Other Side of the Pitch: New England Revolution

13507159_10154424103721091_802315511886453004_nTonight is the US Open Cup match against the New England Revolution. We talked to the Bent Musket Blog about their team. Here is our brief Q&A:

TICC – The Revs come off an extra time win in the Cup where home grown player Zachary Herivaux scored a great goal from the top of the 18. This was a game that saw appearances by Lee Nguyen and Kei Kamara. Just how seriously do the Revs take this competition and what can Cosmos fans expect to see when the starting XIs are announced? Will Brad Knighton be in goal again being you are sandwiched between two crucial Eastern Conference games? Are there any major injuries?

BM  While the Revs will say that this tournament is important to them, it’s clear that the team puts more emphasis on league play. In recent years, the US Open Cup has been used as a proving ground for players hoping to grab more minutes. Brad Knighton is the most recent example as his solid performance against the RailHawks lead to a start against Vancouver over the weekend. With this in mind, expect to see a mixed lineup on Wednesday.

Two players you certainly won’t see are Charlie Davies and Gershon Koffie, who are both recovering from long-term injuries. Darrius Barnes and Femi Hollinger-Janzen, who are nearing full health, could be available.

TICC  The Revs currently have given up the second most goals in the East and if NYCFC did not give up a Touchdown against the Red Bulls, you might be at the top of that list. It seems the Revs have a hold at center back next to Goncalves. Can you comment on the current defensive situation?

BM – Simply put, the defense hasn’t been good. Head coach Jay Heaps has tried to remedy this by moving Andrew Farrell to right back. Farrell has played well in his former position, but the team is still looking for a complement to Jose Goncalves. London Woodberry has stepped up in recent weeks, showing both strengths and weaknesses.

That said, you’re likely to see a blended backline with such a busy stretch ahead. If ready, expect to see Barnes start. The same could be said about Je-Vaughn Watson and Jordan McCrary. The final defenseman is likely to be either Goncalves, Farrell, or Woodberry.

TICC –  There are some options going forward for this Revs team. Who is one player, who you think could get the start Wednesday night, that we should watch out for? Talk to us about style. What is the formation of choice for the Revs in 2016 and what style best suits them?

BM  Keep a close eye on Femi Hollinger-Janzen if he plays tonight. The rookie, drafted 51st overall, has already established himself as a threat off the bench. He’s the type of attacker that pops up in the right spots and just loves to score. The University of Indiana product now needs to show that he can be energetic over the course of 90 minutes. Everyone in New England is rooting for Femi since his story, which includes being abandoned as a child, is absolutely amazing.

Other players to watch include defensive midfielder Zachary Herivaux, who just scored his first professional goal, and Kelyn Rowe, who always seems to score in the Open Cup.

TICC –  MLS had its fair share of turf fields, but the turf at St Johns could really be tough to play. How do you think the Revs will adjust to playing on poor turf in front of a smaller crowd? Could we see a change in tactics?

BM – Playing at St. Johns shouldn’t be a problem for the Revs, who play on turf at the cavernous Gillette Stadium. The weather, which should be cooperative, poses a bigger threat as the Revolution had to endure a 2+ hour delay against the RailHawks.

TICC – Some of the New York Cosmos fans follow the Revs because of the history between the supporters. They would be interested to know. What is the latest on the Revs Stadium situation?

BM – There’s nothing new to report in regards to a stadium. MLS Commissioner Don Garber recently reaffirmed his support of the Kraft family, saying that he believes that the Revs will have a soccer specific stadium before NYCFC. There were rumors that the Krafts were looking at a property near Frontage Road in South Boston. Those whispers have since been replaced by the idea that the Revs could build a stadium at the site of the old Bayside Expo Center.


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