New England Revolution Facing A Dangerous Atlanta United Team

On Saturday at Gillette Stadium the New England Revolution (1-0-1, 4 pts) will take on Atlanta United (1-0-1, 4 pts) in the third MLS regular season match of 2021. New England v Atlanta will kick-off at 7:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted on myTV38 & MyRITV (Rhode Island).

It has been quite a while since New England last played Atlanta United. The last time these two Eastern Conference teams faced off was on 10/19/19 in the first round of the 2019 MLS Cup playoffs. That match ended in a 1-0 defeat at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. All-time the Revolution have yet to win a match against Atlanta with an 0-5-2 record and 0-1-2 at Gillette.

New England is coming into this match on the heels of a 1-0 victory at home over D.C. United. As for Atlanta, they are coming off a Concacaf Champions League loss to the Philadelphia Union where they lost at home 3-0. New England is catching Atlanta in a very busy stretch of their season with both CCL matches and MLS matches on their schedule. Atlanta in their last MLS match defeated Chicago 3-1.

 “We look forward to the game,” said Sporting Director & Head Coach Bruce Arena. “Atlanta is one of the more talented teams in the league, and they’ve looked good at the start of the season. I know they’re coming off a disappointing loss to Philadelphia in Concacaf [Champions League], but I think they’re a very good team, very good attacking team, some quality players, very well organized with their new coaching staff. I think they’ll be a real challenge for us.”

Atlanta United Scouting Report

A lot has changed with Atlanta since New England last played them. In 2019 Atlanta finished second in the Eastern Conference and then in 2020 they finished 12th in the East. But in 2020 Atlanta was without Josef Martinez who is now healthy for 2021. In addition, there is a new coach in Atlanta with Gabriel Heinze. This past off-season the club had 14 players depart and brought in 13 new players. Under Heinze, Atlanta has changed how they approach matches tactically. Atlanta has been a tad more disciplined defensively and will play more for position rather than trying to get behind on every single play.

“Yeah, a lot of turnover, different coaches that they’ve gone through and it has been a while since we’ve played them so we’re looking forward to it and looking forward to playing a different schedule rather than playing the same team six times in a season, that’s no fun for anyone,” said Revolution Goalkeeper Matt Turner on Atlanta. “We’re looking forward to the challenge. I think in year’s past when we’ve played Atlanta, we often would look to push, get the ball in behind, and this Atlanta team is built more around possession and also their counter-press. They have a lot of guys that are out there working hard and have a new signing in [Santiago] Sosa and he’s been really great, has an awesome range of passing. We’re expecting a really fun, technically sound game this weekend and we’re looking to get all three points.”

This still a very talented Atlanta team. Outside of Martinez the Five Stripes have Ezequiel Barco, George Bello, Miles Robinson, and a new addition of Santiago Sosa who came in via a transfer from Club Atletico River Plate. Thru two MLS matches, Atlanta has only conceded one goal while scoring three.

It is tough to assess what lineup Atlanta will put in place for Saturday given the juggling act that they between MLS and CCL action. They could come in with extra motivation to come out and get an early goal or they could save some of their bullets in the hope of trying to win leg 2 action against Philly next week.

What To Watch Out For

New England hasn’t scored a goal since the first half of the Chicago Fire match (not counting an own goal) and needs to start finding the back of the net. Lack of scoring was a constant in 2020 for the Revolution and with a fully healthy and improved roster in 2021 the excuse of it being early season only lasts for so long. Following Atlanta, the Revs will play four consecutive teams that made the 2020 MLS Cup playoffs and despite Atlanta not being a playoff team in 2020 they are one of the most talented teams in MLS.

Important for the Revolution to continue to earn results and the next couple of matches could be very telling as to what this teams trajectory is in 2021.
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New England Revolution Facing A Dangerous Atlanta United Team

On Saturday at Gillette Stadium the New England Revolution (1-0-1, 4 pts) will take on Atlanta United (1-0-1, 4 pts) in the third MLS regular season match of 2021. New England v Atlanta will kick-off at 7:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted on myTV38 & MyRITV (Rhode Island).

