When asked what his message to the team was regarding red cards and his conversation with Dylan Borrero, Arena said “Well, Dylan [Borrero], I don’t agree with the first yellow card he got, but when he’s playing with a yellow card, he has to be smart, so he has to be a little bit more mature as a player and I think more experiences will help him. I think, obviously, the way they officiate in MLS is certainly different than he is accustomed to when playing in South America and those are all adjustments you make and he’s still a young player and it will take time, but it’s an experience hopefully he learns from.”
When asked Sporting Kansas City’s slow start, Arena said, “Well, I think it’s something that doesn’t add up at this point. I there’s quality players there in their front line. They’re all good players. They’re good on attacking set pieces. So, one would think that they’re going to start scoring goals. Hopefully, it’s not against us on Saturday, but I do believe that have a really solid team and again, we’re only eight games into the season and I think they have plenty of time to move their team in the right direction, but [Johnny] Russell’s a very good player. They brought [Alan] Pulido back, their Mexican player who they believe in, and the other player, [Dániel] Sallói is a good player as well, so they have three good attacking players up top. And there’s no reason to believe that they’re not going to be dangerous.”
Revolution Defender Brandon Bye on Thursday was asked about refocusing after a draw last weekend, and he said “Yeah, a little disappointing for sure, but the mood is good. I think everybody’s excited. Obviously, we have a bunch of games coming up – this weekend, obviously, and then the [Lamar Hunt U.S.] Open Cup [on Tuesday]. Games come very fast, but everybody’s feeling good and the mood is good.”
When asked about Sporting Kansas City’s offensive struggles, Bye said “I think you just look at their frontline players. [Alan] Pulido, [Dániel] Sallói, Johnny Russell, these guys are very good players that have scored goals in this league, so nothing to take lightly for sure.”
Revolution Defender Ben Sweat on Thursday was asked about his impressions of the Revolution and what he brings to the team, he said “Obviously they’re a good team. They’re one of the top teams in the league this year. It’s nice to be on the side with Carles Gil and the young player, Dylan [Borrero], but they really have good players and they’re good team and they all work hard together and for each other and that’s why they’re getting good results, so I’m happy to be here. Obviously, I bring experience, I bring leadership, I’m a really good guy in the locker room and then on the field, I fit their style. DeJuan [Jones] and Brandon Bye, they like to get forward, they like to get crosses off and get into the attack and that’s something that’s always been a part of my game, so I’m happy to bring that to the table.”
When asked about Sporting Kansas City’s start to the season, Sweat said “Yeah, I mean, obviously, my time there, we had we had a ton of chances. Obviously scoring two goals doesn’t always highlight all the chances you create and maybe the goalkeepers make really good saves and all this kind of stuff, so I don’t think that represents that club entirely, but we’ll find out this weekend, obviously, the Revs are, we’re in a really good place, in a good position, we’re top of the East and them coming to us, they need to show up and we just need to continue what we’re doing.”
New England currently sits in first place in the Eastern Conference after collecting points for the seventh time in eight matches last Saturday, as the Revolution battled to a 1-1 draw against the Columbus Crew in Ohio.
New England’s 17 points this season are tied with FC Cincinnati for most in the east and one behind St. Louis CITY SC for the MLS lead.
The Revolution are 3-0-2 in five matches since registering their lone loss of the season on March 12 at Los Angeles FC.
Saturday’s match is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff and can be heard on the radio on 98.5 The Sports Hub with Brad Feldman and Charlie Davies calling the action.