The New England Revolution’s defense have shown some cracks in their foundation. Spending most of the season as the stingiest defense, the Revs have conceded eight goals in their last three games. Despite the recent struggles do not have the Dynamo expecting an easy challenge when they travel to Foxborough, Mass. Saturday night (6:30 p.m. CT; CSN Plus).
The weekend’s clash will have major implications on the playoff picture as Houston sits in fourth place with the Revs just three points behind them. Houston knows that the circumstances will bring out the best in the Revs, including their once stout defense, as they prepare for a playoff-like atmosphere. How do you overcome that? For Houston it’s to keep doing the things that have their attack clicking on all cylinders.
“It’s more about focusing on us than focusing on who they have on the other side of the ball,” said forward Will Bruin. “We’re pretty confident that regardless of who we’re going against we’re going to create chances. I think that’s just the confidence we have.”
The final third of the field against the Revs has been more open in the past three games than at any point this season. New England’s given up goals due to missteps such as own goals, set pieces and by being broken down in the run of play. Those concessions are out of character for the Revs who Giles Barnes said have a good combination of pace, height and strength across the back.
The two clubs traded road wins earlier this season but Houston was able to control the flow of the game both times. Houston enjoyed an average of 54 percent possession in the two games while creating 33 chances total.
“We can’t let them change the way we play and the way we want to attack because they have some good possession players themselves and we’ll be chasing the ball a lot,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “It’s important we’re very aggressive, the guys are strong on the ball and or movement off the ball is good.”
That movement’s been there in the last three games for Houston. While the Revs have conceded eight goals in that span of time, Houston’s scored the same number as their attack has found a rhythm led by the pairing of Bruin and Barnes at the top. Keeping that attacking chemistry going against the Revs will be the key to the Dynamo getting a result that can put space between them and the team right behind them.
“We’ve got to keep believing in ourselves and believing that what we’ve been doing is working,” Barnes said. “We’ve got people working off each other and things start clicking and all of a sudden someone gets a goal and everyone’s spirits lift.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.