After a tumultuous week in Foxborough, the New England Revolution are finally back to business tonight with a road match at the Colorado Rapids in the second leg of three-game road swing.
Kevin Egan, the English play-by-play announcer for tonight’s match on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, joined DJ Bean on “The Soccer Show” to preview tonight’s match and discuss the leadership within the Revolution as the team looks to move forward with a postseason berth on the horizon.
With seven games remaining in the regular season, New England, in second place in the Eastern Conference, will lean on Clint Peay, head coach of Revolution II for the last four years, to lead the team on an interim basis.
“Clint Peay is someone that strikes me who has that man management style and will not go about huge or drastic changes here to close out the regular season,” Egan said.
Peay, who played five seasons and won multiple MLS Cups in MLS with D.C. United from 1996-2000, is a familiar face within the Revolution organization. The 49-year-old Maryland native has spent the past four seasons as head coach of New England’s second team, playing a crucial role in the development of the team’s rising talent, including several players who have risen from Revolution II to the MLS roster.
A handful of Clint’s former Revolution II players are currently key contributors on the Revolution’s MLS side, including Noel Buck, Esmir Bajraktarevic, and Damian Rivera in the midfield, defender Ryan Spaulding in the backline, and forward Justin Rennicks.
“It’s one of those situations where you can either give up and walk away or come together and say, ‘We deserve it because we’ve been breaking our backs on the training pitch,’” Egan said. “’We’ve been the ones putting in the work and getting those results as players.’”
New England will also lean heavily on its veteran leadership, starting with captain Carles Gil. The midfielder from Spain is producing yet another MVP-caliber season with eight goals and 12 assists, including the opening tally in last weekend’s match at Minnesota United. Gil continues to lead a potent New England attack that ranks fifth in MLS in goals scored with 46.
The playmaker’s on-field ability and leadership will be key to galvanizing this group.
“When Gil is frustrated, you see it nearly in other players,” Egan said. “When he is bought in, as captain, and is willing to grab this thing and tear forward as a group, you get this feeling that the others are too.”
New England can seal its postseason berth with a win tonight at Colorado and a draw between D.C. United and Charlotte FC. The Revolution can also clinch their fourth postseason appearance over the last five seasons with a victory over the Rapids, combined with a D.C. United loss at Charlotte FC and a Chicago Fire FC loss at CF Montréal. Watch tonight’s match at 9:30 p.m. ET on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. Listen live on 98.5 The Sports Hub with Brad Feldman and Charlie Davies calling the action.