New England Soccer Today

Home Sweet Home Awaits

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Typically, the Revolution only have the schedule makers to thank for waiting until late-March to open the home slate. But this year, Mother Nature had to take some of the blame.

Two weeks after they were originally scheduled to play the first of their 17 regular season games at Gillette Stadium, the Revolution, whose Mar. 10 home date was postponed due the dangerously cold temperatures, will host Minnesota United FC on Saturday.

While the delayed opener put the squad on the road against two of the league’s best teams in 2016 – both of which resulted in Revolution losses – coach Jay Heaps is looking at Saturday’s match as an opportunity to for his 0-2-0 team to start anew.

“Like any home game, any home opener, there’s pressure and there’s a good pressure,” Heaps told the media Tuesday. “It’s not, ‘Oh my god, we’ve got to go.’ It’s like, ‘Okay, we want to perform well in front of our home crowd, we want our crowd to impact the game, we want to get them into the game, and we want to get three points.'”

Prior to last weekend’s slate of games, three points for the Revolution against the expansion Loons seemed like a given. Minnesota had conceded 11 goals through the first two weeks of the season, and looked very much like a selection in disarray.

But after battling to a 2-2 draw at Colorado – the same team that kept the Revolution off sheet in Week 1 – Adrian Heath’s boys showed they have plenty of fight in them.

That development has no doubt put New England on notice. While the Revolution know the Loons will enter the match with renewed confidence, veteran defender Chris Tierney believes he and his teammates must also pick up their collective performance to avoid a third straight loss.

“It’s something we talked about as one of our goals: [avoiding] putting together consecutive streaks of not picking up a point,” Tierney told the media Tuesday. “But, just a general principle regardless of what happened or results before home games, we always expect to win the games at home. This one’s no different.”

What will be different is the approach the Loons will likely adopt. Unlike the gameplans employed by Colorado and Dallas, Tierney expects Minnesota to drop numbers and, with a little luck, get a goal against the run of play.

“I think you’ll see a team, their main objective will be to try to keep us out and to defend and try to hit us on the counterattack,” Tierney said. “We have to make sure that we bring our ‘A’ game offensively, but also that we’re buttoned up to prevent any cheap goals on the counterattack.”

They’ll also have to generate more offense after scoring only one goal – from the spot, no less – through their first 180 minutes of 2017. After all, if the Revolution are going to send the home crowd happy Saturday, the only way to do so is by putting the ball in the back of the Minnesota net.

“That’s the mindset, [to] take what we’ve done – there were moments in both games in Colorado and in Dallas that are positives, but we can be better,” Heaps said. “I think we all know that and Saturday is another chance to get better.”

Leave a Reply