The New England Revolution have been boasting about their depth all season long and Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup game against the Charlotte Independence is the perfect chance to showcase it.
Viable reserve options exist at nearly every position and the prospects of seeing a brand new starting XI at Harvard University's Soldiers Field are pretty high. To get a sense of the different set of scenarios Jay Heaps, Tom Soehn, and the rest of the Revs coaching staff are debating, we took a stab at our own starting XI's.
Ours are available right after the jump, but if you think we're way off or one is spot on share some thoughts below!
Jake: Knighton; Smith, Herivaux, Woodberry, Hall; Kobayashi, Rudy; Neumann, Fagundez, Rowe; Okoli
The backline is the biggest question mark with zero backup center-backs so putting a debutant homegrown player in his secondary position and moving Woodberry inside for a midweek game is perhaps not the best idea. But right back is a strength for the Revs with Alston and Hall more than capable along with Donnie Smith on the left side. Normally I'd start Dorman and Kobayashi together but I'll opt to give the nod to rookie Tyler Rudy with Dorman getting regular minutes.
This frees up Steve Neumann to play a more advanced role if Jay Heaps opts to go that route but with the Revs so strong up front it wouldn't surprise me to see Neumann in a holding role. Big chance for Sean Okoli to get a lot of minutes, he's been involved off the bench though usually in short shifts so it will be great to see him get a start.
Seth: Knighton; Smith, Hall, Woodberry, Alston; Kobayashi, Herivaux; Neumann, Rowe, Fagundez; Okoli
With eight games scheduled between now and the end of July, it's hard to predict the Revolution's lineup for Wednesday. Just recently halting a six-game winless run, I'm thinking the Revs go primarily with reserves for this midweek affair. That said, there's plenty of experience in this lineup that should be able to best a lower division side. Though not in my XI, I would expect Rochester loanees Tyler Rudy and Timothy Mulgrew to get minutes. We might also see some of the first team regulars inserted late to see out the game.
Nick: Knighton; Smith, Hall, Herivaux, Alston; Kobayashi, Rudy; Rowe, Neumann, Fagundez; Okoli
For much of the 2015 season, we've expressed concern over the Revs' shallow back line; attempting to field a reserve-driven defense only highlights the need for added depth. I'm not crazy about Herivaux debuting as a center back, though Heaps has few options in this spot. In the middle, I expect Heaps to allow Kobayashi and Rowe to find their form, Fagundez to build on a pair of strong starts and Rudy to debut in the second holding position. After showing well in just 46 minutes this season, I hope to see at least 70 minutes from Okoli, with Timi Mulgrew waiting in the wings.
Jon: Knighton; Alston, Hall, Herivaux, Smith; Kobayashi, Neumann, Rowe; Fagundez, Okoli, Agudelo
The Revs have a jam-packed schedule the next couple of weeks and this is a perfect chance to rest key figures. Give the subs a chance to shine in defense, shore up the midfield with experience, and let the skillful attackers go do their thing. Charlotte is a good team, but this XI should get the job done regardless of their opponent's desire to bring down an MLS team.