A busy week for the Men In Red begins Wednesday night when they welcome the New England Revolution to SeatGeek Stadium for a midweek Eastern Conference matchup.
Wednesday's match marks the first of two at home in a four-day span, as the Fire will then pivot to a meeting with Minnesota United FC come Saturday night. Coverage of Wednesday’s match comes your way on ESPN+ and Univision Radio 93.5 Latino Mix. Get the rundown on the Revolution with the #CHIvNE Match Storylines powered by NovaCare:
Head coach Brad Friedel and the Revolution (2-7-2, eight points) enter Wednesday night’s contest on the heels of a 6-1 defeat suffered at the hands of the Philadelphia Union on Saturday. After going into halftime level at 1-1, New England conceded five second half goals to the home side in what became its seventh defeat of the 2019 season. The Revolution are currently in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, level with expansion side FC Cincinnati on points but trailing on goal differential (-14).
The Fire (2-4-4, 10 points) picked up a point on the road on Saturday night at Banc of California Stadium in a 0-0 draw with Supporters’ Shield frontrunners LAFC. Head coach Veljko Paunovic’s men became the first visiting team to leave downtown LA with points in hand after LAFC had previously won all five of its home matches prior to Saturday’s kickoff.
A Debut in Defense
The Fire announced on Friday that they acquired defender Francisco Calvo from Minnesota United FC. Despite having just a day to get integrated with his new squad before a West Coast road trip, Calvo – a Costa Rica international and 2018 World Cup veteran – made his Fire debut with 11 minutes remaining in Saturday night’s match as a substitution for Aleksandar Katai. Calvo helped preserve a clean sheet in what was his 61st appearance in MLS since entering the league in 2017.
On the goal-scoring front, the Revolution have been paced by a pair of 2019 newcomers up top. Forward Juan Fernando Caicedo – who was acquired on loan from Independiente Medellín in December – scored New England’s lone goal in its 6-1 defeat at Philadelphia on Saturday. The goal was his third of 2019, a total he shares with fellow new addition Carles Gil, who has started each of the club’s 11 matches this season after being acquired from Spanish side Deportivo La Coruña in January.
While no goals were scored on Saturday, the Fire got a Heineken Man of the Match-worthy performance from a 2019 newcomer of their own in Przemysław Frankowski. Frankowski got his first start since March 30, having appeared as substitute in the two matches prior while working his way back from a groin injury. The Polish international contributed a team-high 24 defensive actions (clearances, tackles, blocks, interception, recoveries) against the league’s top attacking unit according to Opta.
Wednesday’s match will mark the 61st meeting between the Fire and the Revolution since 1998. Entering the contest, the Men in Red are unbeaten in their last six league matches against the Revolution, dating back to Oct. 16, 2016. During that stretch, the Fire have outscored the Eastern Conference club 14-6. Overall, the Fire hold a 16-5-9 home record against the Revolution.
As for club connections, New England defender Jalil Anibaba was drafted ninth overall by the Fire in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, and made 96 regular season appearances in Chicago from 2011-2013.