In 2012, the New England Revolution and young head coach Jay Heaps announced an intent to take the US Open Cup seriously. Then, in their opening game against the Harrisburg City Islanders, they gave up a 3-0 extra time lead to go down on penalties and end their cup run before it even began.
This season, Heaps is anxious to see that it doesn't happen again. Despite running out a strong side to beat Toronto this past weekend, he is adamant that he has an equally complete squad available for Tuesday night's Cup clash.
"If you look at the guys that didn't play tonight that we have, we're going after it," he said after the Toronto match. "We're just going through it, going through injuries, but A.J.'s (Soares) ready to go. Darrius Barnes didn't play tonight and Darrius has played excellent for us. Kalifa (Cisse), (Andy) Dorman, Chad Barrett, Dimitry (Imbongo), the way we feel about Tuesday, with the game on a Tuesday with the following game on a Sunday we're going ... there to win."
In an amusing twist, the Revolution will be facing their USL Pro affiliates, the Rochester Rhinos. This could create the interesting scenario in which one of four players on the Revs' roster could face off against their parent club in Rhinos' colors.
Defender Bilal Duckett, who scored the lone goal in Rochester's win over GPS Portland last week, is cup-tied and cannot appear for any team other than Rochester in this competition. Tyler Polak and Gabe Latigue, as we discovered yesterday, have been recalled for the match, and Matt Horth is injured.
Predicting the lineup will be difficult. Cup matches are generally a time when coaches give some of their lesser-used players a run out. Given that the Revs will be kicking off just three days after their last match, there's certain to be some lineup shuffling in Rochester. However, too much of that would indicate that Heaps isn't taking the competition seriously, which would contradict his own words.
REVOLUTION INJURY REPORT
OUT: Kevin Alston (Disabled list, Illness), Ryan Guy (L Calf Strain), Clyde Simms (R MCL Sprain)
QUESTIONABLE: Stephen McCarthy (L Achilles Strain)
RHINOS INJURY REPORT
IN A WORD: Extensive.
Diego Fagundez (Red Card)
- Tuesday's match will be the fifth meeting between the two teams in the U.S. Open Cup
- The Revs lead the series, 2-0-2
- Two of the meetings have gone on to penalty kicks, with the Revs advancing in both contests
- This will be the third match the teams play in Rochester
- New England is 1-0-1 in the two previous USOC matches at Sahlen's Stadium (previously PAETEC Park)
- The last time the two teams met was 2007, the year in which the Revolution won the U.S. Open Cup
- Matt Reis is the only current Revs player who has played U.S. Open Cup matches against Rochester...he is 1-0-1 against the Rhinos, both games on the road in Rochester...Reis also converted a penalty kick in 2006 to help the Revs advance to the quarterfinals
- Revs head coach Jay Heaps played one match against Rochester - the 2007 game that the Revs won, 4-2...he was suspended for the 2006 meeting in Rochester stemming from a red card in the Revs' match against Chicago in the 2005 U.S. Open Cup fourth round.
PREDICTING THE LINEUP
Normally, the predicted lineup that the Revolution media team sends out in their game guide is a re-tread of the previous game's lineup with replacements for any injuries. In short, it's pretty useless. However, this time the media team has put together a drastically different lineup that might be reflective of a little insight from the coaching staff. Their best guess:
(4-1-2-1-2, R to L): Reis; Barnes, McCarthy, Soares, Polak; Cisse; Rowe, Smith; Dorman; Barrett, Imbongo
It's pretty much the same lineup I would have predicted, or at least similar. I might expect Heaps to show some consistency and stick with the 4-1-4-1, but otherwise this appears to be the right mix of first-teamers and second-teamers to make a concerted effort, but also keep legs fresh for Sunday. Expect heavy hitters like Sene, Nguyen, and maybe Agudelo to make the bench in case of emergency.
LIVE STREAM: rhinossoccer.com, 7:35 PM EDT