New England Revolution

Former New England Revolution defender and national soccer analyst Brian Dunseth checked in with DJ Bean on “The Soccer Show” Saturday morning to take a closer look at the Revolution’s 2-0-0 start to the season ahead of their Sunday night matchup with Los Angeles FC. Dunny, who will be calling the contest from BMO Stadium on MLS Season Pass, is bullish on the Revs’ fast start and credits some of Bruce Arena’s offseason additions for the early success.

“I think it’s a great time for New England to face LA,” Dunseth told Bean. “With the way that New England and Bruce Arena have started, the strengthening of [Dave] Romney coming in on that backline, having Latif Blessing, a very different kind of character with regard to how he plays, his intelligence and athleticism, his technical ability. Looking up top, Bobby Wood getting an early goal at the start of his tenure in New England. I think all of these are big positives.

“When you have a couple of shutouts and you’re scoring some goals, I can’t think of a better time that you want to go all the way out to the west coast and play LAFC.”

The Revs are taking on an LAFC team that has picked up right where they left off after breezing through the 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs en route to the MLS Cup title. The Black and Gold have scored three goals in each of their first two games, including a 3-0 victory over LD Alajuelense in Costa Rica on Thursday night. Bean and Dunseth discussed how three games in a one-week stretch might impact LAFC’s lineup.

“I think the result on Thursday night really changes the complexion for [LAFC Head Coach] Steve Cherundolo,” Dunseth said. “When you go through Alajuelense in Costa Rica and you come out 3-0 winners and you come through relatively unscathed, I think the focus is immediately yeah, you can manage that second leg.”

LAFC shifts its focus back to the MLS schedule and a New England team will benefit from the timely return of Argentine forward Gustavo Bou, who is poised to make his 2023 debut on Sunday. The striker returned to training two weeks ago after obtaining his green card and will bolster a Revolution attack that is already off to a flying start, with six different players finding the scoresheet with a goal or assist in the first two games.

“It will be a welcome return. [Gustavo Bou] adds an element that I don’t think any other player in the league has his combination of abilities,” Revolution play-by-play voice Brad Feldman said of the club’s leading goal scorer since 2019. “You can’t really define his position. ‘La Pantera’ is actually a very apt nickname because he is kind of like a big cat, sort of hiding in the tall grass. He’ll disappear for long periods of time and then pop up and make a big play, score a goal, or help create a goal.”

Bou led the Revolution with eight goals in 19 games last season, and New England could need that added firepower on Sunday to keep pace with the defending champs. New England and LAFC kick off from BMO Stadium 10:30 p.m. ET on Sunday night. The match is available on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app and on 98.5 The Sports Hub with Feldman and Charlie Davies on the call.