It has been quite a while since New England last played Atlanta United. The last time these two Eastern Conference teams faced off was on 10/19/19 in the first round of the 2019 MLS Cup playoffs. That match ended in a 1-0 defeat at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. All-time the Revolution have yet to win a match against Atlanta with an 0-5-2 record and 0-1-2 at Gillette.

New England is coming into this match on the heels of a 1-0 victory at home over D.C. United. As for Atlanta, they are coming off a Concacaf Champions League loss to the Philadelphia Union where they lost at home 3-0. New England is catching Atlanta in a very busy stretch of their season with both CCL matches and MLS matches on their schedule. Atlanta in their last MLS match defeated Chicago 3-1.

 “We look forward to the game,” said Sporting Director & Head Coach Bruce Arena. “Atlanta is one of the more talented teams in the league, and they’ve looked good at the start of the season. I know they’re coming off a disappointing loss to Philadelphia in Concacaf [Champions League], but I think they’re a very good team, very good attacking team, some quality players, very well organized with their new coaching staff. I think they’ll be a real challenge for us.”

Atlanta United Scouting Report

A lot has changed with Atlanta since New England last played them. In 2019 Atlanta finished second in the Eastern Conference and then in 2020 they finished 12th in the East. But in 2020 Atlanta was without Josef Martinez who is now healthy for 2021. In addition, there is a new coach in Atlanta with Gabriel Heinze. This past off-season the club had 14 players depart and brought in 13 new players. Under Heinze, Atlanta has changed how they approach matches tactically. Atlanta has been a tad more disciplined defensively and will play more for position rather than trying to get behind on every single play.

“Yeah, a lot of turnover, different coaches that they’ve gone through and it has been a while since we’ve played them so we’re looking forward to it and looking forward to playing a different schedule rather than playing the same team six times in a season, that’s no fun for anyone,” said Revolution Goalkeeper Matt Turner on Atlanta. “We’re looking forward to the challenge. I think in year’s past when we’ve played Atlanta, we often would look to push, get the ball in behind, and this Atlanta team is built more around possession and also their counter-press. They have a lot of guys that are out there working hard and have a new signing in [Santiago] Sosa and he’s been really great, has an awesome range of passing. We’re expecting a really fun, technically sound game this weekend and we’re looking to get all three points.”

This still a very talented Atlanta team. Outside of Martinez the Five Stripes have Ezequiel Barco, George Bello, Miles Robinson, and a new addition of Santiago Sosa who came in via a transfer from Club Atletico River Plate. Thru two MLS matches, Atlanta has only conceded one goal while scoring three.

It is tough to assess what lineup Atlanta will put in place for Saturday given the juggling act that they between MLS and CCL action. They could come in with extra motivation to come out and get an early goal or they could save some of their bullets in the hope of trying to win leg 2 action against Philly next week.

What To Watch Out For

New England hasn’t scored a goal since the first half of the Chicago Fire match (not counting an own goal) and needs to start finding the back of the net. Lack of scoring was a constant in 2020 for the Revolution and with a fully healthy and improved roster in 2021 the excuse of it being early season only lasts for so long. Following Atlanta, the Revs will play four consecutive teams that made the 2020 MLS Cup playoffs and despite Atlanta not being a playoff team in 2020 they are one of the most talented teams in MLS.

Important for the Revolution to continue to earn results and the next couple of matches could be very telling as to what this teams trajectory is in 2021.
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Bill Belichick Declares Cam Newton Patriots’ QB After Drafting Mac Jones

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The Patriots selected Alabama quarterback Mac Jones 15th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, but Cam Newton is still the man in New England, according to head coach Bill Belichick.

Belichick led off Friday morning’s video conference call with New England media by confirming that Newton is still the Patriots’ top quarterback.

“Cam’s our quarterback,” Belichick said in his opening statement. “Whatever time Jarrett (Stidham) or Mac are ready to challenge him and compete, we’ll see how that goes. Right now, for Mac, he’s got a lot of learning in front of him, and I know he’s very anxious to get going with it and get started.”

Belichick was asked how long Newton would remain in place as the Patriots’ QB1.

“Somebody would have to play better than he does,” Belichick said.

Newton was re-signed to a one-year contract before free agency. Stidham is entering his third NFL season after being selected in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Jones is coming off of an undefeated season at Alabama.

