for this game

Crew, Revs meet in crucial East clash

Oct 3, 2014 - 8:13 PM Foxborough, MA ( - The Columbus Crew and New England Revolution will renew their rivalry for a crucial Eastern Conference clash at Gillette Stadium on Saturday.

The contest should have sizable playoff implications as New England, on 45 points, occupies second place, while Columbus, on 43 points, follows closely in fourth place.

The Crew are coming off of an important 2-0 home victory over the Montreal Impact, a result that looms large as the club embarks on a three-game road swing.

"It was incredibly important," said midfielder Ethan Finlay. "We did not want to get too far ahead of this game, but we know we have a tough task ahead of us in October, and I think we are excited for it. We had a good road record at the start of the year, and we want to finish strong on the road. The next three games are going to be challenging, but I think we are up for it."

New England also enters the contest in fine form, winning six of its last seven in league play. The lone defeat came at the hands of the Crew on Sept. 20, but the Revs managed to bounce back and collect an inspiring 3-2 win at Sporting Kansas City last time out after going two goals down.

"It was definitely an exciting game," said New England head coach Jay Heaps. "For me it was the tale of two halves. I thought our first half was really good. We stuck to our game plan. But after halftime, 10 minutes in you really saw Kansas City put on the full court press and score two goals that we gave them a little bit, and they took it. You have to give them credit there for taking advantage.

"I was really proud of how after those goals, we were able to bend and not break. We had the legs at the end and I thought Jermaine (Jones) scored a really great goal. Jermaine had to gut it out. He doesn't fully have the fitness, but I thought his performance was spot on and his goal was much deserved."

The Crew went unbeaten in league play during the month of September, claiming 10 points from a possible 12. But three of those games came at home, and the Crew won each of them.

"I think teams have a difficult time beating us here, especially as of late," Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter said after the defeat of Montreal. "We take pride in that, the fans have been great, they've been behind us and we look to really impose our game on the opponent.

"You come into a club and you have the ideas that we're going to make the home field a fortress and you say all of that but it just doesn't happen by words. You need to make it happen and I think if you look over the second half of the season we've made that happen. We've been very strong at home these last seven games."

Road form has been a different animal for Columbus, but the club can take confidence from its 2-1 win at Gillette Stadium earlier this season.