MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, May 24, 2014
(All times Eastern)
D.C. United (5-3-2) at New England (6-3-2), 7:30 p.m.
Foxborough, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - The red-hot New England Revolution will
hope to continue their stunning form on Saturday when they welcome D.C. United
to Gillette Stadium.
There is no hotter team in MLS at the moment than the Revs, who have gone
5-0-1 over their last six games while putting up five goals in two consecutive
New England stunned Seattle Sounders FC by getting a 5-0 victory on May 11,
and the club managed to continue its offensive surge by blowing past the
Philadelphia Union in a 5-3 win at PPL Park last weekend.
But while Lee Nguyen, Patrick Mullins and Diego Fagundez continue to grab
headlines by scoring goals, the team raves about Daigo Kobayashi, who has
become an unsung hero.
"He's been spot on," Revs head coach Jay Heaps told the club's official
website about the former Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder. "He and (Andy)
Dorman have just really allowed our other guys to play.
"Daigo reads the game so well. His first touch is one of the best in the
league and his game awareness is world class. You can see he's been in big
games. He knows how to settle a game down, he knows how to win balls back and
he knows how to pressure, so he's been an excellent addition to our team."
Kobayashi has not logged a goal with the Revs just yet, but his three assists
thus far ties him with Teal Bunbury for the team-high.
"Daigo has been unbelievable all season," Bunbury told New England's official
website. "When he's on the ball, he's so technical. Even when you don't think
he sees you making a run, he can find you that ball. Overall, his defensive
work, his attacking presence - he's been having a great season."
D.C. will have the daunting task of trying to contain the surging Revs
offense, but if recent results are any indication, United should be up for the
Ben Olsen's men have taken seven points from their last three league games,
conceding just one goal over that stretch.
The club is coming off of a 2-0 home victory over the Houston Dynamo, a result
made by solid performances all over the pitch.
"I'm obviously pleased," Olsen said after the match. "A shutout, a few goals,
dominating possession and some good attacks. Overall, very pleased with the
"I think we've got to be somewhat realistic about the energy level (Houston)
brought, and they were obviously missing some key guys. But, you know, I
thought we took advantage of them on an off night and I thought we did a very
good job. I thought (Chris) Rolfe and (Fabian Espindola) were very, very busy
and I thought Lewis Neal really helped in the midfield overloading and giving
us the advantage centrally for possession. Outside backs were aggressive,
center backs dealt with their big boys very well and Bill (Hamid) made a save
or two that kept us in, so all around a good night."
New England and D.C. have met once already this season with United earning a
2-0 victory at RFK Stadium on April 5. It should give a bit of extra
motivation to the Revs, who have not lost a league game since that match.
05/23 16:31:58 ET