We still don’t know who the Patriots’ top quarterback will be in Week 1, but it appears Newton is certainly the front-runner. The three quarterbacks, plus fourth-stringer Jake Dolegala, will battle it out in organized team activities, minicamp, training camp and the preseason before the season starts in September.

Jones was the fifth quarterback taken off the board Thursday night in the first round of the NFL Draft. Belichick declaring Newton as the Patriots’ quarterback might have been one way of downplaying the hype that comes with a first-round signal-caller.

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Bill Belichick Declares Cam Newton Patriots’ QB After Drafting Mac Jones

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Packers GM Calls Aaron Rodgers Trade Rumors ‘Absolutely False’

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It was a 16-year NFL veteran dominating storylines heading into the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday, but maybe all for nothing.

Rumors circulated prior to the selection show that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wanted out of Green Bay, with some indicating he could be heading to the San Francisco 49ers in a trade.

But if the way things played out during the draft is any indicator — with the Packers using their first-round pick to snag a corner in Eric Stokes — it’s hard to say if there was any truth to those reports.

And if you take the word of Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst, they were false all along.

“He’s our quarterback. He’s our leader. We’ve been working through this for a little while now. I just think it might take some time. But he’s the guy that makes this thing go. No, we’re not going to trade Aaron Rodgers,” Gutekunst told reporters, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

“It’s absolutely false.”

Gutekunst says he didn't speak with #49ers GM John Lynch today. (As I said earlier, SF called Wednesday.) Did get one call after reports surfaced of trade interest in Aaron Rodgers.As for a rumor Gutekunst told Rodgers he'd be traded, then reneged: "It’s absolutely false."— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 30, 2021

It’s not easy to imagine that the Packers would want to part with Rodgers, widely regarded as one of the best quarterbacks of his generation.

The question that remains is whether he actually does want to split town.

More:
Packers GM Calls Aaron Rodgers Trade Rumors ‘Absolutely False’

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Connelly’s Top Ten – Mac Jones / See You Jimmy G / Bill Russell Wicked Good

 1. Draft 

* Mac Jones – starts opening day – didn’t have to trade up

* He was rumored at #3 and you got him at #15

* ESPN presentation was boring

 2. Top Salaries by sports

 * NBA…….Stephen Curry……$43mm

* NFL…….Aaron Rodgers…..$37.2mm

* MLB…….Mike Trout…………$37mm

* NHL…….Connor McDavid..$12.5mm

* WNBA – Skylar Smith………$221,450 

3. Stealing bases stuff: 

* Carl Crawford against Red Sox 64 stolen bases / caught stealing 4

* 1990 Red Sox……………………….53 stolen bases / caught stealing 52

* Tom Brunansky in 1990……………5 stolen bases / caught stealing 10 

4. Its been 172 games since a Red Sox pitcher threw a complete game – Chris Sale June 5th 2019 – 8-0 over KC 

5. Who would have bet in Vegas on this happening  

* That Pablo Sandoval would still be in baseball four years after being released by the Red Sox (last 242 Sox at bats – .173 avg / 6 HR / 25 RBI)

* That OJ would be found not guilty when he was in the Bronco  

6. Draft position of Patriots picks that ended up in the Hall of Fame:

 * 1995 – 23rd – Ty Law

* 1995 – 74th – Curtis Martin

* 1982 – 41st – Andre Tippett

* 1976 – 5th…..Michael Haynes

* 1974 – 4th…..John Hannah

* 1962 – 102nd..Nick Buoniconti

* 1961 – 35th….Fran Tarkenton 

7. Amazing Stats – Game 7 of the 1962 NBA Championship 

* Celtics beat Lakers 110-107 in OT

* Russell 40 rebounds / 30 points

* Shot 17 for 20 from free throw line (85%) / shot 60% during regular season   

8. Old School – Red Sox record against Yankees in 1920’s after trading Babe Ruth: 71-149 

9. Just a Little Bit Outside: Boston sports personalities and marijuana

  * Paul Pierce and his recent video

* Bernie Carbo chilling out

 * Robert Parish Federal Express delivery

* Gronk endorsing CBD oil

* Randy Moss when with Vikings

*  According to Dr. Nicoli – Irving Fryar, Stephan Starring, Roland James, Raymond Clayborn, Ken Simms 

10. Randomocity 

 * Dustin Pedroia received $575,000 signing bonus when drafted

* Lot of police speed traps out there – spring’s here and revenue to make up

* Hate the vaccination card – should be the same size as a credit card

* Suggestion for home run derby – to enter the competition they have get a bunt down in fair territory

* What no more mock drafts on MSN or ESPN? 
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Patriots Reportedly ‘Spent A Long Time’ Meeting With This QB Prospect

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The Patriots absolutely should select a quarterback at some point in the 2021 NFL Draft, but it might make the most sense for New England to do so after the first round.

