The World Cup break came at an inopportune time for the New England Revolution.
Before the break, the Revolution (6-4-6) were playing some of their best soccer this season. New England hadn’t taken a loss in its last five MLS matches.
However, as good as the team was looking, Teal Bunbury would rather risk some rust if it means being rested heading into Saturday’s home match against D.C. United.
“It’s really important throughout a season to have breaks, to be able to kind of get refocused, get some time to yourself, away from the game for a little bit,” the Revs forward told the team website. “It keeps you a little bit hungry and wanting more.”
New England couldn’t want much more from Bunbury, who scored a team-leading nine goals in 16 games entering the Cup break.
Bunbury & Co. will face an uphill battle if history is any indicator, as D.C. United is unbeaten in their last eight meetings with the Revolution (5-0-3).
Wins, and points, have been hard to come by for D.C. United (2-6-4) this season, something that head coach Ben Olsen blames partially on their youth.
“We’re having a little bit of trouble winning games in those experienced moments that really get you all the points,” Olsen told the team website. “I like this team, I like watching this team. I think we’re an exciting group, we’re young, they’re fearless and with an addition or two I think we can make a real run at the playoffs.”
D.C. United has won once in its last six league matches (1-3-2), all of which have come on the road. The club returns home to open Audi Field on July 14, a game that is expected to be highlighted by the MLS debut of international superstar Wayne Rooney, who agreed to join D.C. United as a permanent transfer from Everton of the Premier League on Thursday.
D.C. United has only played two games at home this season as the new stadium has been under construction.
Forward Darren Mattocks has been a bright spot for D.C. United, scoring a team-leading seven goals entering the break.
D.C. United defender Joseph Mora is questionable for Saturday’s match with a hamstring injury, but midfielder Russell Canouse (knee) is probable.
New England will be without midfielder Isaac Angking (illness) on Saturday.
—Field Level Media