lloyd sam vs. new england revolution, 5/11/13

When They Last Met: I-95 Rivals Meet at Crucial Moment of The Season

The New England Revolution’s Saturday trip to Red Bull Arena (7:00 pm, MSG, buy tickets here) will be the last time the Red Bulls face their I-95 rivals in the regular season, and the moment couldn’t be much bigger for either club.

Sitting in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, New England are just one point behind the fifth-place Philadelphia Union for the last spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs. New York are top of the standings with 52 points and can clinch a spot in the postseason with a win or a tie, but are trying to fight off the three teams within three points of them in the chase for the Supporters’ Shield.

Obviously, every point comes at a premium for both clubs. The Revolution have lost all four of their trips to Red Bull Arena since 2010, but hold a 26-20-14 edge in the all-time series.

And as they say, anything can happen in a rivalry game.

April 20: Red Bulls 4, Revolution 1

New York entered their first game of the season against New England with a disappointing 2-4-2 record. At the end of the night, the Red Bulls were well on their way to what would become a four-game win streak and a seven-game unbeaten run.

New York got off to a fantastic start as Dax McCarty opened the scoring in the fourth minute. The Revs equalized two minutes later, but just two minutes after that Fabian Espindola put the Red Bulls ahead for good. Despite the lead, New England kept it close until the 82nd minute, when Thierry Henry put the game on ice with his third goal of the season.

Greed, though, is sometimes a virtue, and the Red Bulls drove the knife even deeper in the 89th minute as Jonny Steele tucked away a pass from Eric Alexander to complete the 4-1 rout.

May 11: Revolution 1, Red Bulls 1

After blowing out New England at home in their first meeting, the Red Bulls reeled off three more wins ahead of their second game against the Revolution to push themselves in to first place.

The Revs clearly didn’t get the script, playing New York tough and creating the better chances through the first 54 minutes, when Diego Fagundez pounced on a loose ball in the box to put New England ahead.

It was less than 90 second later, however, that New York drew the game back level as Lloyd Sam opened up his MLS account with a terrific low strike to goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth’s right post.

That flurry would finish the scoring on the night, though Fagundez forced New York ‘keeper Luis Robles into making a terrific kick save 10 minutes before the final whistle to keep the score level.