Preview: Colorado vs New England, July 17
COLORADO RAPIDS vs NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
DICK’S SPORTING GOODS PARK, Commerce City, Colo.
July 17, 2013 (WEEK 21, MLS Game #185)
7 p.m. MT (Altitude; TICKETS)
The Colorado Rapids put their undefeated streak on the line when they play host to the New England Revolution on Wednesday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids return to league play after a weekend off, their last match a scoreless draw with D.C. United. The Revolution hit the road for three consecutive games following a 2-1 home defeat by the Houston Dynamo last weekend.
REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Ian Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Jeff Muschik; 4th: Fotis Bazakos
MLS Career: 25 games; FC/gm: 20.6; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 4; pens: 6
DISABLED LIST: COL: Diego Calderón, Matt Pickens
SUSPENDED: NE: Dimitry Imbongo (through July 17)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: COL: Shane O’Neill, Hendry Thomas
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: COL: Dillon Powers … NE: Juan Toja, Kelyn Rowe, Lee Nguyen
ALL-TIME (39 meetings): Rapids 18 wins (1 shootout), 64 goals … Revolution 12 wins (2 shootout), 51 goals … Ties 9
AT COLORADO (19 meetings): Rapids 12 wins (1 shootout), 36 goals … Revolution 3 wins (0 shootout), 16 goals … Ties 4
LAST YEAR (MLS)
5/2: NE 2, COL 1 (Sene 27; Cardenas 39 – Castrillon 21)
• The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
2012 Highlights: NE 2, COL 1
• The Revolution haven’t won in Colorado in a decade, since a 2-1 win June 15, 2002. Since, the Rapids have won five times at home, with five draws, in the all-time series; they have never lost to New England at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (2-0-3).
• The Revolution snapped a four-year winless streak against the Rapids last year in the only meeting between the teams, a 2-1 win May 2 at Gillette Stadium. The Rapids had won three times, with five draws, since a Revolution win in 2007.
• Coaches record: Oscar Pareja v NE: P1 W0 L1 D0 … Jay Heaps vs. COL: P1 W1 L0 D0
The Colorado Rapids return to action after extending their undefeated streak to three games, reaching a scoreless draw with D.C. United on July 7 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids are in sixth place in the Western Conference with 27 points from 20 matches.
• United goalkeeper Joe Willis was called upon to make saves in keeping his first clean sheet of the season, including two late stops to preserve the point, making diving saves on a pair of blasts from substitute Nick LaBrocca.
• Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin made a pair of saves for his seventh shutout of the season.
• Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made one change to the team that claimed a 2-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Deshorn Brown came back into the team for Nick LaBrocca.
• COLORADO RAPIDS (4-2-3-1): Clint Irwin - Shane O'Neill (Brian Mullan 54), Drew Moor, German Mera, Christopher Klute - Hendry Thomas, Nathan Sturgis - Atiba Harris (Nick LaBrocca 60), Dillon Powers, Deshorn Brown - Edson Buddle (Jaime Castrillon 82).
Highlights: COL 0, DC 0
• The Rapids have recorded shutouts now in back-to-back games for the third time this season, but have yet to keep clean sheet in three games in a row. The back-to-back shutouts come on the heels of five consecutive games where they allowed multiple goals.
• “You have to give credit to the players today that got 23 attempts at goal. Probably they doubled the attempts that we had in the last game but we couldn’t score,” said Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja. “The game is cruel. The game is like that and today was that day. We couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net and then that’s what makes the difference.”
• Shane O’Neill started a second consecutive game since his return from the FIFA U-20 World Cup, but was taken off after 54 minutes after seeing a yellow card and nearly being sent off.
• “The best part that I have from Shane is his aggressiveness and his determination and his toughness in the game. And if I take that away from him then that’s a big piece of the game,” said Pareja. “He was hesitating because he’s young. … So I wanted to protect him but at the same time I wanted to bring fresh legs with Brian that would give us a little bit more going forward so that was the purpose.”
• In the 10 games O’Neill has started this season, the Rapids are 5-0-5. In the 10 games where he has not been in the first XI, Colorado is 2-7-1.
