Needless to say, the two sides will be looking to right wrongs when they meet up at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday night. With neither team in good form and the Major League Soccer season at its midpoint, a positive result could do a lot to keep playoff hopes in the picture.
Overall, both sides are very much on the postseason bubble with plenty of soccer left to play.
Players to Watch
The player to watch for the New England Revolution will be Luis Caicedo. The central midfielder has been one of the most dominant yet overlooked talents all season, with his slick passing, vision, help on defense and increasing contributions in the attack.
Caicedo appears to have a rotating door of partners next to him in defensive midfield, though. The physical Wilfried Zahibo, precise Scott Caldwell and newly-acquired Cristhian Machado are all viable options for Revs coach Brad Friedel to place next to Caicedo against Orlando.
Regardless of his partner, Caicedo will be a central figure in transitions and a key extra on attack and defense.
For Orlando, the player to watch will be Yoshimar Yotun. Fresh off a strong performance in the MLS All-Star Game, Yotun has the speed and foresight to wreak havoc on opponents – particularly ones who have been as clumsy at the back in recent weeks as New England.
Yotun has six assists and a goal so far this season, and the Revs have conceded at least two goals in four of their last five games. That’s a dangerous cocktail – and one New England’s backline will want to avoid at all costs.
Head to Head
The Revolution are 2-2-3 against Orlando all-time. The Revs are also a devastating 0-2-2 against Orlando on the road.
New England’s most recent clash against Orlando was on Sept. 9, 2017. Orlando won 6-1.
Both teams are in dire need of a victory.
That said, Orlando may need the three points more. Though both Orlando and New England enter the weekend on three-game losing streaks, Orlando has just one win in its last 13 league matches.
In short, this is not the time for Orlando to drop its first home points to the Revolution.
Overall, we’ve reached a point in the season where playoff teams begin separating from the pretenders. Orlando’s record and its dreadful form overall needs a hasty turnaround to be part of that first group.
New England, which is in the sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, is harder to determine. The Revs are six points ahead of No. 9 Orlando and just one point ahead of seventh place Philadelphia. A win Saturday night in Florida would ease tensions in Foxborough.