Ah, Rivalry Week.
Introduced in 2013, the seemingly annual event features some of the best feuds in MLS, including the Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders, LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA and Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas. Last year, the New England Revolution was paired with the Philadelphia Union, but this year they face DC United. With their Rivalry Week opponent in flux, the question must be asked: who is the Revolution's fiercest adversary?
Chicago Fire: The Revs and the Fire have had 15 postseason confrontations and the results have been even. The Revs are 7-7-1 when playing the Fire in the postseason with four series wins and four series losses. These games have often been scrappy, though there have been some memorable moments. In 2003, the Fire advanced to the MLS Cup after Chris Armas scored a golden goal in the 101st minute. Even better, Taylor Twellman scored a bicycle kick in 2007 that earned the Revs a MLS Cup appearance. The special moments in big games makes this rivalry real.
DC United: As two of the league's original clubs, the Revs and United played a total of 63 regular-season games. DC leads the all-time series with a record of 29-25-9. DC has also been the favorite in the postseason with an edge of 2-1-1. Last year, the Revs dominated the regular season with two wins and a tie, but the most important fixture went to DC United as they knocked the Revs out of the US Open Cup. Their only meeting so far this year was a physical 2-0 victory for DC. Head coach Jay Heaps described the rivalry best in an interview with Hank Alexandre, host of the Midnight Ride Podcast, when he called the Revs vs. DC United "good vs. evil."
Houston Dynamo: Nothing will kick start a rivalry like consecutive matches in the MLS Cup Final. The Dynamo won championships in 2006 and 2007 with the Revs being the victims on both occasions. In 2006, it looked like Twellman had scored the game winner in the 113rd minute, but Brian Ching equalized a minute later. The Revs would eventually fall in penalty kicks. Twellman scored a 20th minute goal in 2007, but the Dynamo rallied with second half goals from Joseph Ngwenya and Dwayne De Rosario. The Revs got some redemption in 2008 when they defeated Houston for the SuperLiga championship. Still, the sting of those MLS Cup loses endures as the rivalry lives on.
LA Galaxy: With an unbalanced schedule, it's hard to have a rival in a different conference. Regardless, the Revolution fan base seems to have a deep hatred for the Galaxy. The two clubs have meet twice in the MLS Cup Finals, first in 2002 and then in 2005. Both times, the Galaxy have come out on top by a narrow 1-0 margin. Since then, the Galaxy have established themselves as the upper class of MLS with a state-of-the-art stadium and marquee players like David Beckham and Landon Donovan. In contrast, the Revs are more of a blue-collar club with hard workers like Lee Nguyen and Kelyn Rowe. The Galaxy might not come to town often, but they are certainly booed when they do.
New York Red Bulls: Geographically the closest team to Foxboro, it would make sense for the Revs and Red Bulls to forge a rivalry. The teams have met 61 times during the regular season with the Revs holding a 26-20-15 edge. The most interest aspect of this rivalry is how good both teams are at home. New York hasn't won at Gillette Stadium since June 29, 2002, which means they have gone winless in 16. Meanwhile, the Revs have gone 0-4-1 since Red Bull Arena opened in 2010. The back-and-forth nature of the games make these fixtures fun to watch.
Philadelphia Union: Forced in 2013, the Revs and Union could eventually develop into a heated rivalry. The history of both cities predate 1776, which could led to some interesting tifo and chants. On the field, the Union has dominated the series with a record of 6-2-3 against the Revs. The Union have been particularly impressive at PPL part as they boast an unbeaten record of 4-0-2. While this rivalry doesn't have the backstory that the others have, there is potential.