Gustavo Bou

How to watch the Revolution's MLS Playoff match vs. Atlanta United

How to watch the Revolution's MLS Playoff match vs. Atlanta United

The New England Revolution return to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2015 when they take on defending MLS champion Atlanta United today at 1 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. 

New England has rallied from the bottom of MLS in May (2-8-2, a league-low eight points) to secure a playoff berth after former US Men's National Team coach Bruce Arena was brought in as head coach and sporting director in May. 

From the hiring of Arena to their playoff-clinching win vs New York City FC Sept. 29, the Revs went  9-2-10 in a 21-game stretch, including an 11-game unbeaten streak this summer.

The Revs' Carles Gil was named MLS Newcomer of the Year after he led the team in goals (10) and assists (14)  and another recent signee, Gustavo Bou, has nine goals in his past 14 games, fourth-most in MLS in that span. 

It'll be a rematch of the regular-season finale, won by Atlanta United, 3-1, but that came after the Revs had clinched a playoff spot. The atmosphere, with a sellout crowd of 70,000 filling the stadium, figures to be much more intense and history isn't on New England's side. The Revs are 0-4-2 all-time against Atlanta and 0-3-0 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Here's how to watch the playoff matchup:

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Boston
On the web: NBCSportsBoston.com 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Revolution using last game against Atlanta as benchmark for upcoming playoffs

Revolution using last game against Atlanta as benchmark for upcoming playoffs

The New England Revolution are back in the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2015, and they're excited about the challenge ahead against Atlanta United FC. 

The message was made clear this week from Gustavo Bou and Carles Gil that Saturday's matchup is going to be a difficult one, but the Revs have a good idea of what to expect when they take the field at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

"Atlanta United is a tough game, a tough team," Gil said. "They have a lot of experience playing in the playoffs, they are the current champions. It's going to be a great atmosphere at their stadium but we played them last game and I think we're trying to use that as a benchmark for what to expect in this coming game. But we know the playoffs, it's going to be a completely new game for us, for them. So, we just need to come out there and give it our best shot to win the game."

Bou elaborated on what Gil had to say, while detailing what the Revs need to do to be successful in Atlanta. 

"The Atlanta game is going to be a hard game," Bou said. "The atmosphere is going to be crazy, but luckily for us we played them two weeks ago. So, we will be using that game as a bit of a reference, a benchmark. We know what worked well for us in that game and also what didn't work well. We learned from that game and the key for us will be to stay together. The forwards need to be the first defender, we all have to push up and score a goal as fast as we can, but another key as the game progresses is to not allow any goals obviously, and try to score as early as we can in the game. That's going to be the key for us."

While they did play the Five Stripes in their last game of the season, that was nearly two weeks ago, and head coach Bruce Arena thinks his team will benefit from the time off. 

"For our team I think it's been a plus," Arena said. "I think we needed a little bit of a break. We've been going all the way through. So, I think it's nice to have had a little bit of a break. Overall it's been good because I do think that we've been challenged throughout the second half of the season. To be able to step away from it a little bit, get a little bit refreshed and then be ready to come in and give it your best effort both mentally and physically, I think the break has been good."

Despite getting enough rest, the Revs will experience a great challenge ahead, and Arena added that his team will be more excited than intimidated heading into the match.

"I think we travel well," Arena said. "I think we've played in some good venues against good teams, so the team is focused on that. It's the same case this weekend. I don't think they'll be intimidated by the environment as much as they'll be excited and looking forward to the challenge. So, I think going on the road is something we've enjoyed."

While Atlanta is the defending MLS Cup Champions, New England is well prepared and ready to rally as underdogs behind both Gil and Bou. 

You can watch the Revs take on Atlanta United Saturday at 1 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Boston or stream it right here.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Bruce Arena turns the Revolution from MLS bottom dwellers to playoff team in a few short months

Bruce Arena turns the Revolution from MLS bottom dwellers to playoff team in a few short months

You say you want a revolution?  Well, you got one. With Bruce Arena. In Foxboro. It started when the New England Revolution hired him as sporting director and head coach back in May.  At the time, no other MLS team was in a worse position. The Revs had the league's worst record (2W-8L-2D, 8 points), the league's worst goal differential (minus-19), and they were below an expansion side, FC Cincinnati, in the standings.  In its first year in the league this season, FC Cincinnati broke the MLS record for most goals given up in a single season.  Things were bad, bad, bad.  The club didn't want to see if it got worse. Enter Bruce Arena to save the day, well the season. 

Five months later, the Revs are preparing for an improbable MLS Cup Playoff appearance.  Their first-round matchup next Saturday, Oct. 19, won't be easy as they visit Atlanta United FC, defending MLS Cup Champions.  It'll be a tough team to play in a difficult environment.  Playing against defending MLS Cup Champions in front of 70,000-plus fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a challenge, to say the least. Still, regardless of the outcome, the Revs have already won.  Their playoff berth marks an amazing turnaround for this team. 

What happened in between their league-worst start/the hiring Arena, and their playoff-clinching win vs New York City FC on Sept. 29 is nothing short of remarkable.  The team went 9-2-10 in their next 21 games, including an 11-game unbeaten streak this summer.  In that span, they collected 37 points, behind only LAFC (42 points) and NYC FC (41 points).  They earned impressive points on the road against LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, and Portland Timbers.  They showed they can play with the top teams in the east (NYC, Philadelphia, D.C. United, and Toronto). They dominated the teams they were supposed to beat up (Vancouver and FC Cincinnati).  

The two losses in that 21-game stretch under Arena need some context.  I've excluded the regular-season finale loss because it really was a meaningless match.  The Eastern Conference playoff field was already set on Decision Day with just seedings left to be decided.  The 2-0 defeat to LAFC in August came against the league's best team who set the single-season record for points in a season (72).  There is no shame in losing to LAFC.  The Revs joined a long list of teams - 19 of 23 - who couldn't beat Los Angeles Football Club in 2019.

The other loss was a bitter one to swallow.  It goes down as a 2-1 defeat to New York City FC on paper but doesn't seem like a defeat to me. Toni Delamea, who was originally issued a yellow card for a challenge 9 minutes into the match, was sent off after VAR changed it to a red card.  The league's Independent Review panel rescinded the red card four days later and wiped it completely away.  But the damage was done. The Revs, leading for most of the game, played 80-plus minutes down a man and gave up two second-half goals.  The game-winning goal was a 96th-minute penalty.  

The "Bruce Bump" is real and spectacular and it goes beyond the standings, record and points.  What he's done with the roster is impressive. The group of players he inherited back in the spring is almost identical to what he has now.  Of course, they added Gustavo Bou this summer. La Pantera has been a game-changer since coming to the Revs in a reported club-record signing on July 17. In the past 14 games, he's buried nine goals, fourth-most in MLS in that span. 

Bou's strike rate (0.64 goals/game) is sixth-best this season.  But Arena started New England's revolution before Bou arrived.  He's gotten the most out of Teal Bunbury and Cristian Penilla while helping Carles Gil and Matt Turner elevate their games and name around the league.  Gil was already making an impact as a dynamic player in their attack but now he's in the conversation for MLS Best XI and a finalist for MLS Newcomer of the Year. Gil is one of two MLS players with at least 10 goals and 10 primary assists this season.  Turner, who showed flashes of National Team material before Arena arrived, has pushed his name into the conversation for Goalkeeper of the Year.  Before that regular-season finale, the Revs goalkeeper ranked third in save percentage. Arena has gotten the absolute most out of this roster.

Off the field, the club has made significant investments this season.  They are set to open up a new state-of-the-art $35 million training facility.  Just this week, the club announced they'll field a USL League One Team, Revolution II, in 2020. 

It's wasn't just a change for the Revs.  It's a revolution for the Revolution and you can count me in. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.