When? Wednesday June 15, 4.30 p.m. PT, 7.30 p.m. ET and 00.30 a.m BST (16/6).
Where? Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA.
How can I catch the action? MLS Live on ESPN+ and DAZN for residents of North America. Fox 35 Plus and LionNation TV for residents of Central Florida. Radio commentary is available via 96.9 The Game Accion 97.9. The game is being broadcast on FreeSports (FreeView channel 64) for us UK folk.
Finally! It's back! I don't know about you guys but it feels like a lot has happened in the last 2 and a half weeks. Since Orlando slumped to defeat against FC Dallas, I've seen Nottingham Forest promoted to the Premier League following a 23-year hiatus. The Orlando Pride have placed their head coach on administrative leave. I've seen plenty of God awful Nations League football (seriously, why are UEFA doing this?). That's before we even mention Star Wars fans being pissed off again.... because, you know... Anyway, it's been a long few weeks. I'm ready for some MLS soccer.
The game in New England is probably an ideal match to return in. Oscar Pareja's Lions have fared better on the road than they have done in the 407 lately, and with Bruce Arena's squad struggling for form overall (although, there has been an uptick), this game could be seen as an ideal opportunity for 3 valuable points.
So, without further ado, let's get stuck into it.
New England's style
I think it's fair to say that 2022 hasn't continued where 2021 left off for the Revs. Last season's Supporters Shield winners haven't gotten off to the best of starts this season. They were victims of MLS' annual CONCACAF Champions League malaise. There are tentative signs that Bruce Arena's team are starting to turn the corner, however.
Overall, in 2022, they've slightly outperformed their creative tendencies, scoring 24 goals on an XG of 21.1 (figure 1). They haven't been playing particularly well, perhaps jaded by their exploits in continental competition. That being said, their performance in the recent win at SKC was much more like the Revs of old. They were much better in terms of their passing, possession and ability to play between the lines (figure 2). The ability of the likes of Carles Gil in central areas, means they aren't overly reliant on their width; they attempted 14 crosses in Missouri, with only a 19% success rate. That being said they are proficient at finding crucial passes all over the front, as was the case in their recent win over Cincinnati (figure 3). Locking down their attack is going to be incredibly important.
Figure 1 shows New England's XG statistics on the season so far.
Figure 2 shows some of New England's passing statistics from the win over SKC.
Figure 3 shows New England's key pass positioning matrix vs Cincinnati.
Matt Turner and Henry Kessler are missing through international duty and injury alike for the Revs.
Orlando City will be without Antonio Carlos, Benji Michel and Silvester Van Der Water for this game. Pedro Gallese is still away with Peru and Sebas Mendez is away with Ecuador. Mason Stajduhar is injured.
Possible starting XI
New England Revolution played in midweek, so you have to expect some rotation. I still think they'll line up in their favoured 4-2-3-1, but with one or two changes from last time out:
The Spaniard continues to be the predominant creative force for this Revolution squad. The former Aston Villa man has 3 goals and 5 assists so far this season, following his stellar showing in 2021. His overall 8.11 rating on fotmob.com and his XG of 3.7 further underline his importance to this team. Gil has created a whopping 50 chances for his teammates so far. Shutting him down is going to be absolutely crucial in Orlando picking up any sort of positive result in this game.
New England have seen a slight up tick in recent form, with 3 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat in their last 6. They currently occupy 8th place with a 5-4-5 record.
Orlando City, on the other hand, have won 2 of their last 6, lost 3 and drawn 5 in MLS..the recent defeat to Dallas came after a gruelling US Open Cup win. Orlando are 5th on a 6-3-5 record.
Cover image courtesy of Orlando City SC.
Line-up graphic courtesy of chosen11.com.