KNOW YOUR ENEMY: New England Revolution | 4.14.18

FRISCO – The stretch of home games to start the season for FC Dallas has ended after four straight matches at Toyota Stadium. FC Dallas (1-0-3) will be taking their first road trip of 2018 as they head up to Massachusetts in search of the first road win of the year.

New England (3-1-1) in spite of what many critics have had to say have started the 2018 season flying high. New head coach Brad Friedel has his team with 10 points out of five games in a tough Eastern Conference to start the season.

The Brad Friedel Effect

The Revolution have scored 10 goals in five games while only allowing five goals so far in this early MLS season. Last week saw them thrash Remi Garde’s Montreal side 4-0 in freezing temperatures at Gillette Stadium. Albeit, their last two games, and last two wins include consecutive first-half red cards for their opponents which has made life much easier for New England. Friedel has made changes in the lineup of New England early on as he has given former third-string goalkeeper Matt Turner the starting job this season in between the posts. Turner has made some great stops and currently is 3rd in MLS save percentage and had his 2nd consecutive shutout this past weekend.

Key Match-Ups

Roland Lamah vs. Gabriel Somi – Somi has started all five games so far for the Revs and managed to bag himself two assists as well. Roland Lamah will have his work cut out for himself on the left wing against the Syrian left back. Lamah has also started the season hot with three goals and one assist for FCD. Lamah has to keep in mind when defending.

Matt Hedges vs.Teal Bunbury – It seems that Bunbury has been Friedel’s main man over Juan Agudelo at striker, scoring in consecutive games for the Revs. Hedges will have to keep track of Bunbury’s movement in the box as he always finds a way to get on the end of crosses and poach goals in. Just last week Bunbury took a ball over the top and with just two touches put a volley past Montreal. Hedges and the FCD backline will have to keep his attacking threats to a minimum.

Projected XI

New England Revolution (4-1-4-1): Matt Turner; Andrew Farrell, Jalil Anibaba, Claude Dielna, Gabriel Somi: Wilfried Zahibo; Luis Caicedo, Scott Caldwell, Diego Fagundez, Cristian Penilla; Teal Bunbury

Keys to Three Points

As FCD play their first game away from home for 2018, they can’t go into Gillette Stadium and play for a point. Although unbeaten in the first four matches of the season so far, the winning habit isn’t completely there yet and a win away from home against a hot New England side could do wonders for Oscar Pareja’s side. Last week saw the formation change up late against Colorado which resulted in a late goal from substitute, Cristian Colman. Dallas might look to new attacking options or formations to open up the floodgates in front of goal. 

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