The New England Revolution is missing out on opportunities to secure a spot in the fast approaching MLS Cup playoffs.
The Revolution (9-10-11) currently sit eighth in the Eastern Conference, one spot over the cut line, with four games in sight heading into Tuesday’s 8:30 p.m. road meeting with the Houston Dynamo FC (8-16-6) at PNC Stadium.
“I think the approach is to get three points by any means necessary,” said centre-back Henry Kessler. “We don’t have many games left, so we have to score points. It’s the mindset, it’s the approach, it’s the goal.
The Revolution had limited prep time for Dynamo following last Saturday night’s 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls in Harrison, NJ. The Revolution scored first but allowed two goals in the second half and never recovered. The Revolution are 1-3-1 in their last five games and must edge past the Columbus Crew (41 points) to grab the final playoff spot.
“It’s the critical moment now,” said Revolution midfielder Tommy McNamara, who was acquired by New England on a trade from Houston in 2020.
“We’re in the kind of state we’ve been in for the past few weeks, where we have to get results and get points. We just need a committed effort from the 11 guys on the field and the players coming off the bench to try and do everything we can to get three points.
Dynamo are in a state of disarray which makes it difficult to prepare, especially in the short travel time allowed by the schedule. Houston was eliminated from the Western Conference playoffs and parted ways with head coach Paulo Nagamura on September 6.
Dynamo faced Sporting Kansas City to a scoreless draw on September 10 under interim coach Kenny Bundy. Dynamo have scored 43 goals including 44 against in 30 games, which is significantly better than the Revolution.
New England has scored 36 goals with 48 allowed in 30 games despite seven clean sheets from rookie goaltender Djordje Petrovic. The Dynamo has better ratios than the Revolution on shots (384-345) and shots on target (136-118).
“I think one of the challenges is that we don’t know exactly what to expect from (Houston),” Kessler said. “With a new coach and eliminated, they could try new things.
“But the main focus will be on us, how we prepare and how we perform. I think the challenge would be that we don’t know exactly how they will line up.
“That being said, no matter how they line up, we have to focus on ourselves and know our game plan.”
The Revolution welcomes the return of midfielder Carles Gil. The reigning league MVP missed the Red Bulls game to be with his wife Maria, who gave birth to the couple’s first child on Saturday.
“We’re glad everything seems to be going well and we’re glad he’s back,” McNamara said.