Revolution, Crew ready for early-season Eastern showdown
Field Level Mediaon
Even though it is only the second game of the season for Columbus Crew SC and New England, it's never too early to think about the MLS standings.
At least that's the thought of Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton on the eve of the meeting of the Eastern Conference rivals in the Revolution's home opener on Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
"It's a six-point game here to start out and hopefully we can turn that into a big three points for us," he told reporters.
Each team is coming off a 1-1 tie in their March 2 openers. Carles Gil scored for the Revolution at FC Dallas while Gaston Sauro had the Crew goal at home vs. the New York Red Bulls.
"We need to build off (the result) this week," New England defender Antonio Mlinar Delamea said. "If we can get off to a good start, then the whole season can be successful for us."
Crew captain Wil Trapp sees similarities between Columbus and New England.
"They're another team that's opportunistic in very many ways," he said. "They're strong, athletic and combative. They're going to pounce on any mistakes. We have to be as secure as possible in getting the ball from the back half to the front half."
Crew head coach Caleb Porter said the emphasis in training this week was quick ball movement to counter the high pressure the Revolution are expected to bring.
"We have a tendency at times to be standing on the ball and trying to force flat balls, straight balls forward instead of moving an opponent around before we attempt to break lines," he told the media.
Revolution head coach Brad Friedel expects both teams to improve on their offensive performances.
"It should be an exciting game," he said. "We're going to want to attack. They're going to want to attack. Let's see who comes out the winner. Hopefully it's us."
Friedel said forward Juan Fernando Caicedo (muscle injury) is questionable.