The New England Revolution have a chance to be playoff spoilers on Saturday night after a ten day hiatus as they visit RFK Stadium for the second and final time in the 2012 season to take on D.C. United. New England's break came after a sigh of relief in the form of a 2-0 win over Columbus, their first win after going ten consecutive matches without one. United, meanwhile, are coming off of a 1-0 loss to Salt Lake and find themselves on the fringe of the playoff picture after spending most of the season near the top of the Eastern Conference.
United's defense is no better than the Revolution's; in fact, they've conceded the same number of goals in 2012 while playing one less game. However, the center-back pairing of Dejan Jakovic and Brandon MacDonald along with goalkeeper Bill Hamid - whose inspired play contrived to preserve winning results for United in this season's previous encounters with New England - will be difficult to beat. Jerry Bengtson, coming fresh off of a successful pair of matches for Honduras, will have to be as sharp as possible to make an impact in his first appearance against United. The Revs may also have the services of Juan Toja, who could be in line for his 2012 MLS debut.
Offensively, D.C.'s potency took a major hit during this past international break when Dwayne De Rosario injured his MCL. Though his absence will make the Revs' defensive job easier, United still has plenty of attacking weapons. Chris Pontius, Lionard Pajoy, Andy Najar, and several others will be itching to step up and fill the void left by the Canadian talisman. New England is building off of two consecutive shutout performances in defense; whoever lines up at the back, the Revs have to be at their best. Stephen McCarthy and Darrius Barnes have turned in exceptional performances in that span, and they may be needed again.
The most recent injury report is confusing. The last one released via the website was on September 11th, and listed Saer Sene out with Blair Gavin and Sainey Nyassi questionable. However, on Friday the New England Revolution official twitter feed revealed that the Friday report features just Sene out, while first-choice left-back Chris Tierney is Questionable with a knee sprain.
The Revs' overall record against D.C. United is 23-27-8. Unfortunately, that includes a rough 8-17-4 mark away from home. United has had the upper hand in the season series, winning both of the previous meetings this year. Each match was decided by a one-goal margin.
The match will be broadcast live on CSN at 7:30 PM EST. 98.5 The Sports Hub has the radio call.
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