• “I want to keep improving my performances,” O’Neill said. "[This] was my first where I should’ve been a little bit better. All year, I’ve been pretty happy with my performances, but not [Sunday].” Said Drew Moor: “He’s a smart kid, even though he’s young. He wants to do well. He commits himself into tackles, he commits himself into headers, and he’s just solid. He keeps the play in front of him, he doesn’t overthink things.”
• On their weekend off, the Rapids played Mexico’s Club Santos Laguna in a friendly in Albuquerque, N.M., dropping a 2-1 decision. The lone Colorado goal was scored by Kevin Harbottle.
• Here’s the Rapids team: Matt Pickens, Brian Mullan (Brenton Griffiths 66’), Marvell Wynne, Germán Mera (Davy Armstrong 76’), Anthony Wallace, Nick LaBrocca, Shane O’Neill, Tony Cascio (Jamie Smith 58’), Jaime Castrillón (Kamani Hill 64’), Kevin Harbottle, Danny Mwanga
• Goalkeeper Matt Pickens saw his first game action since suffering a broken arm in the third game of the season, March 16 vs. FC Dallas.
• “I just try to react. I think it was good to get that, because after it’s done, it’s just like ‘OK, you can settle down a little bit,’” Pickens said. “It was a good run for me and I enjoyed it out there.”
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution saw their five-game home undefeated streak put to an end in a 2-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 24 points from 18 matches.
• The Dynamo took the lead four minutes into the second half. Andrew Driver sent a corner kick into the mixer, where it was headed away by Revolution striker Chad Barrett. But the clearance fell to Adam Moffat, who immediately volleyed past the dive of New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth from well outside the area.
• The Revs wasted no time filing their response when Diego Fagundez raced into the box and drove a low cross into the area. The ball was only parried by Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall, right to the feet of Saer Sene, and he pushed home the point-blank effort in the 55th minute.
Highlights: NE 1, HOU 2
• The game-winner came in the 80th minute, again on a stunning long-range strike from Moffat. From all of 25 yards, he fired a shot that smacked the post before it deflected off Shuttleworth’s back and into the net.
• The Revolution finished the game a man down after Dimitry Imbongo was sent off in the 82nd minute.
• Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made no changes to the team that defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 at Gillette Stadium.
• NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Andrew Farrell, Stephen McCarthy, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney (Juan Toja 86) - Scott Caldwell - Saer Sene, Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez - Chad Barrett (Dimitry Imbongo 55; ejected 82).
• The Revolution conceded a goal in a home game for the first time since May 11, a span of 443 minutes between goals allowed at Gillette Stadium.
• “I think we were all disappointed in that we gave up a goal at home, followed up to get back into it and gave up another one. They were deep range shots and we did everything right on certain things at that point,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “But overall, we didn’t play well enough when we had the chance.”
• The Revs also had a five-game home undefeated streak put to an end in the defeat with their first loss in Foxborough since a 2-1 defeat by Real Salt Lake on May 8.
• “There are matches where for whatever reason, the tide is going against you, the teams against you, and they are hitting you to the ground, the referee is in a whole another world, missing some penalty kick calls, you aren’t given out yellow cards when you should and letting the game get physical,” said Heaps. “Well, then it’s on us to fix it, on us to make the reaction in the right direction and we didn’t do that. It’s all on us.”
• The trip to Colorado starts a run of three consecutive road games for the Revolution, followed by trips to Eastern Conference foes in Columbus and D.C. United. The Revolution are 2-3-3 on the road this season, 4-3-3 in home games.
• “Games on the road are games on the road. Not having taken three here, Colorado is a tough game,” said defender Chris Tierney. “Our mindset is the same, whether we are home or away: if we play to our full potential we will win games. We’re focused on ourselves and getting us back to playing at 100 percent and if we do that and stay focused then we will be in a good spot.”
• Saer Sene has scored goals in back-to-back games – and has all three of his league goals in the last six matches – after netting in the loss to Houston.
• Dimitry Imbongo was sent off for a second match this season – both ejections have come against the Houston Dynamo.
• “We have a lot more depth this year which is going to help us. For example, this week when we have a tough midweek game in Colorado, there are more guys and competition throughout the squad, so those guys can step-up and bring some energy and fresh legs,” said Tierney. “We all need to stay focused and realize that it is a long season and there are plenty of games left to be played. On the whole, we’re still in a decent spot and are right in the mix and a couple good wins puts us right back in there.”