Bill Belichick and Co., in all likelihood, would need to move up from No. 15 in order to land one of the top five signal-caller prospects in this year’s class. Any trade up — even for just a few spots — likely would be pretty expensive, to the point that it might not be worth the roll of a dice.

As such, it should come as no surprise the Patriots reportedly are among the teams that have done “extra legwork” on QBs slated to be selected on Day 2 of the draft. Specifically, New England “spent a long time” meeting virtually with Stanford product Davis Mills, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Mills boasts some of the qualities the Patriots typically look for in a quarterback — size, strong arm — but he also enters the draft with multiple concerns. He only started 11 games at Stanford and has an injury history dating back to high school. Furthermore, Mills’ on-field decision-making is fair at best.

The 22-year-old, as long as he stays healthy, potentially could see his potential maximized with the help of the coaching staff in Foxboro. That said, even the third round might be too early to take a shot at Davis.

More NFL:
Take Peek Inside Patriots War Room At Gillette Stadium For NFL Draft

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Brandon Carlo Injury: When Bruins Are Hoping To Have Defenseman Back

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The last two months or so have been marred by bad luck for Brandon Carlo, but he might soon be returning to game action.

The Boston Bruins defenseman was on the ice in a full-contact jersey for Thursday’s morning skate, and head coach Bruce Cassidy indicated Carlo could return as soon as early next week. That puts him as a possibility for one of the games Monday or Tuesday in New Jersey against the Devils.

Carlo has been dealing with an upper-body injury not related to the concussion he sustained on a Tom Wilson headshot back on March 5. The 24-year-old was playing in just his second game back from the head injury when he sustained the current ailment on April 1.

Lately, Kevan Miller has been logging most of the time in Carlo’s spot on the right side of the second defensive pairing. Presumably, it will be Charlie McAvoy, Carlo and Miller on the right side when everyone is at full health.

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Take Peek Inside Patriots War Room At Gillette Stadium For NFL Draft

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After a year of doing the NFL Draft remotely, the New England Patriots and all 31 teams are back doing business where they’d prefer: at their team facility

Bill Belichick, you’ll remember, did the 2020 NFL Draft from his home on Nantucket, which resulted in the cameo from his dog, Nike.

He’ll be back in Foxboro for 2021 though, and the Patriots shared a look inside their war room for the draft.

After a year on Nantucket, it's good to be back at @GilletteStadium for #PatsDraft. pic.twitter.com/XCGqXFppO1— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 29, 2021

Pretty simple, as we’d all expect.

The first round of the draft is set for Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Barring a move up or down (both are considered possible), the Patriots are slotted to pick at 15th overall.

More NFL:
Take Peek Inside Patriots War Room At Gillette Stadium For NFL Draft

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NFL Draft Rumors Live: Tracking Latest 2021 First-Round Whispers

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It’s NFL draft day. Let’s get weird.

After weeks of rumors and mock drafts, the 2021 NFL Draft commences Thursday night in Cleveland. It should be, as always, one of the wildest nights on the football calendar.

The real action begins at 8 p.m. ET when commissioner Roger Goodell goes to the podium and the Jacksonville Jaguars go on the clock. But the entire day should be fascinating with teams potentially maneuvering to move up and down the draft boards.

NFL Draft Preview 2021
April 20

We’ll have our ear to the Twitter ground all day in search of the latest NFL news and rumors, which all can be found in the live below.

11:25 a.m.: As just about everyone with half of a brain who closely follows the NFL expected:

This is NOT true, I'm told by a source with direct knowledge. Repeat NOT true. NO CALLS, per source. https://t.co/qelhNfH3R5— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) April 29, 2021

11:10 a.m.: Things have gotten a little quiet the last couple of hours, but here’s an interesting report from someone who has nowhere near as much credit as the Schefters and Rapoports have in the football world. But you almost want it to be true for how insane it would have been.

