Patrick Mullins has some fond memories of his lone season with the New England Revolution.
The forward made his Major League Soccer debut on March 8, 2014. He scored in four consecutive matches from May 3-24.
The Revolution won the Eastern Conference Championship last season. Mullins came on as a second-half substitute and assisted on Chris Tierney’s match-tying goal in the MLS Cup Final against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Despite those highlights in his young career, the second-year forward out of the University of Maryland isn’t putting any extra stock into his return to Foxborough, Mass. this weekend as New York City FC visit the Revs on Saturday evening.
“It’s a place I’m pretty familiar with,” Mullins said. “It will be good to see familiar faces, but once the ball kicks off it’s about getting three points. There’s no question in my mind as to what club I play for now.”
The two-time Hermann Trophy Award winner showcased that sentiment loud and clear the last time he played against his former side.
Following his goal in the 84th minute to seal all three points in a 2-0 victory over New England on March 15 at Yankee Stadium, Mullins emphatically kissed the New York City FC badge on his jersey in celebration.
“I kissed the badge because it tastes so good,” he said following the first win in Club history. “I’m so happy to be here. I’m just incredibly excited."
New York City FC (5-8-6; 21 points) come into the second of three meetings against New England this season on the heels of a 4-4 draw with Toronto FC on July 12 at Yankee Stadium. The Club currently sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings; however a mere three points separate fourth place from ninth place.
While New York City FC has gotten into a rhythm on the field – winning four of their last seven matches with just one loss (4-1-2) – the Revolution have struggled as of late. New England (6-9-6; 24 points) is sixth in the conference with just one victory in the last 12 matches. The Revs are 1-7-4 during that stretch and are currently in the midst of a five-match losing streak.
“We are feeling pretty good about the recent run of form we’ve been on,” Mullins said. “We’ve been concentrating this week on cleaning up little mistakes we’ve made in the last few games. If we take care of them we can be really sharp and continue to put good performances together.”
"This will be the first week I’ll talk about the table and where the playoff line lies and what these next several games mean to us," head coach Jason Kreis said. "This next one in particular is a huge match for us."
Part of the reason for New York City FC’s success following an 11-match winless streak has been the comfort levels among the players.
<a href="//www.nycfc.com/players/1/david-villa/">David Villa</a>
<a href="//www.nycfc.com/players/9/patrick-mullins/">Patrick Mullins</a>
<a href="//www.nycfc.com/players/13/mehdi-ballouchy/">Mehdi Ballouchy</a>
<a href="//www.nycfc.com/players/15/thomas-mcnamara/">Tommy McNamara</a>
<a href="//www.nycfc.com/players/22/mix-diskerud/">Mix Diskerud</a>
Mullins said that is the case between he and captain David Villa. Villa, who was recently voted by fans to the 2015 Major League Soccer All-Star Game, has six goals in the last four matches and eight goals in the last seven. Mullins has one goal and one assist in his last two starts.
The duo are the top two scorers on the Club with 10 and four goals, respectively, and are tied for a team-leading three assists in 2015.
"There's a level of comfort,” Mullins said. “I feel really good where my relationship with David has grown to at this point. I’m excited to see where we can keep taking it. He’s been productive with me alongside him and he’s obviously made me a better player, too.
“I’m excited to see how we can keep growing and developing."