New England Soccer Today

Five Questions: #SEAvNE

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

You are not dreaming. Nor do your eyes deceive you. Five Questions is back from its year-long sabbatical (yes, that’s what we’re calling it).

We could talk at length about what it was doing during it’s prolonged absence. About the mountaintop meditations. The clean eating. The daily yoga. But we don’t want to bore you with that. There are exciting things – and exciting times – at hand to discuss. Like First Kick. MLS Soccer is back, boys and girls!

So without further ado, let’s plunge headfirst into the five burning questions entering the Revolution’s first competitive match since, well, you know…

1. Will Lee Nguyen play? Perhaps the better question is, ‘Does it make sense for Lee Nguyen to play?’ Forgive us. We’re still a little rusty. Here’s the situation (we think): Nguyen wants to play. Jay Heaps wants to win. Nguyen also wants to – wait for it – win. But there are somewhat opposing forces at work. While Heaps and Nguyen both want max points from Sunday’s affair, they both understand that fortunes are rarely determined in Week 1. Just ask the 2014 Revolution. Or the 2014 Dynamo, for that matter. So unless Nguyen has connections to a mystical healer near The Link, it’s unlikely that he’ll see action on Sunday.

2. What wrinkles will we see with Jermaine Jones unavailable? If you could take all the gamefilm from the Revolution’s six preseason games, cram it into a blender, and hit “HI,” and watch it churn and spin and…wait, where are we going with this? Sorry. Since it’s impossible to get an accurate answer from the above scenario, here’s our best guess: Daigo Kobayashi will likely be asked to do what Jones did so often last season, which run, roam and point at things. But Daigo is no Jermaine. To that end, Diego Fagundez and Juan Agudelo will be asked to do some of the heavy lifting. Fortunately for them (and Heaps), they know a thing or two about goal creation and putting the opponent on its heels. Oh, and Kelyn Rowe and Teal Bunbury will be invited guests to that party, as well. Look for plenty of interchanging in the front four, with Kobayashi ready to scratch the record if things start getting dull.

3. What role will Charlie Davis fill? Two words: super sub. That may sound like an insult for someone who grabbed more social media mentions during the postseason than Kanye did during the Grammys. Well, almost. Anyway, just because Agudelo appears to be the striker of choice going into the season, that doesn’t mean Davies has been marginalized. By no means. Davies is a player who thrives when coming off the bench, fresh legs and all. He brings pace and tactical awareness when things start going stale. In short, he’s just a smart player. Regardless of what the score is around the hour mark, count on one thing: Davies warming up and readying himself to make an impact.

4. Who will need to step up? The easy answer: Diego Fagundez. Our answer: Diego Fagundez. A case could be made for Juan Agudelo because of the Jones and Nguyen injury situations. Agudelo, of course, was a game-changer for the Revolution during his first run, and his ability to combine with teammates in a single-striker formation made him the apple of Tony Pulis’ eye. But it was Fagundez who most often turned Agudelo’s talents into goals. Plus, Fagundez looked like a man possessed during the preseason. Oh, and then there was that time that he scored two goals and torched the Sounders in a 5-0 rout. With Fagundez looking to do more of the same, the only shame is DeAndre Yedlin won’t be around this time around.

5. Can the Revolution pull off a result? Of course they can. Although they’ll be missing two of their biggest pieces, the Sounders aren’t exactly a picture of health at the moment. Ozzie Alonso is out due to a groin injury, forcing newcomer Michael Azira to fill some Sasquatch-sized boots in the midfield. Brad Evans, an outside player according the team’s media guide, is now being asked to partner with Chad Marshall in the middle of the defense. And we all know how new center back pairings go. Long story short: both sides have key absences, and both sides are still working their way back into regular season form. So Sunday’s game probably won’t be a pretty one. And that should suit the Revolution just fine.


Leave a Reply