The @49ers have offered the @Packers the 3rd overall pick in this year's draft, plus other picks and a number of players from their current roster including Garoppolofor Aaron Rodgers.The Packers turned them down.First reported by @PAOnTheMic and confirmed by others.— Bill Michaels (@Bill_Michaels) April 29, 2021

So, to recap:

San Francisco gets: Aaron RodgersGreen Bay gets: Jimmy Garoppolo, No. 3 pick, other draft picks and maybe players?

The Packers have made it abundantly clear — publicly, at least — they don’t intend to part with Rodgers anytime soon. San Francisco, meanwhile, has been in on just about every single quarterback you could think of other than the one they have. This one almost seems too big to actually happen, but it certainly would rock the NFL’s foundation if it did.

9:40 a.m.: One potential draft need for the Eagles is obvious: receiver. However, Philly also needs help in the secondary, and it could be looking to move up, especially with the division-rival Cowboys also in desperate need of help on that side of the ball.

The Eagles have been active this week with phone calls on a potential move-up. Multiple teams in that range think Philly might be trying to get ahead of Dallas for one of the top corners. Some NFC East jockeying going on.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) April 29, 2021

9:10 a.m.: Keep an eye on the Panthers, who have been busy already this week, trading Teddy Bridgewater to the Broncos.

And so the Panthers now have picked up the 5th-year option on DJ Moore, but have not done so yet on Sam Darnold….leaving open the possibility of drafting a QB tonight. https://t.co/cDNGdv5QfR— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 29, 2021

What the Panthers do (or won’t do) could have a ripple effect on a whole bunch of teams. If they like Sam Darnold and feel comfortable with him under center, perhaps they trade out of that pick — to a team like the Patriots, perhaps? But how do they feel about, say, Justin Fields? If the Ohio State quarterback falls down the board and lands in their laps, do the Panthers make the move? There are a lot of things in play for Carolina, as pointed out by Schefter.

8:10 a.m.: The New Orleans Saints are in a bit of a transition period, which makes this an important day for that franchise. Could they be on the way up the draft board?

In a relatively quiet trade market thus far, the #Saints appear to be the team doing the most groundwork for a potential trade up. They’ve even called into the Top 10 to gauge value. For a CB? Would be a steep price, but they aren’t afraid to be bold…— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 29, 2021

8 a.m.: One of the biggest characters on draft day is an NFL veteran: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. San Francisco earlier this month traded up to No. 3 and hasn’t been shy about its intentions to take a QB. That has left Jimmy G. to hang in the wind. Will San Fran trade him? Or will they keep him on the roster and play him for at least one more season while the rookie sits and learns?

Here’s where things stand, according to the league’s best-connected reporters:

Multiple teams are expected to contact the 49ers today to inquire about the availability of QB Jimmy Garoppolo, per sources. But as of early this morning, the chances of him being traded are, in the words of one source, “remote.” Let’s see if anything changes in next 72 hours.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 29, 2021

The #49ers do not have plans to trade Jimmy G, unless the value overwhelms them. Seems pretty unlikely, but crazier things have happened. https://t.co/LToStyZL8e— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 29, 2021

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This Patriots Hype Video Will Get You Fired Up For 2021 NFL Draft

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The New England Patriots — barring a trade out of the first round — will welcome a new member to their organization Thursday night.

Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft is surrounded by intrigue. Who will the San Francisco 49ers select with the No. 3 overall pick? How many quarterbacks will be selected inside the top 10? Will the Patriots make a power play for one of those top signal-callers?

Those storylines and more surely have football fans all sorts of fired up for the opening round of the draft. But if you’re looking for an added boost of excitement, this hype video shared by the Patriots’ official Twitter account Thursday morning should do the trick.

Good morning, Patriots Nation…It's #PatsDraft day 🎉 pic.twitter.com/oiUK2VhQ2l— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 29, 2021

New England currently is slated to make its first pick at No. 15. However, multiple reports suggest Bill Belichick and Co. will choose a player at a different spot.

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Take Peek Inside Patriots War Room At Gillette Stadium For NFL Draft

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