Tue, 26 May 2020

Revolution look to hang rare home loss on LAFC

Sports Xchange
14 Sep 2018, 17:03 GMT+10

Playing in front of the home fans, LAFC has been nearly unbeatable in 2018. However, the New England Revolution believe they can hang a rare loss on the expansion club in southern California as they fight for a playoff spot.

New England goes for a second straight signature win on the road when it meets the Black Gold on Saturday night.

LAFC is back home after setting a record in MLS with a 4-2 victory over Toronto FC on Sept. 1. The club won its sixth road game, eclipsing Seattle (2009) and Orlando City (2015) for most wins away from home by an expansion club.

While a new benchmark has been established, coach Bob Bradley's side has been stellar at home with a 7-1-5 record. Since losing to Sporting Kansas City on Aug. 11, LAFC has won two in a row -- both via clean sheets from Tyler Miller -- at Banc of California Stadium.

"I'm hoping that we're lined up to play our best football of the year. The competition amongst different guys in spots is all positive and everybody feels good about the work that is being done," said Bradley, who will coach his 300th regular-season game in MLS on Saturday.

With 46 points, LAFC (13-7-7) is in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference. Only eight points separate first-place FC Dallas from the sixth-place Seattle Sounders (41 points), and the Vancouver Whitecaps (40) and crosstown LA Galaxy (38 points) are still in the mix for a postseason berth.

"For me, the idea is that we are a good team, and in this last stretch, we can push hard to get to the next step," Bradley said.

New England (8-10-9) looks to notch back-to-back wins for the first time since March 31 and April 6.

The Revolution snapped a nine-game winless skid -- and dealt New York City FC its first home loss of year -- with a surprising 1-0 victory Sept. 5. Brian Wright collected his first MLS goal in his first career start and Brad Knighton made six saves.

The win also came at a crucial time. With seven games left, New England is eighth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind the Montreal Impact for the sixth and final playoff spot.

But can the Revs narrow that gap against another top team?

"They're beatable," Knighton said of LAFC. "Whether they're home or away, they're a very beatable side, and we know that and we're game planning this week to go in and give them their second loss. Everyone was talking last week about New York City not having a loss at home, and then we went in there and disrupted that."

New England hasn't posted consecutive road wins in MLS since Aug. 29 and Sept. 13, 2015.

The Revolution may have forward Teal Bunbury available after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury. Despite the downtime, he still leads the club with a career-best 11 goals.

"Hopefully, he'll be with us. We'll have to wait and see how the next couple of days go, but things are progressing nicely," New England coach Brad Friedel said Tuesday.

LAFC forward Carlos Vela also leads his club with 11 goals, including three in his last two matches after a four-game drought.

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