The league-leading New England Revolution continue their pursuit of the top seed in the MLS Cup Playoffs as they host Orlando City SC on Saturday night in Foxborough, Mass.
New England (18-4-5, 59 points) locked up its third consecutive playoff berth with a 3-2 win at the Chicago Fire on Wednesday night. The Eastern Conference-leading Revolution lead Sporting Kansas City (13-5-7) by 13 points atop the Supporters Shield standings for the league’s best record.
The Revolution remain 13 points shy of LAFC’s league-record point total for a single season (72) in 2019 with seven matches remaining.
“Definitely not focusing on (setting any records). Our focus is on trying to finish on top of the Eastern Conference,” New England coach Bruce Arena said. “If those other things happen as we try to achieve that goal, great. But that’s not a priority for us.”
MVP candidate Carles Gil broke a 2-2 tie in the first minute of second-half stoppage time to lift the Revs over the Fire. The dramatic win secured a new franchise record for victories in a single season.
Orlando City (10-7-8, 38 points) is riding a three-match losing streak after falling 3-1 against Philadelphia on the road last Sunday. Prior to their skid, the Lions went undefeated in seven consecutive matches (3-0-4).
“(It’s) another opportunity for us to bounce back in terms of the results,” Orlando coach Oscar Pareja told the team’s website. “Obviously we recognize that we haven’t had a good period here in the last two weeks, but now we’re going against a team who has done a good job so far and that just gives us the opportunity to have a result that can bring again our best hopes for the rest of the season.”
Orlando enters in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings, trailing third-place NYCFC by a point while also leading fifth-place Montreal by one point.
Ruan’s second goal in as many games in the 57th minute marked the Lions’ lone goal in their loss to the Union.
Lions captain Nani and Andres Perea will make their returns after each serving a one-game suspension last Sunday. Nani leads the team with nine goals and also has seven assists this season.
This marks the first meeting between Orlando City and New England since the Revolution knocked out the Lions with a 3-1 victory in last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals. New England leads the all-time series 5-2-5 and has never lost to Orlando at home.
–Field Level Media
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