New England Revolution Vs. Toronto FC: Match Preview

Posted In Match Previews and Reviews - By Joey Samuel On Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 With 0 Comments

Two teams mired in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference lock horns Wednesday night in mid-week MLS action at Gillette Stadium. Both teams are without several key players due to injuries and international absences.

New England comes into the game during a terrible run of form, having lost their previous four games. Their previous loss was at the hands of the New York Red Bulls by a 2-1 scoreline on “Soccer Night in America.” They currently find themselves in eighth place in the East, only above Sporting Kansas City by three points, but KC has two games in hand on them. Toronto are right above the Revs in the standings with 14 points from 15 games, but they come into the game with a small bit of momentum. Under Dutch coach Aron Winter, hey managed to snatch a 2-2 away draw at Home Depot Center against the LA Galaxy.

The Revolution are without influential attacking midfielder Benny Feilhaber, who is suffering from a right ankle sprain. Marko Perovic is also out indefinitely with a left knee sprain as well as Kheli Dube. Ousmane Dabo is also carrying a knock and will not be available. New England has been using a 4-5-1 formation of late which becomes a 4-3-3 in attack. Matt Reis can be expected to start in goal behind a back line of Didier Domi, A.J. Soares, Ryan Cochrane, and Kevin Alston. Playing in central midfield will be Shalrie Joseph, Stephen McCarthy, and Pat Phelan, with Zak Boggs and Chris Tierney playing out wide. Rajko Lekic will be the central forward.

Toronto FC are suffering numerous injuries themselves. First of all, Dicoy Williams is playing with Jamaica in the Gold Cup and Julian de Guzman will not be ready to return yet despite his Canada team being eliminated Tuesday night. Adrian Cann is out with a long-term injury while Jacob Peterson, Nana Attakora, and Tony Tchani will also likely miss the game. Alan Stevanovic, Gianluca Zavarise, and Alan Gordon are questionable. Expect Stefan Frei to start behind a back four of Danleigh Borman, Doneil Henry, Ty Harden, and Richard Eckersley. Mikael Yourassowsky, Nathan Sturgis, and Alen Stevanovic should be the starters in midfield, while the front three will be Joao Plata, Maicon Santos, and Nick Soolsma.

New England Player to Watch: Shalrie Joseph. The Grenadian midfielder elected to skip the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and his native Grenada were bounced from the tournament without earning a point. Joseph will need to prove that he stayed with his club to actually make something happen.

Toronto Player to Watch: Joao Plata. The diminutive Ecuadorian playmaker will need to be at the top of his game if the Reds are to win, something they haven’t done in six matches. Plata must unlock the Revs defense with his creativity in attack.

Prediction: 1-2, Toronto win. The Reds pick up a rare away win over the lackluster Revs, who can’t seem to get a point anywhere at this point.

About Joey Samuel - Joey Samuel is an editor of The Allocation Order. He is also an editor at The Brotherly Game, SB Nation's Philadelphia Union blog. Follow him on twitter @joeysamuel.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>