August 28, 2012
A look at the upcoming games
Chivas USA (7-10-6, 27 pts)@ New England Revolution (6-14-5, 23 pts), 8:00 pm ET (Prime Ticket, CSNNE)
No matter how good or bad their seasons have been, Chivas USA have owned the New England Revolution for the past three seasons, winning all five games the teams have played since 2009, four of them by shutout. This year, however, both teams are struggling. The Goats have scored one goal or fewer in 20 of their 23 league games, while the Revs stretched their winless streak to eight games with last weekend’s 4-3 loss to Columbus. While New England was breaking out of a scoring slump and still having their hearts broken by the Crew, Chivas was taking a pure pasting from Fredy Montero and Seattle Sounders FC, coming out on the short end of a 6-2 scoreline. They will be glad to escape their inhospitable home field at the Home Depot Center for Gillette Stadium, since they have taken points from eight of their ten road contests. Wednesday will mark the return to Gillette Stadium of a Revolution icon in midfielder Shalrie Joseph, traded to Chivas at the beginning of August. Joseph has logged lots of minutes since joining the Goats, but the team’s real revelation of late has been young forward Tristan Bowen, who has worked his way from the reserve team into the regular roster, and registered assists in two straight games. The Revolution have missed Joseph’s muscle at midfield, and recently acquired former MLS All-Star Juan Toja to help fill the gap, but he is not expected to be available on Wednesday.
New York Red Bulls (13-7-6, 45 pts) @ DC United (12-9-4, 40 pts), 8:00 pm ET (MSG+)
Dwayne De Rosario was gunning for his 100th career MLS goal when DC United visited the New York Red Bulls on June 24 – and the Red Bulls informed United and the league that they would not allow the game to be interrupted for a commemorative ceremony if he reached the milestone on their turf. De Rosario’s next goal will be the centennial shot, and he’d like nothing better than to notch it against those same Red Bulls Wednesday night at RFK Stadium. While the Red Bulls are second in the MLS East with 45 points, have Golden Boot contenders in Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry, as well as a productive midfield addition in Tim Cahill, they have been disappointing on the road this season, winless in their last seven away games after last Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Sporting Kansas City. It’s probably worth noting that no Red Bulls scored in that game – Kei Kamara put the ball in both nets – and New York managed only three shots, none before the 65th minute and none on goal. DC also is trying to rebound, from a disappointing 3-0 road loss to expansion Montreal on Saturday. Wednesday will be the rubber match of the season series. Chris Pontius had a hat trick as United won 4-1 April 14 at RFK Stadium. Pontius also scored twice in the rematch at RBA, but the goals went to waste as the Red Bulls prevailed 3-2.
Columbus Crew (10-8-6, 36 pts)@ Philadelphia Union (7-12-4, 25 pts), 8:00 pm ET (FSO, TCN-Phi)
The Philadelphia Union host one of Major League Soccer’s most balanced attacking units when the Columbus Crew come to PPL Park on Wednesday night. Twenty Crew players have notched a goal or an assist this season, the most in MLS. Lately, however, the Crew offense has coalesced around newcomers Federico Higuain and Jairo Arrieta. The two have combined for five goals and three assists over the last three games. Both scored twice – with Higuain burying two free kicks and Arrieta netting the game-winner – to bring the Crew back from two goals down for a 4-3 win over New England last Saturday. The Union have not won since July 29, but did take points from their last two matches, including last weekend’s scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake. Danny Cruz, recently acquired from DC United for forward Lionard Pajoy, added energy but no finishing power to the Union offense, and Gabriel Gomez moved up front with Jack McInerney. The Union have beaten Columbus once already this season, with Gomez converting a penalty kick for a 1-0 victory on April 14.