- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 16, 2009
- 8 Comments
- Chris Pontius, Jeff Larentowicz, Luciano Emilio, MLS Primetime Thursday, Shalrie Joesph
EDIT: Yeah I goofed and realized the game was on the wrong day…sorry folks…my brain is in another place right now…
I love a good rivalry, and yes I am one that still finds any of the eastern clubs against one another an interesting rivalry. I especially love it when we get one of the league originals pitted against one another in a Primetime clash on ESPN2.
This week we are getting just that with New England traveling south to face DC at RFK Stadium.
1. How will the extra week help New England?
Anytime you get a little bit of a break in a long season it should help with getting players healthy again. Thing is Taylor Twellman is still listed as out for this game, as are rookie Kevin Alston, Gabriel Badilla, and Mauricio Castro. All four players are key parts to this club and without them healthy in the early going it could be a long game against a DC club looking to hit it’s stride in the early going of this year.
Even without those guys I see Steve Nicol using that extra time off wisely to get his troops ready for this rivalry. Last year the Revs and United split the season series but the one New England loss came in RFK Stadium.
2. What can DC do to find some momentum here?
Well getting healthy is one thing but staying consistent offensively and defensively is another. Their depth has been questioned a lot in the early going this year due to three blown leads in games. DC has to show they can keep a lead at home and on the road. Usually finding that magic touch starts at home and even oddly enough it can come against a rival. They need to get the ball to the hot foot of Luciano Emilio early and often in this one.
3. Player to watch out for.
In this Primetime clash I am going to be eager to watch New England’s Jeff Larentowicz in the midfield. As he controls the defensive side of the ball for the Revs, it allows guys like Steve Ralston and Shalrie Joepsh to do their thing and spread the attack out to speed on the wings with Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi. I’ve said for years that Larentowicz may be one of the most under appreciated players in the league.
For New England to keep their early success going here they need to control things in the midfield like they normally do. Secondly they have to find a hot hand in front of the net and start scoring. Offensively they haven’t really impressed this year but somehow they have gotten the job done enough to be near the top of the table already this season. Saying that though I am going with DC in this one since it is at RFK. It is still one of those places that is a homefield advantage and hopefully the crowd will be loud and crazy for this one. I think Emilio keeps his current pace up and rookie Chris Pontius gets on board as well. New England will keep it tight with a late goal though.
WVH Prediction: DC 2, New England 1