Orlando City looks to play spoiler as it faces New England
The New England Revolution's playoff hopes are slim at best. Last-place Orlando City would like nothing more than to play spoiler.
The Revs' push for a postseason berth continues Saturday night when they meet the Lions in Foxborough, Mass.
With three games remaining, the Revs (8-12-11) are eight points behind the Montreal Impact for the sixth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. New England has a game in hand, but must beat Orlando.
"You never stop fighting while there are still points on the board to play for, and the only way to keep ourselves in it is by beating Orlando and hopefully we can get that three points and it puts a little bit of pressure on the other teams," coach Brad Friedel said.
The Revs and Lions played to a 3-3 tie on Aug. 4 in Orlando, Fla. New England settled for point after the Lions' Scott Sutter scored in the third minute of second-half stoppage time. Failure to secure three points in that match is something that's weighed on the mind of some on the Revolution.
"That was one of the performances where we definitely should've come away with three points. We could've put the game to bed in the first half," Friedel said.
Since then, New England has gone 1-5-3. The Revolution's latest winless streak stands at four (0-2-2) after last Saturday's 2-1 loss Atlanta United.
"We definitely owe them the win on Saturday," New England midfielder Diego Fagundez said. "We have to fight for three games and see what happens after that. Anything can happen, so we just have to do our job first."
Fagundez is third on the club with seven goals and has a team-high nine assists. Cristian Penilla and Teal Bunbury scored in the draw with Orlando, and are tied for the club lead with 11 goals each.
With a 2-0 loss to FC Dallas last Saturday, Orlando (7-19-4) has failed to score in its last four games, and is 0-8-3 since beating defending MLS Cup champion Toronto FC 2-1 on July 14.
Lions coach James O'Connor's focus is on Saturday's match.
"We have an understanding of how they've played throughout the course of the season," he said. "Whatever New England (is) going to do, they're going to do. It comes down to our personal pride and performance and how badly do we want to really go and get that level of performance for 90 minutes that we're all craving."
Orlando, which is sitting at the bottom of the East, will be short-handed. Midfielder Dom Dwyer (team-leading 12 goals) is out because of yellow-card accumulation, while midfielder Yoshimar Yotun, and defenders Mohamed El-Munir and Amro Tarek were recalled to their national teams.
Yotun assisted on all three goals during the tie with New England in August.
Updated October 11, 2018