The New England Revolution is looking for a third consecutive win Thursday night deep in the heart of Texas, where they will face FC Dallas at 8:30 PM EST. The Revs have strung two wins together for the first time since 2010 after an impressive dismantling of Los Angeles, and a win tonight would be the club's first three-game win streak since late 2009. Dallas, on the other hand, is in poor form, having just been posterized by DC 4-1.
New England should come into this match confident and hungry, and they need to play like it if they are going to win. DC exposed Dallas's defense and cut them to ribbons last weekend, and the Hoops will also be without Daniel Hernandez and Jair Benitez, so the Revs have to jump on the attack quickly and keep the game in Dallas's defensive third. Furthermore, if New England wants to score on a keeper as skilled as Kevin Hartman, they'll need to pepper the goal with shots just to have any hope of beating him, so chances must be created, and often. If the Revs try to defend or sit back, Dallas's potent offensive weapons will find life and make the match very difficult for New England.
Dallas may be weak in the back, but they are strong up top. Blas Perez has had a hand in every goal the Texan club has scored this season, either as scorer or provider, and he is quickly proving to be one MLS's best offseason additions. Brek Shea has been in an extended slump recently due to an unsustainable workload, but his pace and ball skills are undeniable. His tendency to drift and switch wings at-will should give the Revs' fullbacks all they can handle. Ricardo Villar pulls the strings in the absence of David Ferreira; it will be up to Clyde Simms and Shalrie Joseph to neutralize his creativity.
The Revs are still sporting some important wounded among the ranks. Kevin Alston is doubtful with hamstring tightness, along with John Lozano. Benny Feilhaber is again out, while Zak Boggs has joined Sainey Nyassi on the disabled list. This puts Florian Lechner in line for his first MLS start. Also, offseason drama magnate Jose Moreno is expected to make his MLS debut against Dallas, but will likely feature as a substitute.
New England has historically dominated Dallas, owning the all-time series with a 23-11-3 record. That includes an 11-6-2 road tally. Recently, however, the Revs are only 1-2-2 against the Hoops, the only win of that span coming last September 10th. Like with LA last weekend, this will be the first time since 1996 that New England and Dallas will not meet more than once in the regular season.
The match will be televised live by CSN, but will appear on alternate channels due to a scheduling conflict. 98.5 The Sports Hub will have the radio call.
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