The New England Revolution are all set to take on Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night. The Revs last faced the Reds just three weeks ago in an exhilarating 2-2 draw, and last week took down New York in a dominant 2-0 performance that should easily have been a win by three or four more. Toronto last played at midweek, coming from behind to beat Vancouver 3-2 in the final moments.
Paul Mariner's influence on Toronto has gotten more comprehensive since the last time the Revs saw him, and it can't be considered a guaranteed three points anymore. The Reds aren't winning too many matches yet (only two since Mariner took over) but they're getting a lot more draws, which is an improvement. There's also a new fighting spirit to the team that seemed absent earlier in the year.
But this is still Toronto FC. Their defense is absolutely horrendous, and trading Julian de Guzman for an attacking player (Andrew Weideman) is not going to help matters. At home, the Revolution should be able to absolutely shred the TFC back line and dominate through the midfield without any real trouble. Danny Koevermans and Ryan Johnson of course present a major difficulty, but after one match of dealing with their tactics and tendencies, one would think the Revs can account for them now. If not, it's pretty likely New England will still outscore Toronto.
For once this season, the injury list is fairly light. Jose Moreno is questionable, so he may feature on the bench. The rest of the report features players who rarely even make the bench anyway, and Zak Boggs, who is still on the disabled list.
With a fully healthy squad, it seems pretty likely that Jay Heaps will roll out a lineup similar to the one that beat New York last week and drew Seattle the week before. It's entirely likely that Jerry Bengtson will start up top in a 4-3-3, with Joseph and Simms anchoring the midfield behind Benny Feilhaber, and Sene and Nguyen out on the wing. The major question will be whether or not Matt Reis or Bobby Shuttleworth starts in goal. Last time the Revs played Toronto, air balls and bad communication contributed to the mistakes that led to the goals, and last week, it appeared Shuttleworth had that all sewn up. Then again, it's still Matt Reis.
The match will be shown live on CSN (TSN in Canada) at 7:30 PM EST. The radio call will be handled by 98.5 The Sports Hub.