New England Soccer Today

Unique Challenge Awaits Revs in NYC

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – For the first time in three years, the Revolution will venture into the unknown when they face expansion side New York City FC on Sunday.

Despite the fact that most MLS newcomers struggle during course of year one, Revolution defender Chris Tierney knows that expansion sides always presents a unique challenge to their opponents – especially when it comes to the first-time meeting.

“It’s always difficult,” Tierney told “You don’t have a lot of tape to try to game plan for.”

Adding to the degree of difficulty is the fact that the Revolution face New York City only two games into the regular season. In other words, the coaching staff has a whopping 90 minutes of regular season action at their disposal in putting together a sound gameplan.

But Revolution coach Jay Heaps, never one to shun an opportunity to dig deeper, said that he and his staff won’t just be looking at last week’s 1-1 draw between the Bronx-based selection and fellow expansion side Orlando City at the Citrus Bowl last weekend.

“We’ve gone further back to look at preseason games,” Heaps said. “We knew they were going to be one of our earlier opponents and having an understanding of their roster.”

While Spanish International David Villa and U.S. International Mix Diskerud are new to MLS, the rest of the roster is largely comprised of players the Revolution have faced before.

“It’s a lot of players who’ve been in this league for awhile” Tierney said. “So we know their tendencies and we’ll do our best to put together a good game plan that gives us a chance to win.”

Part of that game plan will also have to account for the Yankee Stadium pitch, which will be unchartered territory for the locals. Because of the baseball diamond configuration of the stands, the narrow dimensions (110 yards x 70 yards) must be taken into account in advance.

Heaps downplayed the effect of the field, which hasn’t yet hosted a regular season MLS match. He believes that both sides will have to acclimate to the less-than-expansive pitch.

If history is any indication, the Revolution should be in good shape going into Sunday’s match. The club is 5-1-4 in initial encounters with expansion sides going back to 2005, though their sole loss came in their most recent first-time meeting, which ended 2-1 in favor of the Montreal Impact in 2012.

But Heaps couldn’t care less about that stat, or anything other figure pertaining to the uniqueness of Sunday’s match to the Revolution.

“It’s like any other game early in the year,” Heaps said. “You’re not exactly sure what they’re going to do. It’s something we have to prepare our guys for.”

Leave a Reply