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  • Richard Fleming

Match Preview: Rapids At The Revs As Chase Continues

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs. COLORADO RAPIDS (5pm MT) Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA Wednesday, October 27 | Altitude TV

With a place in the postseason confirmed, the Colorado Rapids adjust their focus to try and finish as high as possible in the Western Conference, a task which takes them inside the home of the newly crowned Supporters’ Shield winner, New England Revolution, on Wednesday night.

The Rapids cemented their spot in the playoffs with a gritty 2-0 win over Portland Timbers on Saturday night. Earlier that day, a 2-1 home loss for Seattle Sounders meant the Revolution could not be caught in the Supporters’ Shield race. (STANDINGS)

Bruce Arena benched a good number of his regulars for their trip to Orlando City on Sunday evening, with Adam Buksa, Carles Gil, Tajon Buchanan, Gustavo Bou, and DeJuan Jones all coming on to help salvage a point in a 2-2 draw. Poland international Buksa bagged both.

The 25-year-old from Krakow is now the Revs’ leading scorer, with 16 goals. He sits one behind Ola Kamara of D.C. United in the chase for the Golden Boot. Alongside Buksa is Gustavo Bou. The Argentine has 15 goals, and notched his ninth assist of the season on Buksa’s first goal in Orlando.

This New England side has shattered club records this year. They will end the regular season with most goals scored, most wins, and fewest losses in franchise history. But when they face the Rapids, they will be facing their toughest test to date.

Arena’s men have faced just one other Western Conference team this year, and that ended in a 2-1 loss at FC Dallas at the end of June. Twenty-one points separates first from second in the Eastern Conference. That same number of points is the difference between first and 10th in the Western Conference.

It is fair to say that the Revs have steamrollered their way through the Eastern Conference this season. It could also be argued that the Eastern Conference is far less competitive. The top five in the West have at least 13 wins. Only one other outside of New England has as many, with Philadelphia reaching a baker's dozen with their win over Nashville this past weekend.

And so, yes, this game will be a difficult encounter for the Rapids, but they will also present the sternest test for New England, being that they have more points, more wins, and more road wins than any opponent Arena’s boys have tackled this season.

With the game being played on turf, doubts remain as to whether Younes Namli will be risked as he recovers from an ankle knock. Keegan Rosenberry was the only other absentee for the Timbers triumph. He sat out his first game of the year after sustaining a deep ankle bruise last week at home to Seattle.

This is a first meeting between these two MLS originals since the agonizingly long contest in 2019, which began on the fourth of July, but after numerous weather delays, finished on the fifth! The Revs won that game 2-1.

The previous visit to Gillette Stadium was the Rapids’ season opener in 2018, which served as the MLS debut for Jack Price and Danny Wilson. Price had his penalty saved in a 2-1 loss. The Rapids thought they had salvaged a point after Niki Jackson cancelled out a Diego Fagundez goal, only for Jackson to give away a free-kick on the edge of the Rapids’ penalty area, from which Chris Tierney scored his last-ever goal in MLS.

Different times, and this Wednesday two very different teams will face each other. Coverage on Altitude TV starts at 4.30pm.

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