New England Soccer Today

Putting the Preseason in the Rear View

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

It was, no doubt, important for the Revolution to wrap up their winter schedule on a positive note, and that’s precisely what they did in Saturday’s 2-0 win over the Red Bulls. Just don’t expect them to hang their hats on it.

As everyone from the technical director to the parking attendant will tell you, preseason results are a terrible predictor of regular season fortunes. And it is with that in mind why the Revolution weren’t exactly popping bottles in the locker room after their victory over the Red Bulls.

“It’s important, but at the end, it will only count how we’ll be doing it on Saturday,” Revolution center back Antonio Delamea told the media after the match. “That’s all that’s in our mind. We need to prepare for the first season game.”

MLS certainly did the Revolution no favors (shocker) when the season openers were announced in December. While history has shown that opening on the road is a virtual certainty for the locals, the fact they’ll kick off their campaign at altitude in Colorado only raises the degree of difficulty.

Yes, the Revolution claimed victory during their last trip to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park back in 2015. On the flip side, it was their first in Colorado in nearly 14 years, and against a team that was terrible at the time.

Whatever the circumstances were two years ago, Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe – who took it upon himself to set up Juan Agudelo’s opening goal in that fateful match – isn’t looking back at that win, or last year’s 2-0 home win, or last week’s 3-1 preseason loss for that matter.

“We’ve obviously seen them in preseason before, but it’s about going in and getting a result,” Rowe told the media after Saturday’s match. “It’s the first game of the year, everyone’s pretty pumped up, everyone’s pretty excited.”

Without the benefit of getting the video session on Colorado’s preseason performances (that’ll come on Tuesday), Rowe emphasized the need to stay focused on the task at hand rather than worrying about what the Rapids – who’ll return their entire backline following last year’s defensive excellence – will have in store for their guests.

“We need to come in and be smart,” Rowe said. “We need be able to have those mid-game changes throughout the whole year, but this first game especially.”

A first game that, Delamea pointed out, will bear almost zero resemblance to the ones seen over the last five weeks.

“It’s not the same if you’re playing preseason and the competition,” Delamea said. “We need to learn to compete, we need to work a little bit on our tactics, and we’re looking [forward to] the first game.”

2 Comments

  1. Robert

    February 27, 2017 at 11:06 am

    I think there should be optimism going into the regular season. I am a little surprised that we only signed the two CBs, but, hopefully, they can bring stability to an important position. And what’s taking Burns and Heaps so long to sign Joshua Smith? From what I have read, he has been very impressive despite being drafted in the 4th round (wasn’t Geoff Cameron a 4th rd draft pick? ), and could potentially play meaningful minutes during the season. Anyway, on to the season, and the road to MLS Cup (wishful thinking?).

    • Brian O'Connell

      February 27, 2017 at 6:43 pm

      Hi Robert, I think there’s absolutely reason to be optimistic. After last year’s struggles, their two biggest signings addressed their biggest need: a new CB partnership. The Joshua Smith pick looks really smart given how well he played this winter – I think they’ll sign him this week. It’ll be interesting to see how the DM spot shapes up. I’m not sure how much of an impact Kouassi will have only a year removed from ACL surgery. I think this club’s fortunes will rest on the CBs and DM this year.

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