Call it confidence. Call it bravado.
Call it a sure sign that the New England Revolution is feeling sure of itself about traveling across country for Saturday’s MLS match against Los Angeles Football Club, one of the top teams in the Western Conference.
“They’re beatable,” Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton said, according to mlssoccer.com. “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.”
Where does such confidence come from for a side that sits a point outside of playoff-eligible teams in the Eastern Conference? In its last match, New England (8-10-9, 27 points) handed New York City FC its first home loss of the season at Yankee Stadium, as Knighton earned the clean sheet in a 1-0 victory.
The Revolution hopes to take advantage of an LAFC defense that has been known to give up its fair share of goals in transition. But it is also an aggressive, forward-thinking style that has LAFC leading the Western Conference with 54 goals scored.
When last in action on Sept. 1, LAFC earned a 4-2 victory at Toronto FC. Carlos Vela continued to produce with a pair of goals in that triumph. But LAFC also allowed a pair of goals to Toronto’s Jozy Altidore, a development that no doubt has stoked New England’s confidence.
“We know at this point of the season, every game is important because we are fighting to be in the playoffs,” Vela said.
Since a run of five consecutive matches without a victory that stretched through Aug. 11, LAFC (13-7-7, 46 points) has three victories and a tie to solidify its playoff chances. LAFC enters weekend play just two points behind second-place Kansas City and three behind conference leader FC Dallas.
Four of LAFC’s last seven matches are at home where the squad is 7-1-5. New England is 2-6-5 on the road this season. As impressive as New England’s victory at New York City FC was, they entered that contest winless in their last nine matches.
LAFC will be without second-leading goal scorer Adama Diomande (adductor strain) and defender Danilo Silva (hamstring irritation). The Revolution will be without defender Chris Tierney (torn right ACL).
—Field Level Media