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Revolution-New York City FC Preview
Bruce Arena intends to continue rotating his New England Revolution line-up to deal with the most unique season in Major League Soccer history.
The Revs lead the way at the top of the Eastern Conference with 17 points from their first eight games ahead of Saturday's trip to New York City FC at the Red Bull Arena.
Across those first eight games, head coach Arena has used eight different line-up combinations, with only Matt Turner, Andrew Farrell and Carles Gil starting every game.
With players being called up for international duty and a packed schedule ahead, Arena will continue to make the most of his squad depth.
"This season is probably very unique in the history of Major League Soccer," he said. "I think once we get into July, there's going to be an unusual number of games.
"There's going to be some type of international break certainly for the North American players playing in the Gold Cup that's going to take players away, which is challenging.
"It'll cost us some players as well. So, we have to have other players ready. We've still got to think about how we will get through the 34 games.
"Besides, it's not like we have the luxury to be experimenting a whole lot."
It has been three weeks since the Revs picked up a 1-0 win against FC Cincinnati in their most recent match, while NYCFC beat Los Angeles FC 2-1 last time out.
That snapped a three-game winless run and boss Ronny Deila has used the three-week break to bed in some new faces.
"We have an amazing group here. Already the new players are smiling and enjoying themselves," he said.
"We've had some good training sessions and they all understand what I want. The tempo in our training is a lot higher and now we are after some consistency."
New York City FC - Jesus Medina
No team in the Eastern Conference has scored more goals than New York City FC's 13 this season, with Medina responsible for five of those in seven appearances. The Paraguay international helped his side turn around the game against Los Angeles FC last time out and will pose a serious threat to the Revs' defense on Saturday.
New England Revolution - Carles Gil
Revs skipper Carles Gil has created 48 chances for his team-mates this season, which is nearly twice as many as any other player (Emanuel Reynoso being next highest with 25). He is averaging six chances per 90 minutes, which leaves him on course to break his own record in that category over a whole season (4.7 last year).
- The Revolution won the last meeting between the sides 2-1 at Yankee Stadium in October 2020. The same result has occurred in consecutive matches between the teams just once in 16 all-time MLS meetings, when the Revs won two straight in July-October 2015.
- New York City FC has scored in 18 straight MLS matches (including playoffs), the longest active streak in MLS, twice as long as any other team (Houston Dynamo next with nine). The club record for consecutive games with a goal is 20, set from March to July 2017.
- New England has an Eastern Conference best 17 points through eight games this season (W5 D2 L1). The Revolution have had more at this stage of a season just once in club history, collecting 20 points (W6 D2 L0) in eight games in 2005.
- New York City FC has scored an MLS-high eight goals on set pieces this season, three more than any other team. Five different players have scored on at least one set-piece goal for NYCFC this season.
Updated June 18, 2021