Gillette Stadium has not been kind to New York City FC, and the boys from the Bronx will need to change their fortunes without the services of at least two — possibly three — critical contributors to their 3-0 start.
The New England Revolution host NYCFC Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EST. The game can be seen on MLS Live and heard on WNYE FM 91.5.
Starting forward Rodney Wallace plus the league’s top tackler, Alex Ring, will all be absent from the squad for NYCFC while David Villa is questionable with a calf injury. The captain has trained in isolation the past two weeks.
Wallace is on international duty with Costa Rica and Ring has returned from his Finland call-up with a knee injury sustained in training Wednesday, according to Finnish officials. Ring flew back to New York and has been examined by the NYCFC medical staff. The extent of Ring’s injury has not been revealed.
NYCFC has lost three of four matches played in Foxboro, Mass., where New England is unbeaten in their last nine league matches (8 wins, 1 draw). The Revolution has outscored its opposition 19-9 during that stretch.
“We have to change the approach of the game,” NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira said. “We have to go with more personality and character and try to impose ourselves. We are in a really good period so we have to go and express ourselves.”
New England, under the direction of first-year coach Brad Friedel, are coming off a bye week after splitting their first two matches. The Revolution commenced the Friedel era with a pair of red cards and a 2-0 loss at Philadelphia but recovered to edge Colorado at home the following week, 2-1. Chris Tierney scored his first goal in nearly a year with a stoppage time winner.
“They have a physical impact, they have pace, they are well organized and have some individual talent,” said Vieira, who played against Friedel in the English Premier League.
“Brad is a really good example for players who come into the game about how to conduct yourself,” said Vieira. “The word professionalism matches his personality really well.”
Here is the entire media scrum with Vieira on Wednesday, March 21: