MLS Preview: New England Revolution vs. Houston Dynamo
Ah, the stretch run. Five matches to go, and the playoffs are anybody’s for the taking. This is what you live for, right?
Ok fine, the playoffs are what you live for. But you have to get there first.
For Houston and New England, they’ve secured a pole position, now they have to hold onto it. These final games are no longer about amassing as many points as possible - it’s now about getting more points than those below you (thanks, John).
The results couldn’t get more mind-boggling in New England right now. Can anybody figure out where the Revs fit? Right in the middle seems to work. In their last 8 matches, they lost 1-0 at home to a bad team, got trounced 3-0, won 2-0, stomped 5-1, drew 1-1, lost 4-2 and 3-2, and won 2-1.
Unfortunately there’s more bad than good in that list, and with their fifth and final playoff spot dangling by a hair, they can’t afford any more slip-ups. They know it, too.
“We all said that it’s a must-win game” said Revolution teen Diego Fagundez after their win over D.C. United last week. “We’re in the playoffs right now. This game was part of our playoff games, so it was very important.” Those playoffs are starting now for the Revolution, and a few others as well.
The Houston Dynamo are in the same boat. They have a four-point cushion above the Line of Death, but it’s still precarious enough that each result is vastly important. They’ve taken that to heart, responding well from a rough patch by winning their last three matches. The Dynamo have been streaky all season, but just like last year they’re arranging the streaks to finish strong.
“I think the way we responded says a lot about this team,” Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall said. “It’s something we hadn’t done earlier and the middle part of this season and it’s something we’re doing now.”
They’ve carried their success over to the CONCACAF Champions League as well, defeating W Connection FC 2-0 midweek.
Juan Aguedelo and Brad Davis are out for their respective teams according to Goal.com, but for this late in the season, both squads are outstandingly fit.
The previous few matches between these two sides have been barnburners, with goals, red cards, goals, drama, upsets, oh and goals. So this should be a fun watch from Gillette, with Houston looking for revenge from earlier in the year.
When so much is on the line, the play is always amped to a new level. Consider this the beginning of the playoffs.