Sean Davis: “Without a doubt, it’s no secret it’s a difficult place to play, but I remember a few years ago we did pick up a result there, and it was a great feeling just because we know that it has its challenges.” (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
The Red Bulls will enter a difficult venue to leave even with a point Saturday night when they visit the New England Revolution.
Out of a possible 120 points in Foxborough, Mass. the Red Bulls have accrued only 27 behind a 6-25-9 record.
Perhaps playing in a closed-door match there will help turn things around.
The match will be the 75th league meeting between the teams and the 39th time in Foxborough, Mass. during league play. The Red Bulls have had recent success at Gillette Stadium, owning a 2-5-0 record in the last seven matches. Prior to their 2-0 win at Gillette in 2014, the Red Bulls were 4-18-7 when visiting the Revs. The last six matches in Foxborough have been decided by one goal.
“Without a doubt, it’s no secret it’s a difficult place to play, but I remember a few years ago we did pick up a result there, and it was a great feeling just because we know that it has its challenges,” Red Bulls team captain and midfielder Sean Davis said. “Heading into this game, it’s going to come down to being sharp in both boxes.
“I say that a lot, but that’s especially important on the road. So, if we can keep them off the board, if we can be strong defensively, limit their looks on goals I think that always gives us a chance going forward and grabbing a goal because if we can put the game on our turns, if we can score that first goal, it gives us a lot of momentum.”
After Tuesday’s 1-0 loss at the Philadelphia Union, the Red Bulls (3-3-1, 10 points) will try to get back into the win column against the Revs (2-1-4, 10) at Gillette Stadium at 8 p.m. (FS1, FOX Sports Go and New York Red Bulls Radio on TuneIn).
Revs head coach Bruce Arena won’t be sitting on the bench as he serves the final game of a three-match suspension by the league.
Still, Red Bulls head coach Chris Armas realized his team will have it work cut out for itself.
He said the Revs are a team that’s built for transition going forward with pace, and they attack the wide areas.”
“They’re very good on crosses,” he said. “They’re one of the best teams in the league in terms of duels and being combative. That’s very obvious to us. We think they’re an improved team that’s able to play anyone in the league, so we will have our hands full but we’re up for the challenge.”
The Red Bulls can’t afford bad giveaways and must take care of transition moments on artificial turf.
“We are trying to balance out lots of things every time, thinking about what’s the best team to put out to get the results,” Armas said. “Turf is a consideration because it does play a factor and stepping on the field with fresh legs, hungry guys, there’s something to be said about that. We will rotate in certain positions, but I can assure you that the team that steps on is going after three points.”
Yonkers, N.Y. native and goalkeeper Ryan Meara has stepped into the starting role after the MLS is Back Tournament and has a 1-1-0 mark with a shutout. Meara has allowed one goal or less in 15 of 25 MLS regular-season matches he has started. He has made at least one save in 24 of his 25 previous MLS regular-season starts.