The New England Revolution are looking to turn the page and bounce back into the win column the season’s first loss of the season, a 4-0 defeat at LAFC. To do so, they will have to score on a famously stingy Nashville SC team that has yet to concede a goal in three games this season.
Bruce Arena told Hardy and Zo on Thursday that despite the ugly loss in LA, one player stood out for a solid performance: goalkeeper Djordje Petrović. The Revs shotstopper made eight saves in the match, equaling his MLS-career high, and impressed his manager despite letting in four goals on the night. Arena noted the defensive mistakes in front of the keeper that opened opportunities for LAFC to grow their lead, and those are mistakes that must be corrected heading into Matchday 4.
“This weekend is going to be a difficult game because we’re playing a team that hasn’t given up a goal yet this year in Nashville, so it’s going to be challenging,” Arena said. “We’ve got to be a lot sharper on Saturday. … They just do a great job defensively and they’ll come onto our field and be pleased to walk away with a point, so they make it real difficult. They have eight guys behind the ball. They’re a good counterattack team.”
Nashville’s defensive prowess is nothing new for the Revolution, who have failed to score against the team from Music City in two previous meetings at Gillette Stadium. However, one of the centerpieces of Nashville’s stalwart backline in those years was Dave Romney, who is now wearing a Revolution shirt and has helped his new team to clean sheets already.
“Our players know them. We have Dave Romney as well who played for Nashville over the last three years,” Arena said of the reunion for his center back. “We know a little bit about them, and they certainly know something about us.”
Nashville brings another familiar face to Foxborough in forward Teal Bunbury, who makes his return to New England after spending eight seasons with the Revolution from 2014-2021. The veteran striker helped guide New England to a Supporters’ Shield title in his last season with the Revolution before joining Nashville before the 2022 season.
“We played them in preseason actually and we got to see Teal then. He’s a good player. He’s been working really hard for them. He’s dangerous.”
Asked about Homegrown Player Noel Buck, who has logged three consecutive starts to kick off his second MLS season, Arena praised the 17-year-old’s growth through New England’s pro player pathway. After joining the Academy at age 12, the Arlington native spent two seasons with the club’s second team, which gave him more than 60 professional games under his belt before breaking into the first team.
“[Noel Buck] has a good preseason and I just decided, let’s give him an opportunity, make some mistakes. He made some mistakes but oddly enough over the first three games, he’s been as good as any of our players, so he’s done very well,” Arena said of the Homegrown midfielder. “He continues to grow physically. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, so we’re real pleased with him.”
Saturday’s match against Nashville SC kicks off at 7:30 p.m. from Gillette Stadium. The match will air on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app and on 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2 with Brad Feldman and Clyde Simms on the call.