New England Soccer Today

Farrell Not Concerned About First Kick Hijinx

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Revolution center back Andrew Farrell doesn’t put much stock into a troubling trend surrounding his club going into Sunday’s season opener at Houston.

Over the last four years, the Revolution have gone 1-3-0 after week 1, and have been outscored 7-0 in their last two season debuts. But to Farrell, success – or lack thereof – at the starting line has more to do with luck than anything else.

“First games are always a toss-up,” Farrell told on Wednesday. “It’s always a bunch of new guys in new spots, and stuff like that, and it’s hectic (for us) because we’re always on the road, and that’s always tough.”

Indeed, the masterminds behind the MLS schedule rarely do the Revolution any favors when it comes to first few lines of the fixture list. The club is approaching the start of its 21st season, and yet, they’ve only opened at home once – in 2008.

Another development that hasn’t helped the locals in their recent set of breaks out of the gate: location. Over the course of their last five openers, the Revolution have kicked off their campaigns on the West Coast three times, and twice in the Midwest. Sunday’s match will actually be the second time in three years the Revolution will open in Houston.

Despite the undesirable set of circumstances, Revolution coach Jay Heaps says that the excuse-making won’t do his squad any good, and that the time has come to accept the reality of the situation. A situation, mind you, that isn’t made any easier for a cold-climate club that’s spent much of the last six weeks away from the creature comforts of home.

“You always want to start off on the right foot,” Heaps told on Wednesday.“It’s always a disadvantage that you’re away so much in the preseason, but it’s become part of the norm now.”

To make the best of that norm, the Revolution will fly out to Houston Thursday morning instead of Friday to give the players extra time to get acclimated to their temporary surroundings. They’ll train in the Lone Star state for three days before the 2016 season officially gets underway Sunday.

And once it does, Farrell expects the bullets to start flying immediately, just as they did in Houston two years ago and in Seattle last March.

“I think we have to go in knowing that the first 20 minutes of the game is going to be hectic,” Farrell said. “It’s going to be balls bouncing off of people’s feet, kind of like the last preseason game. We just have to get through the first 20-30 minutes and then just relax and play our soccer.”

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