Okay, this is it. We've waited several long, cold and braved the dead of the MLS offseason. Now it's time to lose our minds all over again for the next six months. Wouldn't miss it for the world. And I find it very fitting that the New England Revolution begin the season on the road against the Houston Dynamo. Nothing like a little rivalry to get the season started.
Bobby Shuttleworth; Chris Tierney, Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Kevin Alston; Scott Caldwell; Diego Fagundez, Daigo Kobayashi, Kelyn Rowe, Patrick Mullins; Teal Bunbury
Bench: Brad Knighton, Darrius Barnes, Donnie Smith, Andy Dorman, Steve Neumann, Saer Sene, Jerry Bengtson
Hall; Sarkodie, Horst, Taylor, Ashe; Cascio, Clark, García, Davis; Barnes, Bruin
Okay, we already knew that Lee Nguyen and Andrew Farrell were going to be out for New England, and have been replaced by Kobayashi and Alston respectfully, but the addition of Sene on the bench is a pleasant surprise. Despite missing most of preseason recovering from ankle surgery, Jay Heaps has elected to go with the veteran on the bench. Probably speaks volumes to Bengtson's form with Honduras and Dimitry Imbongo's recent preseason antics as well.
Also interesting, but maybe not surprising, is the fact that Shuttleworth is getting the nod in goal. Many people assumed that Knighton won the job in camp with his performances but there's probably a lot to be said about the experience Bobby gained with the backline in 2013. It's still an open competition but for today, Heaps is sticking with the man who performed so well at times last year.
Otherwise, this is basically a first choice lineup. Rookie winger Mullins will make his professional debut and Teal Bunbury was beyond impressive in preseason after joining the team via trade. Hopefully the Revolution can continue to build on their solid 2013 campaign and get this year started off on a good performance
Okay, so this is a little side project I cooked up, where I use capture equipment, my XBOX 360 and FIFA 14 to simulate the Revs game each week. Yes, I know it's not the "home opener" but still it turned out a lot better than I thought, well, except the simulation was boring. Overall, I can say that I could've done way worse.
Let me know what you guys think about the predictions video (I'm hoping to have one every week schedule permitting) and the lineups in the comments below. Then follow along as we'll be here throughout the game.